# Bakers' Percentages

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by lisbet, May 9, 2006.

1. ### lisbet

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Hi.....Hope that everyone out there that is smarter than I am!!

I am realy interested in Bakers' Math. I believe I understand how it works, but am wondering if it works both ways.....for increasing and also for decreasing the same recipe. I have a couple of professional cookbooks on Bread Baking, that only give the percentage of ingredients. Since I want to bake them in my kitchen I need to reduce the formula for my own use.

Anyone have any experience with this method?

2. ### cakerookie

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Go to King Arthur Flours website there is a great article there that gives you detailed information on how to do this, scale up or down. I could explain it but I might confuse you further.

Heres the website www.kingarthurflour.com go to the Professional Bakers section theres a whole PDF file there on this you can save or print. Have to have Adobe Acrobat.

3. ### kylew

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The joy of Baker's % is that it doesn't require any given quantity of anything. If you have a formula which lists only %'s, you can use any amount of flour you want and then calculate the amounts for the remaining ingredients. You can increase OR decrease a formula. Just fgure out how much flour you want to use.

You will need a scale though as this works better with weights.

4. ### lisbet

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"Cakerookie" & "KyleW", Thank You for the speedy answers! I do have a good scale and I have a reliable calculator....so the solution is as far away as the end of my nose!!! That King Arthur site is a very good one for explaining and understanding the math. Much appreciative for your responses. Thanks.

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If I may. A short explanation. The two percentages used in baking are known as true % and bakers %. In true % all the ingredients add up to 100%. In bakers % all the ingredients add up to more than 100%; typically between roughly 200 and 400% depending on the complexity of the formula and if it's bread or cake.

In true % the various weights of the ingredients are added up. The total is used to divide into each ingredients weight giving each ingredients respective % in the recipe. In a formula adding up to 550 pounds sugar at 130 pounds would be 23.64 %.

In bakers % flour is always set at 100% and all the other ingredients are based on this. If flour is 100 pounds (100%) then water at 70 pounds is 70%. If flour weight is 10 pounds (100%) then water at 7 pounds is 70%. If flour is 1000 pounds (100%) then water at 700 pounds is 70%. If flour is 886 pounds (100%) then water at 616.2 pounds is 70%.

Typically in hi ratio cake formulas sugar is higher than flour. So if flour is 100 pounds (100%) then sugar at 120 pounds is 120% in bakers %.

Bakers % is just another way of looking at a formula. You can increase or decrease a formula whether it uses true % or bakers %. I have found bakers % to be favored by production environments such as large bakeries and retail environments. Research and development and formulators would use true % as it gives a different view of the ingredients relationship to each other and the only way to assure that FDA maximums are not being exceeded for certain ingredients such as oxidizing agents, etc.

6. ### lisbet

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Thanks "cookieguy"! A really good, clear, and concise explination that anyone can understand, even a "knot-head" like me......am going to tuck it into my cookbook, lest I forget.

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Sorry for the typo above. If flour is 886 pounds (100%) then water at 70% is 620.2 pounds.

8. ### cakerookie

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Yeah, thanks it cleared up somethings for me too.

Regards Cakerookie...

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