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Gluten Free Bakers' Percentages

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March 10, 2021


Gluten Free Bakers' Percentages


What is the difference between baking with cups, grams or baker’s percentages? Before I started baking gluten free using cups for baking really wasn’t a problem. But when you start baking with different grains it becomes a real science to getting your baked goods to come out right. In part this is because different grains absorb water or moisture differently. If your recipe that you are trying to adjust to gluten version from wheat you need to weigh your grains in order to get the moisture ratio correct. 

Baker’s math or 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

It’s really easy to write a baking formula or recipe when using the baker's percentage method. In using 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%. Now it's easy to calculate with electronic scales for weigh outs for dry and liquid ingredients. The scale can be reset and cleared for each ingredient to be added and measurements can be changed from grams, kilograms, milileters, and ounces.  

Professional bakers use percentages to calculate baking formulas for starters, leavens and dough.  Once you get used to it, it is an amazingly useful system, and helps you understand your dough much better.

The weight of the flour is taken as 100%, and each other ingredient is calculated as a percentage of that weight.   So

If 500g flour = 100%

then

10g salt in the recipe = 2%

and 300g water = 60%   etc.

For gluten free recipes, the 100% includes the combined weight of all the flours in the blend - butnotthe flour used in the leaven. So if you are not baking with sourdough the leaven is left out if you use sourdough leaven then you reduce the amount of liquid from the recipe by the leaven amount. 


Using this bakers method you can blend flours, make new recipes using different grains and develop things your family loves! 

The next time you bake, use percentages instead of cups and see the difference in your baking results. 

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