NEED ADVICE: Baker’s Percentage and Pan Size

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by helpwanted, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. helpwanted

    helpwanted

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    Hello All,

    I started a similar thread asking the more experienced bakers asking how to scale down a cake recipe to serve about 2 from the usual 8-12 (or even more) servings that most cakes yield.

    I know baking is tricky and everything’s not cut and dry (what with leavening and what not) but this is something I want to do. I’m single and I don’t need a whole cake (and I don’t want to freeze half a cake), but I enjoy freshly-baked, different kinds of cakes.

    In thinking about how to approach this from a different angle (than just reducing the recipe)  I thought I’d ask if there were a way to determine the amount of flour to use based on the size pan being used?

    I recently discovered and have been learning about Baker’s Percentage. Everything seems to revolve around the amount of flour used in weight. Am I right to say this?  

    Can the amount of flour needed even be determined by the size of the pan used? I tried googling this idea and found no answer. How does one even go about choosing how much to start with?

    I am an amateur but enthusiastic, at-home cook. I have no experience in recipe development so please forgive me if some of the questions I ask are remedial or not feasible. I’m used to following recipes as is and not having to mess with amounts.  However, this is something I’ve long been thinking about trying and now I’m trying to figure it out.

    I have 2, 4x2 baking bans at home. I know small cakes can be made but if I want to replicate a recipe meant for 2, 9x2 pans (for example) for my 2, 4x2 baking pans, how much flour would I start with? Or how would I approach and accomplish this, without having to freeze anything?

    Not all cake recipes are the same (as you all well know) so I’d like to see how I can take any cake recipe and replicate it for my small pans.

    However, after having learned about and performing some light research into this ‘baker’s percentage’ concept, I’m thinking that if I can determine the right amount of flour for my little pans to start with, I then can then use ‘baker’s percentage’ to figure out the amount needed of all other suggested ingredients in the recipe, in ratio to the flour.

    What do all the pros out there think?

    I hope I didn’t confuse anybody.

    Thanks for your help!

    Jenise
     
  2. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Think about pan volume first.

    A 9x2 pan is 8 cups.

    The volume of a 6x2 is 4 cups.  So a half recipe would suffice.

    With a 4x2 you'll have a bit of spare batter.

    If you don't want to also make a couple of cupcakes, throw it out... it's not really all that valuable.

    Step 2:  Whatever recipe you want to use,

    Convert to weights if recipe is in volumetric

    Then convert to baker pct.

    Then start with half of the flour and compute the amount of other ingredients accordingly.

    But it is just another way to approach the same problem and may have the exact same results.  Baking recipes often don't scale very good, up or down.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
    helpwanted likes this.
  3. michaelga

    michaelga

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    Bake the cake as usual, portion it as you want, wrap it well, freeze it.    Way less work and same general result.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  4. helpwanted

    helpwanted

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    @BrianShaw  thanks so much for your advice Brian. I'm going to give this a try the way you suggested.