Bakers percentage is a formula that is used by baking enthusiasts to understand an recipe and the ratio of a certain ingredient to flour. Mainly used for break making, cakes and biscuts, bakers percentage helps you adjust the amount of any ingredient of a given recipe to make it your own. It can also be used to scale up and down recipes as well.

I often use the bakers percentage to adjust sweetness I want in a recipe for a cookie, to adjust the amount of butter for a cookie for a crunch or soft chewy cookie. Often I feel that you will need to know a bit about food chemistry before you start with bakers percentages as it is often a case of trial and error.

In order to calculate the bakers’ percentage, you divide the ingredient that you use by the amount of flour and then multiply it by 100 to get the bakers percentage. I decided to use the recipe for a basic sponge cake, flour, egg, sugar and butter. The table below gives you all the weights:

Ingredient | Grams |
---|---|

flour | 120g |

egg | 60g |

sugar | 100g |

butter | 100g |

In order to calculate the bakers percentage for the egg we divide the weight of the egg, 60 grams, with the weight of the flour, 120 grams and multiply it by 100 to get the bakers percentage, which is 60%. The formula is as set out below.

(Ingredient ÷ flour ) x 100 = bakers percentage.

and these are the calculations...

Ingredient | Ingredient weight | ÷ | Flour weight | x | 100 | = | Bakers percentage |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

flour | (120g | ÷ | 120g) | x | 100 | = | 100% |

egg | (60g | ÷ | 120g) | x | 100 | = | 50% |

sugar | (100g | ÷ | 120g) | x | 100 | = | 83% |

butter | (100g | ÷ | 120g) | x | 100 | = | 83% |

Let’s say that you want to make the same cake but scaled up with 300 grams of flour, as you have friends over and you want to share your baking delights with them. How do you do it with the bakers percentage as calculated above? Firstly convert the bakers percentage as a decimal( so 50% is 0.5, 83% is 0.83...) and multiply that with the amount of flour that you want to scale up to, 300g. The table below explains the calculations.

Ingredient | Amount of flour | X | Bakers Percentage (expressed as a decimal) | = | Weight of ingredient needed |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

flour | 300g | x | 1.00 | = | 300g |

egg | 300g | x | 0.50 | = | 150g |

sugar | 300g | x | 0.83 | = | 249g |

butter | 300g | x | 0.83 | = | 249g |

So to make a cake with 300 grams of flour you will need 150 grams of egg, along with 249 grams of sugar and 249 grams butter.

If you want to understand more about bakers percentage and how to use it in your baking journey, I highly recommend you visit the website of King Arthur Flour.