Bakers Percent to
IN LEHMANN’S TERMS
Tom Lehmann recently retired as the longtime director of bakery assistance for the American
Institute of Baking (AIB). He is now an industry consultant dedicated to helping pizzeria
operators make more money. Need more dough advice? Visit the Dough Information Center at
Using the bakers percent for your dough formula lets you
easily manipulate dough batch size to fit your pizzeria’s
needs. By Tom Lehmann
Q How do I change a dough formula expressed in percentages to one based on weight measures?
A I hear this question a lot, but I don’t mind explaining it to anyone who doesn’t understand the bakers percent. By showing a dough formula in bakers percent, we
can easily manipulate the size of the dough up or down
to fit our needs, whether it be for 10 pounds or 1,500
pounds of dough. It also allows us to easily and quickly
scrutinize a dough formula for any ingredient anomalies
that might impact the dough or finished crust.
When showing a formula in bakers percent, the flour
weight is always equal to 100%, and the amount of
each ingredient is expressed as a percent of the total
flour weight. To change a dough formula by weight into
bakers percent, you’ll want to divide the weight of each
ingredient by the weight of the flour and multiply by
100. Here’s an example:
Starting with weight measures:
Flour: 40 lb. (640 oz.)
Salt: 11.2 oz.
Instant dry yeast: 2.4 oz.
Olive oil: 6. 4 oz.
Water: 23 lb. and 3.2 oz. (371.2 oz.)
Converting to bakers percent:
Flour: 100% (always)
Salt: 11.2 oz. divided by 640 x 100 = 1.75%
Instant dry yeast: 2.4 oz. divided by 640 x 100 = 0.375%
Olive oil: 6. 4 oz. divided by 640 x 100 = 1%
Water: 371.2 oz. divided by 640 x 100 = 58%
Now that we have the dough formula expressed in
bakers percent, we can manipulate the size of the dough
based on the amount of flour we want to use. Let’s say
we want to increase the dough size to 50 pounds of flour:
Flour: 100% = 50 lb. (800 oz.)
Salt: 800 x 1.75, then press the “%” key = 14 oz.
Instant dry yeast: 800 x .375, then press the “%” key
= 3 oz.
Olive oil: 800 x 1, then press the “%” key = 8 oz.
Water: 50 x 58, then press the “%” key = 29 lb.
Note that the weight of the ingredient will always be
shown in the same weight units (pounds, ounces, grams,
kilograms, etc.) that the flour weight is shown in.