## Total Dough Weight

Hey guys -

Sorry if this is a noob question, but I have been looking for the answer and couldn't find anything that exactly answered my question.

I guess my question is-what exactly is Total Dough Weight considered or comprised of?

I would imagine it is the flour, salt, water. But when it comes to using a levain, is the flour and water in the levain part of that?

A good way help visualize this might be to give an example. I follow Tevor Wilson on Instagram, as I'm sure many of you do, and he always says that he determines his percentage of levain based on the Total Dough Weight, NOT flour weight. He recently posted this:

"80% bread flour, 20% whole wheat, 80% hydration, 2% salt. Leaven was 100% hydration, whole wheat, young (4 hours), and comprised 10% of total *dough* weight (60g for a 600g loaf)"

So when he is saying a "600g" loaf, he means more than only the flour, I think. But is the levain included. If someone were to go this route do they need to determine how much they would like their total dough weight to be FIRST, and then work backwards from there to determine the amount of each ingredient?

I hope that makes sense, but if it doesn't, just let me know and I can try to clarify.

Thanks!

So

Weight of everything else

Divided by .9 (100%-10%) to get total dough weight

Then times 10 percent for levain.

Or just total everything else and divide that by 9 for the levain.

Your total dough weight is the sum total of all ingredients mixed in the dough. For example a 123 Sourdough bread use ng 100g starter. You add 100g starter + 200g water + 300g flour + 7g salt (I’ll explain this later). So, your total dough weight is 607 grams.

An explanation of the 7 grams salt. In this case, as is common, salt is 2% of the total flour weight. You have to consider all of the flour in the dough. The levain is 100g at 100% hydration. That means there is 50g water and 50g flour in the levain. So to find the total flour add 300g flour + 50 flour (in levain). The multiply 350x.02 (% of salt) that equals your 7 grams of salt.

A lot ng explanation, I know. But I wanted to give you a thorough answer.

Learn Baker’s Math and you will never regret the effort spent to do so. Once you understand it, it will become extremely simple. It is intimidating at first, but it only appears difficult.

I hope this helps.

Dan

Yes, that is definitely helpful. Totally understand the idea that the flour and water in the levain is contributing to total dough weight–and I guess that was one of my main questions was–whether the levain was included in Total Dough Weight or not. Which, by your example, it seems like it does.

Therefore, if I were developing a recipe and wanted to base my percentages off of Total Dough Weight I would need to have an end weight in mind and work backwards from there, correct?

No Nick, that’s incorrect. All Baker’s Math percentages are based upon the total weight of the flour. That includes the weight of the flour in the levain.

It is not necessary to know the total dough weight (TDW) in order to make a formula. One of the beauties of spreadsheets that are setup to calculate Baker’s Math is that any TDW can be entered into the sheet and all other ingredients will auto-calculate.

Are you familiar with Excel spreadsheets?

Dan

I mised this in your initial post. “80% bread flour, 20% whole wheat, 80% hydration, 2% salt. Leaven was 100% hydration, whole wheat, young (4 hours), and comprised 10% of total *dough* weight (60g for a 600g loaf)" I calculate the Levain differently, but this will also work.

Let’s take a look at your formula. For ease we can base this formula on 1000g total flour.

800g Bread Flour

200g Whole Wheat

800g water

20g salt

NOTE - the above is your total weight for each and every ingredient (keep in mind that the ingredients for your Levain are also included).

Levain = 182g (.10x1820=182g) @ 100% hydration = 91g water + 91g flour

Your mix would be 709 Bread Flour + 200g Whole Wheat + 709g Water + 20g Salt + 182g Levain.

Dan

A spreadsheet would probably make this a hell of a lot easier.

Math and I aren't the best of friends–but I do love baking bread–so we might need to learn to get along.

Thank you for the follow up post. that definitely helps clarify a bit. I just need to figure out the formula to break that out from ANY dough weight to calculate the percentages of everything.

But if you were to think about it the other way–instead of taking an existing formula and breaking it down, but actually developing your own recipe, would you need to have your Total Dough Weight in mind first, and then break out all of the percentages from there?

That may be confusing, but it seems like you would have to have some number to go off of to determine what your levain percentage would be–but I guess that is what you are saying that spreadsheet would do.

Click THIS LINK to download the spreadsheet along with instructions. You can store the files anywhere you wish. Just be sure that all 3 files are stored in the same folder.

Let me know if you need any help.

Dan

As always–thanks for your help!

No Nick, you don’t have to know your target TDW. All that is necessary is to know the percentages of each ingredient. Once you know that you can eneter any Total Dough Weight you want.

Hopefully the spreadsheet will help.

Derek, aka Youzzause’s methods will also work for maunal calculations.

Dan

Sorry– I think I put two thoughts into one, I see in the spreadsheet that I wouldn't need to know the TDW first, I was wondering if I would need to know that if I were trying to figure out without the spreadsheet.

That spreadsheet is INTENSE! I had one quick question in terms of the "pre-fermented" flour column.

If using a 100% starter or levain in your bread you would only enter half of the actual percentage of levain needed correct?

In the spreadsheet you sent me "7% pre-fermented flour" was entered into the spreadsheet and on the perfectloaf.com website it is 14% levain. Just want to make sure I am understanding that clearly.

Also–I made a Google Speadsheet of this document as well–feel free to share!

Percentage Calculator

The method that I (and I think most) bakers calculate levain (pre-ferments) are using the “percentage of prefermented flour”. This calculation only takes into account the flour in the levain. This way the hydration of the levain can vary at will.

Danny

Hi Nick, if you are wanting to create a certain amount of dough then you do need to have your formula as bakers percentages and you add up all those percentages for example

Basic Bread Dough

% ingredient

100 flour

2 salt

2 butter

2 yeast

70 water

the total percentages = 176%

if i wanted to make a 750g dough i divide 750 by 176 which will give us the value of 1% equals 4.26136 so for our purposes we will round that 1% as 4.3g.

You then go back and multiply all the ingredient values, and as a double check add those up and

% ingredient

100 flour

430g2 salt

8.6g2 butter

8.6g2 yeast

8.6g301gAdding those will give a total dough weight of 756.8 if you wanted to get it closer then the two biggest ingredients flour and water could be multiplyed out at the correct 4.26, but that just becomes mathematical.

So you can use this to scale any known reliable formula up or down to give you a certain amount of dough!

In fact i did this just yesterday when i went from a one loaf 750g dough made at home featured on TFL to the same formula but using 5kg of flour in a commercial mixer also featured on TFL.

kind regards Derek

This is definitely helpful. In this instance, could you substitute a levain/starter in place of yeast and still end up with an appropriate percentage?

Yes of course just take into account 100% hydration starter as 50% water 50% flour components in the dough

Just for reference:

https://www.bbga.org/files/BakersPercent-Healea.pdf

https://www.bbga.org/files/2009FormulaFormattingSINGLES.pdf

I think these are publicly accessible...

The blue cells are variable, and everything else is calculated. In this example the Total Dough Weight is 2,342 gr.

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