Baker's percentage

Let's switch to some counting today :) Recently I've got requests from you about explaining percentages that I mention in my recipes. So here I share what I know and how I understand baker's percentage. 

✅ First of all it's important to remember that usually all ingredients we measure in grams, liquids as well. 
✅ As a basis we always take the weight of dry flour that we take for making dough. We always consider this flour as 100%.
✅ Each ingredient in the recipe we calculate from the amount of dry flour we take for mixing.

For example we have a classic country bread recipe :
1)   90 % bread flour
2)   10 % whole wheat flour
3)   20 % starter
4)   2 % salt
5)   75 % hydration


For example we want to make a bread with a total amount of flour 400 g, so we consider this amount as 100%. Let's count:

1)   400g : 100% x 90% = 360 g
2)   400g : 100% x 10% = 40 g
3)   400g : 100% x 20% = 80 g
4)   400g : 100% x 2% = 8 g
5)   400g : 100% x 75% = 300 g 

So we get 360g of bread flour, 40g w/wheat flour, 80g starter, 8g salt, 300g of water. 

When we take 1000 g of flour, we consider it as a basis as well (as 100%), 
so 80% hydration (80% of water) will look like:
1000g : 100% x 80% = 800 g of water. 


Some bakers also consider the amount of flour in their starter as a part of the total amount of flour in the recipe. They count dry flour for dough mixing + a starter flour as 100%, but I don't do that. Usually such recipes have some notes about what is included in the total flour amount.

More often bakers consider as a basis just the amount of dry flour that is taken for mixing dough. As well as the amount of water in the starter is not considered as a part of a total hydration of the dough.


But please, make sure, that the recipe you use has some notes about it.

Because I know that sometimes bakers say that they have 80% hydration dough, but they don't explain that it's not just 80% of water they add during mixing, it sometimes means that these 80% also include water from their starter. But they do not explain it.


Such misunderstanding very often caused me a lot of problems and in the result I got a too liquid dough that was almost impossible to save))) So be careful with water, it's always better to take less))


More about hydration of the dough you can find here in this article.


If you still have some questions, I'm always open for a discussion :)