The Fresh Loaf

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Increasing Flour %

BlueBread's picture

Increasing Flour %

Hello Everyone,

How do I increase the amount of flour in a formula while keeping all other ingredients at the same amount?

I have an enriched dough recipe that I like to use for cinnamon rolls, babka, etc.  It produces great results, but I do have to add quite a bit of extra flour to have the dough come together.  I'm talking over 40% more.  At the end of the day, it works out but I'm trying to be exact in the final dough weight.  I'm having the same issue with a cookie formula.  Is there a simple fix that I'm overlooking here?

Thank you for any help with this.

Abe's picture

Flour is 100%! Everything else is a percentage to the flour. 

So if you have a formula:

  • 500g flour (100%)
  • 350g water (70%)
  • 10g salt (2%)
  • 100g starter (20%)

Then however much flour you starter off with all the other ingredients % doesn't change in relation to the flour. So say you now want 700g flour...

  • 700g flour (100%)
  • 70% of 600g = 490g water
  • 2% of 600g = 14g salt
  • 20% of 600g = 140g starter

This is bakers percentages. 

That is one way of working it out but if you know you want 40% more for the final dough, as supposed to just increasing the flour by however much then working out each ingredient, then simply increase each ingredient by 40% (1.4) and the formula will be the same. 

  • 500g flour x 1.4 = 700g
  • 350g water x 1.4 = 490g
  • 10g salt x 1.4 = 14g 
  • 100g starter x 1.4 = 140g 

So the first way allows you to keep the formula however much flour you use. The second way you know how much more dough you want then you increase each ingredient by the same percentage. Two roads leading to the same place. 

BlueBread's picture

Thanks for the reply.

I'm looking to increase the total amount of flour without changing the weight of the other ingredients.  I'm not looking to increase the total weight of the final dough but keep it the same.  

When I use the increased flour weigh from 500g to 700g and I solve for other ingredients I get a new %.

An example being the butter.  

At 100g the butter is 20% for 500g of flour.  With the updated 700g of flour the new % is now 14.3%.  

In theory, when I change the % for all the other ingredients to the new increased flour total, the formula I would end up with would just be an increased amount of flour with all other items being the same weights.  This is not happening.  

Abe's picture

but not the other ingredients then it won't work. What is the purpose of just increasing the flour and nothing else? To keep the same formula what is done to one ingredient is done to the other. Change that and the recipe isn't the same. Now depending on what flour you use and geography you will find that hydration will be different. Some flours absorb differently to other flours so changing the water doesn't necessarily change the final product. But altering just the flour and nothing else is a recipe for disaster. 

BlueBread's picture

I have to increase the flour because the hydration is too high.  I realize just changing the flour amount would throw everything out of whack.  I’m was looking for a new formula entirely but when I changed the percentages I wasn’t getting the anticipated numbers.  

I now realize my mistake.  I wasn’t updating the new final dough weight to reflect the added flour.  Once I increased the final weight with the added flour everything falls in line.  

thanks for taking the time to talk this through with me.  Much appreciated! 

Abe's picture

Change the water! If you keep the flour the same, and only alter the water, then nothing else is out of whack. 

Hold some water back and slowly add it in till it feels right. Start off with low hydration and work your way up. But if you change the flour then everything else will need to be changed to. 

My pleasure. 

yozzause's picture

If you care to post your recipe we could check it to see that it is in sync. but as stated if its a hydration problem fix the hydration (reduce the water quantity)

Using bakers percentage you can make an exact amount of dough required that conforms to the formula no mater whether you require 750g or 2,345g.

if you add up all the percentages in the formula  and divide the required dough amount by that number it will give you the value of 1% for the ingredients for that  dough. You then apply that to each ingredients percentage. To double check just add all those values together and it should equal the required dough amount.

regards Derek

BlueBread's picture

Hi there,

I do use that method of adding up all the ingredient percentages and then dividing into the final weight.  I was confused because I wasn't updating the final weight so my numbers weren't coming out right.  Once I did update everything was money!