The Baker's Hotline

May 1, 2016 at 1:24pm

In reply to by Stephen (not verified)

Stephen, recipes with a starter can be expressed in two ways with baker's percentage: with the starter percentages listed separately and the percentage of the entire starter reflected as a percentage of the flour in the overall formula, or with the overall formula figured with the flour and water amounts from the starter added to the amounts in the main part of the recipe. This link provides a more in depth view of baker's percentage, including an example of a recipe with a starter. The first method is necessary when increasing or decreasing a recipe, but the second method gives you a better idea of the water/flour ratio. IF we figure baker's percentages using the first method then the flour = 447g= 100%, starter = 404g = 90%, water =227g= approximately 51%, sugar = 14g = 3%. If we look at the total recipe amounts (including the starter amounts) and add the wheat and bread flour amounts as all part of the flour amount, the percentages for this recipe are: total flour = 624g = 100%, total water = 454g = 73%, sugar = 14g = 2.2%. I used the lower amount of flour mentioned in the recipe for these figures. Because the salt and yeast are not listed as weights and it's difficult for home scales to be accurate at that small of a weight, you'll have to figure the yeast and salt by multiplying these volume amounts by the amount you want to increase or decrease the recipe. Professional bakers, who use much larger formulas, would also express the yeast and salt as a percentage of the flour amount. Barb@KAF
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