# Baker percentage

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Baker percentage

Baker percentage, sometimes called formula percentage ["How Baking Works", Paula Figoni, 2004. p9.] , is a way of indicating the proportion of ingredients when making bread. Contrary to the usual way of expressing percentages, instead of the overall total adding up to 100%, ingredients are given as percent weight of the flour, which is 100%.

All the ingredients are measured by their weight compared to the flour's. Thus, the flour always accounts for 100% and all the other ingredients make the total higher than 100%. For example, if a recipe calls for 10 pounds of flour and 5 pounds of water, the corresponding percentages will be 100% and 50%.

The main advantage of this formulation is that it allows a baker to resize a recipe easily. With a percentage formula for a bread recipe and a bit of simple arithmetic, it becomes as easy to make 50 loaves as it is to make two. Common formulations for bread include 100% flour, 60% water/liquid, 1% yeast, 2% salt, and 1% oil, lard, or butter.

In addition, the baker percentage enables the user to more accurately compare recipes (i.e. which is drier, saltier, sweeter, etc.).

Moreover, bread recipes are better done this way than by volume measurements (for example, by using cups), especially in large batches, because measurements by weight are very precise, while measurements by volume can vary a good amount, depending on how the flour is packed into the measuring cup, how the flour is ground, etc.

Example

A recipe could call for the following ingredients::100% flour:35% water:35% milk:4% fresh yeast:1.8% salt

If the baker chooses to use 2 lb of flour, the recipe would call for:2.0 lb flour:0.7 lb water (or 11.2 oz):0.7 lb milk (or 11.2 oz):0.08 lb fresh yeast (or 1.28 oz):0.036 lb salt (or 0.577 oz)

Conversions

The use of customary U.S. units can sometimes be awkward and the metric system makes these conversions simpler. However, adaptation of the recipes can be done with the following densities approximations. Returning to volume units makes the measurements less precise.:1 lb of flour is approximately 3 3/4 cups:1 cup of water weighs approximately 1/2 pound (a U.S. gallon is 8.34 lb, a litre is 1.00 kg):1 lb of flour is typical for a normal household yeast bread recipe:60% amount of water for 1 lb of flour is 1 1/2 cups and a tablespoon.

References

* [http://www.theartisan.net/bakers_percentage_revised_2001.htm Baker Percentage]
* [http://www.eg-software.com/products/egsrecipenet/bakers.aspx?lang=1 Sample recipe]

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