Bakers percentage

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.

How to calculate bakers percentage

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.