The Fresh Loaf

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Dough Calculator Spreadsheet available

dolfs's picture

Dough Calculator Spreadsheet available

I have completed a first version of my dough calculator spreadsheet that I think is in decent enough shape to share. I have described this spreadsheet (in previous incarnations) and previous posts. This version is quite different in that it is much more automated and supports a "normal" style of using baker's percentages with preferments. I've found it invaluable in reverse engineering formulas (when no percentages are given), scaling, and overall analysis (hydration for example). Please check it out and give me feedback.

The above is just a screenshot of a tiny piece. You will find the documentation here: The sidebar on the left contains a link to download the actual spreadsheet. Unfortunately, right now this spreadsheet is only supported on Windows, see the documentation. Macintosh users can use Parallels Desktop of VMWare Fusion, or Apple's Bootcamp (now part of Leopard) to run windows. In fact, the spreadsheet was developed under Windows XP running on Parallels on a 17" MacBook Pro.

Here is a (partial) list of functionality:

  • Compute weights and volumes from formula with percentages and total dough weight
  • Scale formulas to any desired dough size
  • Support unlimited number of preferments in dough
  • Compute slightly larger preferment sizes to compensate for evaporation and container loss
  • Compute final loaf weight based on estimated baking loss (evaporation)
  • Convert volumes of ingredients to weights
  • Reverse engineering. You enter ingredients and weights or volume in practically any units, and it computes the baker's percentages for you
  • Conversion between regular milk and dried milk
  • Conversion between sugar/honey/Splenda
  • General conversion between volume and weight for specific ingredient
  • Conversion between Fresh/Active Dry/Instant Dry yeast
  • Compute hydration contribution of each ingredient in formula
  • Compute adjustments to formulas when substituting different hydration level starters for others, or for yeast
  • Compute necessary water temperature for formula based on desired dough temperature, room temperature, ingredient temperature and mixer friction. Also computes amount of ice needed as substitute for water to reach the right temperature
  • Analysis of formula and overall dough for hydration, and cost

I am sure that there may be rough edges as, so far, I have been the only user. Please report back any problems in comments on this blog.


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures 


KipperCat's picture

Many thanks Dolf.  I haven't looked at your previous spreadsheets, or those that others have posted.  I needed to do the calculations myself for awhile to understand them.  I've built a spreadsheet with just a bit of the functionality of yours, and been using it.  Now I think I'm ready for a more advanced program, and it won't be just a magic black box.  I'll be using yours some over the next couple of weeks.

dolfs's picture

It is always good to make sure you understand the calculations involved in baker's percentages. Once mastered, however, doing it a lot becomes tedious and error prone. I worked on this spreadsheet over the course of 3-4 months, constantly adding functionality and working out bugs. Especially getting all the hydration calculations right in the face of multiple preferments was not easy.


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

Babette's picture

Hi Dolf,

That is a great tool, thanks a lot. I was wondering about the section Lookup, when you indicate the porcentage of water in different ingredientes, I was surprised to see that oil is 0%, is that the case then? One should not take it into consideration when calculating the humidity porcentage of a recipe? Thanks in advance.

All best,


OldWoodenSpoon's picture

First, thank you for all the work you have put into this.  The amount of research alone is quite impressive, without going into the thought you put into design and esxecution.  This is no small thing you've created.

I've attempted to try it out on a PC running Windows XP (latest SP and updates applied), but I only have MS Excel 97 available.  The macro library displays a "Compile Error on Hidden Module" error on any attempt to execute anything I've tried.  Am I on an unsupported version of Excel?  I have read your trials over macro support (not) in MAC versions, but did not run across any notes about what Windows support levels are required.  Thanks in advance for any assistance or tips you can offer.



CaptainBatard's picture

I was just thinking that i need a good spreadsheet that will have all the components in it...and then you posted it! I am going to give your instructions a good read and see if i can get it to work....I am tiring to alter some formula to suit my starter hydration and taste, I hope this will be the RX...I just have to find the time! I have the opportunity to move to France in the very near future and have been busy packing my house to rent...

thanks for your incredibly hard work on this...



monzy's picture


Specific gravity data, how did you get it? I don't think enough people understand the pleasure that would give people trying to calculate volume-weight conversion, mechanically.


dolfs's picture

With the release of the latest office suite from Microsoft for the Macintosh, they have reintroduced VBA (Basic) and in fact, made it highly compatible with the PC version. Consequently, for those of you who use the Macintosh, good news: it will now work on your Mac (provided you have, or will, pay the Microsoft tax).

fancy4baking's picture

Good spreadsheet, but to be honest i seem not to have understood how to use this spreasheet provided in

Could you kindly explain how to use it in calculating my BP% in making my dough?


dolfs's picture

As the web site explains, I gave up on Macintosh capability for this spreadsheet. Recently I tried again with Office 365 version of Excel and, lo and behold, it seemed to work!