Baker's percentage is a baker's notation method indicating the flour-relative proportion of ingredients used when making breads, cakes, muffins, and other pastries. It is also referred to as baker's math, or otherwise contextually indicated by a phrase such as based on flour weight. It is sometimes called formula percentage, a phrase that refers to the sum of a set of bakers' percentages. Baker's percentage expresses each ingredient in parts per hundred as a ratio of the ingredient's mass to the total flour mass (that is, the unit mass).
- baker's percent(ingredient) = 100% × ingredient mass⁄flour mass
For example, if a recipe calls for 10 pounds of flour and 5 pounds of water, the corresponding bakers' percentages will be 100% and 50%. Because of the way these percentages are stated, as a percent of flour mass rather than of all ingredients, the total will always exceed 100%.
Flour-based recipes are more precisely conceived as baker's percentage, and more accurately measured using mass instead of volume. The uncertainty in using volume measurements follows from the fact that flour settles in storage and therefore does not have a constant density.
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