The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

question about bakers formula

  • Pin It
richawatt's picture

question about bakers formula

I have been using the bakers formula for my French bread.  For my Baguette I use 100, 70, 2, 2.  My question is....When I use a pre-ferment, how do I figure it into my dough recipe?  Lets say I use a pate fermente, which for mine I use 100, 65, 1.9 salt, and 1 yeast.  When I use it do I just subtract the ingredient amount I used for my pate fermente from the dough amounts.  For instance if my french bread formula calls for 24 oz of flour and I used 12 oz in me pate fermente do I just scale out 12 oz's?  What about water do I need to compensate for evaporation or any other way water might be lost in the pre ferment?  And how about yeast? should I cut down the amount used because the yeast has been reproducing in the pre-ferment?  Thanks for any help you guys and gals can give me. 

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

The flour and water is the easy part.  If you have 100 grams each of flour and water in your preferment, you deduct that from your original recioe.


Usually, there isn't salt in the preferment, so that doesn't need to be accounted for, however, if you do put salt in a preferment, handle it the way water and flour are handled.


Riser is where things get tricky.  Whether you are making a plain sponge, a poolish, a biga, a pate fermente or any kind of active pre-ferment, the yeast has been multiplying in the preferment, and you will need to reduce the amount of yeast in your final dough.


When I make a straight dough, I usually use around .75% yeast (I use instant dry yeast) .  However, when I make a poolish based bread, I use about .2% in the poolish and .06% in the final dough.  (The .06% is the yeast that is added in the final dough.)


There are lots of variables here.  How much yeast was put into the preferment?  What was the temperature of the preferment?  What was the hydration of the preferment?  How long was the preferment allowed to work?  All of these will change how much yeast is in the preferment, which will change how the final dough will work.


Similarly, the amount of leaven will vary depending on the kind of bread you want to make... white or wheat, plain or with lots of added grains in it? 

Have fun playing with it!




richawatt's picture

thank you for the information.  I think I have been using too much yeast, I had thought when I was putting it in that is was a little much but I don't have a feel for it yet.  I see that you use a lot less then I do.  Where your using a combined .26% im using a combined 2.0%