Simply stated, baker’s percentages, baker’s math or the absorption rate, is an easy to understand, international industry standard for dough recipes. This math enables bakers to describe their dough without sharing their recipes by indicating the amount of flour, water, and other micro ingredients used.
- Describe your dough without sharing your recipe
- Alter or add a single-ingredient percentage without changing the other ingredients’ percentages
- Batch sizes are easily and accurately scalable
Example of Baker’s Percentage
In baker’s percentage, each ingredient in a formula is expressed as a percentage of the flour weight, and the flour weight is always expressed as 100%. Let’s take a look at an example of a baker’s percentage using the following recipe for a fictitious bread (this is not a real recipe).
In the example above, the recipe is calling for 60% water, or wet ingredients. This is essentially what is meant by baker’s percentage. It is trying to figure out the ratio of wet to dry ingredients.
Let’s say for instance we want to mix the above recipe with 25 pounds of flour. We can easily figure out the exact measurements by using baker’s percentages.
Why Do Equipment Manufacturers Use Baker’s Percentages?
Equipment manufacturers will use bakers’ percentages for determining the rated capacities for their machine. For example, a mixer manufacture knows how much volume the mixing bowl can accommodate but understanding how much stress is placed onto the drive system while mixing is
critical to ensure the baker will achieve the desired results. That is why you may see the same mixer model rated for differently for bagel dough (50%) and French bread (60%).
When choosing your next machine, it’s important you understand your dough by percentage, so your equipment will perform as expected. If your dough is outside the stated equipment percentage range, it’s important to ask how that may change the stated capacity or production rate. Understanding your machinery will help meet your production goals.