## Flour is always 100%

Baking is about percentages. One loaf? Three loaves? A dozen loaves? Most recipes can be adjusted in regard to the amounts of ingredients and their final yield. Baker’s math is about percentages and helps with that. By the way, bakers use weight instead of volume to measure the ingredients properly.

As a baseline, the total amount of the recipe’s flour is always 100%. The following formula is an example of how to calculate Baker’s percentages for most bread recipes.

#### Baker’s % = (Weight of Ingredient / Weight of Total Flour) x 100

Here is an example of some dough:

Dough made based on these amounts is called 80% hydrated.

## Levain / Main Dough & Baker’s Percentages Calculator

Your bread recipe most likely asks for a specific amount of levain (a one-time offshoot of ripe culture) as one of its ingredients. Use this form to decide how much flour and water to feed or refresh an offshoot of ripe culture, one or a few more times, for the amount of levain required by a bread recipe.

Dark rye flour is considered a whole berry flour. It is added to the baker’s percentage for whole wheat. 75% whole wheat formula can use a higher hydration ratio.

All default values are my preferences for a yield of two loaves. Fields marked with an * (asterisk) require an entry. Again, these forms reflect my bias towards the use of whole wheat flour.

Final Dough Calculator

### Preferment -> Levain

Levain is a natural preferment made without baker’s yeast. Levain is an offspring of starter/culture, consisting of flour, water, and wild yeast and friendly bacterial cultures. Most levain recipes call for either whole wheat or AP flour, and even a bit of rye flour. Set flour field to “0” if not using.

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Note that the ripeness of the levain’s symbiotic cultures is as relevant as the sheer amount of levain used.

### Main Dough

The calculations for the main dough can account for up to three types of flour. Popular flours are Whole Wheat, Dark Rye, and AP or Bread flour. Dark Rye flour can be accounted for as a whole wheat flour.

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Baker’s yeast is recommended only if the cultures in the levain are by any chance not ripe.

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The baking process will steam off about 10% of water which will reduce the final weight of loaves.

### Baker’s Percentages

The following read-only Baker’s Percentages form will auto-update based on your selections in the Levain and Main Dough forms above.

Turn a smaller display by 90 degrees sideways for better viewing of the following read-only table.

Ingredient/Quantity in Levain/Total Recipe Quantity/Baker’s Percentage
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Refrain from going much over 20%.

* The Baker’s Percentage for Ripe Levain is the amount of flour in the levain expressed as a percentage of the amount of total recipe flour.

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## Enjoy…

### Editor

Always curious...

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