Baker's Formular /Baker' s Percentage

Discussion in 'Cakes' started by Akos, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Akos

    Akos Well-Known Member

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    Hello it's me again.

    If one wants to increase or decrease an ingredient (e.g. butter, sugar, etc) in a recipe, what range of percentage should be used for the increase or decrease using Baker's Percentage?
     
    Akos, Aug 20, 2019
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  2. Akos

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Akos, I'm not sure I understand what you are asking about baker's percentages. Baker's percentages is not used to increase/decrease ingredients separately, unless you are troubleshooting a recipe.

    Baker’s percentages is used for production to ensure 1) quality control by keeping the ratios the same no matter how large/small the batch of batter or dough; 2) allows the baker to scale production to demand, thereby reducing waste, and also ensuring enough product to meet customer demand.

    Example of how baker's percentages is used for a cake batter in production:

    1. Multiply the number of cakes by the amount of batter for each cake tin

    2. Divide the total weight of the batter by the total baker’s percentages. The quotient is the multiplier for each ingredient.

    3. Multiply each ingredient with the quotient


    Example:
    Cake flour 100%
    Egg whites 93%
    Yolks 35%
    Sour cream 15%
    Sugar 115%
    Oil 50%
    Liquid 68%
    Leavening 4%
    Salt 1.5%
    Total Baker’s percentages 480.05%


    Example: you want to make two 20” cm cakes. The tins hold 500ml of batter.


    1. Multiply the number of cakes by the amount of batter for each tin

    2 x 500 = 1000 the total amount of batter is 1000 ml​

    2. Divide the total weight of the batter by the total baker’s percentages. The quotient is the multiplier for each ingredient. 1000 ml of batter; 480.05 total baker's percentages

    1000 ÷ 480.05 = 2.08 the quotient is 2.08​

    3. Multiply each ingredient with the quotient

    2.08 is the multiplier for all your ingredients. Multiply the baker’s percentage of each ingredient with the multiplier.

    Cake flour 100 x 2.08 = 208 - use 208 g cake flour
    Egg whites 93 x 2.08 = 193 - use 193g egg whites
    Yolks 35 x 2.08 = 73 - use 73 g yolks
    Sour cream 15 x 2.08 = 31
    Sugar 115 x 2.08 = 239
    Oil 50 x 2.08 = 104
    Liquid 68 x 2.08 = 141
    Leavening 04 x 2.08 = 8
    Salt 015 x 2.08 = 3
    Total Weight 480.05 x 2.08 = 998.50


    Say you want to use the same batter, but you want to use a larger tin that requires 625 ml per tin and you need to bake 6 cakes.

    You use the same process.

    1. Multiply the number of cakes by the amount of batter for each tin

    6 cakes x 625 ml = 3750 total batter weight​


    2. Divide the total weight of the batter by the total baker’s percentages. The quotient is the multiplier for each ingredient.

    3750 ÷ 480.05 = 7.81

    3. Multiply each ingredient with the quotient

    7.81 is the multiplier for all your ingredients. Multiply the baker’s percentage of each ingredient with the multiplier.

    Cake flour 100 x 7.81 = 781g
    Egg whites 93 x 7.81 = 726.33g
    Yolks 35 x 7.81 = 273.35g
    etc…

    =================================================================================

    Suppose you have a good cake recipe that you normally bake in a 20 cm cake tin. A customer orders the cake in a 30 cm size. If you want to change the size of the cake tin, then you want to use a different formula to scale the recipe to the cake tin.

    This is to scale to different diameter tins BUT same height tin.


    Step 1: find the radius by dividing the diameter of the circle.

    20 cm tin ÷ 2 = 10 cm

    30 cm tin ÷ 2 = 15 cm

    Step 2: Square the radius (r²)

    10 cm x 10 cm = 100

    15 cm x 15 cm = 225

    Step 3: multiply r² by Pi
    (Pi = 3.14)

    3.14 x 100 = 314 (area of pan in recipe)

    3.14 x 225 x 1 = 706 (area of pan you want to use)

    Step 4: Divide the area of the pan you want to use into the area of the pan in the recipe.

    706 ÷ 314 = 2.248

    Round up to 2.25

    The multiplier is 2.25.

    Multiply the amount of each ingredient with the multiplier.

    If we were using the recipe from above then the adjustments using the multiplier 2.25 are:

    Cake flour 208g x 2.25 = 468 g cake flour for two 30cm cake tin
    Egg whites 193g x 2.25 = 434g egg whites for two 30cm cake tin
    Yolks 73g x 2.25 = 164.25 yolks for two 30cm cake tins
    etc...


    If this does not answer your question or if you have other questions about baker's percentages, please let me know. I will be more than happy to answer you.

    Regards,

    Cate

    BTW, those percentages will make a real cake.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 21, 2019
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  3. Akos

    Akos Well-Known Member

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    Hello Cate,
    Thanks for the write-up. You've given me something to think about. I wasn't taught Baker's Fomula/Baker's Percentages in pastry school. So I'm learning a lot of things on my own and on this forum, especially the science of baking.

    My question was for example, if I want to reduce/increase let say the sugar quantity in a recipe, how can I use the BF to do that? What is the standard in doing that; not more than 80%, 70%, etc comparing to the standard 100% of flour? How can I use the same BF to reduce/increase other ingredients in a recipe, if any?

    I tried someone's sponge cake:

    AP flour - 80g
    Custard powder - 80g
    Sugar - 170g
    Vanilla essence - 1 tbsp
    Eggs - 5
    Oil - 1 tbsp
    Milk - 1tbsp (optional)

    Method: whisking eggs and sugar, cut and gold in flour. When I tried the sugar was so much for me, the cake was chewy.

    What do you think of the above recipe; anything wrong?

    I really want to understand the BF to help me twist to suit my work.
     
    Akos, Aug 23, 2019
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  4. Akos

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    In commercial baking they use formulas instead of recipes. The system is called baker’s percentages. It’s a system in which the quantities of ingredients are constructed in a mathematical relationship so by adjusting the variables (ingredients) the baker can create different products or create the same product consistently in different quantities.

    The mathematical relationship is based on the weight of flour. So baker’s percentage is a system of measurement in which each ingredient is expressed in the ratio of weight based on the total weight of the flour.

    The flour is always 1.00 or 100% in the formula. All other ingredients must be weighed against the flour.

    The ratio of any one of the other ingredients can be more than the weight of the flour. But it must be weighted against the flour.


    So let’s look at the recipe you used. While the list of ingredients can tell me something about the recipe, knowing the baker’s percentages will tell me a lot about the recipe. So I will convert it to baker’s percentages. Once I convert it I will be able to analyze it.


    INGREDIENT AMOUNT Baker’s percentage
    AP flour 80g 1.0 same as 100%
    Custard powder 80g 1.0 same as 100%
    Sugar 170g 2.125 same as 212.5%
    Vanilla essence 1 TBSP 14g 0.175 same as 17.5%
    Eggs – 5 (50g per egg) 250g 3.225 same as 322.5%
    Oil - 1 TBSP 14g 0.175 same as 17.5%
    Milk - 1tbsp (optional) 14g 0.175 same as 17.5%

    So how did it get the baker’s percentages? To calculate the ratio of baker’s percentages, divide the weight of the ingredient, into the weight of the flour

    INGREDIENT Divide amount of each ingredient into the amount of flour
    AP flour is always 100% or 1.0 divide all ingredients into 80g of flour
    Custard powder 80 ÷ 80 = 1.0 Custard powoder is 1.0 = 100%
    Sugar 170 ÷ 80 = 2.123 Sugar is 2.125 = 212.5%
    Vanilla essence 1 TBSP = 14g 14 ÷ 80 = 0.175 Vanilla essence is 0.175 = 17.5%
    Eggs – 5 (50g per egg) 250 ÷ 80 = 3.125 Eggs are 3.125 = 312.5%
    Oil - 1 TBSP = 14g 14 ÷ 80 = 0.175 Milk is 0.175 = 17.5%
    Milk – 1TBSP (optional) 14 ÷ 80 = 0.175 0.175 = 17.5%
    Total baker’s percentages 677.5%

    To change a quantity of any one ingredient, it must be based on the weight of the flour. Your concern was the sugar. The sugar in a standard genoise is 1.00 or 100%.

    So revised example this what the recipe would look like with standard amount of sugar

    INGREDIENT Divide amount of each ingredient into the amount of flour Decimal expressed as percentage
    AP flour is always 100% 80g 1.0
    Custard powder 80 ÷ 80 = 1.0 1.0
    Sugar REVISED 80 ÷ 80 = 1.0 1.0
    Vanilla essence 1 TBSP = 14g 14 ÷ 80 = 0.175 0.175
    Eggs – 5 (50g per egg) 250 ÷ 80 = 3.125 3.125
    Oil - 1 TBSP = 14g 14 ÷ 80 = 0.175 0.175
    Milk – 1TBSP (optional) 14 ÷ 80 = 0.175 0.175
    Total baker’s percentages 6.65


    You asked my thoughts on this recipe. I am sorry but do not think this is a good recipe. Someone took a genoise recipe and added in custard powder to try to make a softer cake. AP flour makes a cake with a low rise, and a coarse crumb. Custard powder is mainly cornflour (cornstarch). Many people incorrectly believe if they add cornflour to AP flour it will cut the gluten in AP flour and make a softer cake. This is wrong. It will only make a dense and gummy cake.

    Cornflour is very hygroscopic, which means it pulls water from its environment. It’s more hygroscopic than flour. So it competes with the flour for the water. There’s equal amount of AP flour and custard powder in this recipe. Not knowing what brand you used, there’s no way to know exactly how much cornflour there is in the custard powder. But still, the amount in this recipe is 100% to the flour. That is a lot.

    Cornflour is a thickener. It will absorb water and turn thick and gummy. That this cake was chewy was not surprising. And AP flour is already a heavy flour. So between the AP flour and 100% cornflour in the form of custard powder, this cake could be nothing by a heavy chewy cake.


    Normally when cornflour is added to a cake, the amount that is used is12% cornflour to the weight of the flour. They used 100% to the weight of the flour. So they used significantly more that what is standard. But I do not recommend ever using cornflour in cake.


    Other problems I see with this formula:

    • The four and sugar should be equal in weight (100%). They used over 200% sugar.

    • The eggs should be 162% of the weight of the flour. They used over 300% eggs.

    • Butter if added should be 10% the weight of the flour. They substituted oil and increased it to 17%. You cannot substitute oil for butter in genoise. The whole purpose of the small amount of butter in genoise is to create a nice buttery flavor. This is a really terrible recipe.


    So knowing baker’s percentages is very important in helping you analyzing a formula. You can look at a formula and spot potential trouble like high ph.

    This is a classic genoise baker’s percentages for a home baker. Compare this to the recipe you were given

    INGREDIENT Baker’s Percentages
    Cake flour 100%
    Eggs 162%
    Sugar 100%
    Butter 10%
    Total baker’s percentages 372.00%


    A processional bakery will use different formula. They will invert sugar (trimoline) for as a natural preservative and to add moisture; add potato starch, not cornflour for a softer and finer crumb; and butter for flavor. This formula is from Michel Suas. He runs the most highly regarded baking school in the US. His textbook on baking is considered the best textbook written in English on professional baking. Although he is French, he lives in the US.

    INGREDIENT Baker’s Percentages
    Eggs 162.00
    Sugar 90.50
    Trimoline 11.00
    Pastry flour 81.00
    Potato starch 19.00
    Melted butter 10.00
    Total baker’s percentages 373.50


    Left me know if you have any more questions on baker's percentages Akos. I am always happy to answer your questions.

    Regards,

    Cate
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 23, 2019
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  5. Akos

    Akos Well-Known Member

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    What more can I say? All I can say is thank you lots. THANKS much. I had to go over your reply to really understand, and I'm happy I did. From your explanation, I can really see it to be a very bad recipe.


    My questions, please:

    1. Is BF same as BP or different?

    2. Are there different baker's formulas for different vanilla and chocolate cakes?

    3. Is BP for the homebaker too or only for commercial bakeries. If not then I may not have to bother myself to know because I am a homebaker?
    4. If I have to reduce an ingredient in a recipe what percentage <, = Or > the ratio to flour should I use?
    5. How many eggs make 162% in the recipe revised recipe you used?
    6. You indicated that cornflour shouldn't be used in a cake recipe. We don't have cake flour on.rhe Ghanaian market. I know cake flour is 1 cup flour less 2 tbsp plus 2tbsp cornflour gives me cake flour. How do you please reconcile that?

    I want to thank you immensely for being up for me. I really appreciate.
     
    Akos, Aug 24, 2019
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  6. Akos

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    1. Is BF same as BP or different?


    This photo is an example of an actual professional baker’s formula.

    6380A0E8-1903-4662-BCB9-E08E36FC5DDD.jpeg

    The formula is the entire “recipe”.


    • First column is the ingredients
    • Second column is the baker’s percentages of that ingredient in the formula
    • Third column is the amount of ingredient in metric weight
    • Forth column is the amount of ingredient in US decimal weight
    • Fifth column is the amount of ingredient in US imperial weight
    • Sixth column is the amount of ingredient to test the formula
    • Yield for the formula is listed under the columns. There is also an amount to test the formula. Testing a formula is important. If the test cake does not turn out right, then the baker analyzes the cake to determine what needs to be adjusted in the formula, then runs another test.


    If you use the amounts listed in column 2 (columns 3 – 5 are equivalent to column 2), the yield should be 7 [8” (20cm) cakes].


    Note the total batter weight. This is very important. The yield is 7 cakes. So 3.200 ÷7 = 0.457 (same as 457g); this is how much batter to place in each cake tin.


    2. Are there different baker's formulas for different vanilla and chocolate cakes?


    Vanilla and chocolate are flavors, not types. Formula for the various cakes and mixing methods are specific to cake type. This is true for all categories of baked goods, not just cakes. After years of experience, a baker begins to recognize formulas. They can tell the different baked goods by looking at the formula.


    Cakes are categorizes by type of leavening and mixing method. The formulas and percentages are very different for types of cakes. The are some variations between bakers. And home bakers will have recipes that contain different ratios because they do not have access to commercial ingredients.


    There two main categories for cakes: fat and foam base.


    Fat base cakes are made with butter, shortening, or liquid fat. They are usually leavened with chemical leaveners, but can also contain whipped eggs. The fat and sugar is usually creamed in a process called mechanical leavening. But there are other mixing methods that do not involve creaming the fat and sugar. The order in which ingredients are mixed is always important. Fat based cakes are always denser and lower in rise than foam cakes. Pound cake and butter cake are examples of fat base cakes.


    Foam base cakes are leavened with whipped eggs. Egg whites or whole eggs are whipped and the dry ingredients are they sifted over the whipped eggs and folded in. Foam cakes do not have no or very little added fat. Foam cakes are lighter and rise higher than fat based cakes. They are also drier. Foam cakes are fragile, and some, like angel food cake require cake flour special cooling to avoid collapsing.



    3. Is BP for the home baker too or only for commercial bakeries. If not then I may not have to bother myself to know because I am a home baker?


    When you work in metric weight, you are working in BP, but in an abbreviated form. Where BP is most useful to the home based business is if you are baking a lot of product like rolls and bread. This type of baker needs to create different product, of different scale. So they would need to use BP every time they bake. But if your recipes are all in metric and they are all very reliable, then you are just repeating the same steps in baking every time. Your only changes are decorating the cakes differently to your customer’s order. So when you do not need to change anything in scale or quantity then you do not need to worry about learning all the details of BP unless you want to. But it is good to know because it can help you fix problems. Read the answer to the next question.


    4. If I have to reduce an ingredient in a recipe what percentage <, = Or > the ratio to flour should I use?


    There is no set amount to adjust a formula. To adjust a ratio you have to understand the role of each ingredient. For example, very few ever consider that sugar might be the cause of a sunken cake. So they do not think to look at the ratio of sugar to flour, and any other sugar that might be in the formula and start adjusting the sugar.

    Or look at the cake on this site. Scroll
    Down and look at the cake layers that are unfrosted. Look at the unusual “U”
    shaped seam on each layer. That strange seam on each cake layer and the dark color crust tells me she has too much sugar in her formula. Now scroll down and actually look at her BP. Divide the amount of sugar into the amount of the flour. I didn’t need to do the math to see it was high for a fat based cake. Her cake shows it. But the BP confirms it.

    https://iambaker.net/the-perfect-white-cake/

    You rarely change an ingredient amount once your formula is developed and tests out to be reliable. Baker’s percentages ensures the results are consistently reproduced over and over again because the ratios remain the same. There’s other variables that come into play, ambient temperature, finished batter/dough temperature, humidity, variation in quality of brands, etc., but there are methods to mitigate against those variables.


    Examples for changing a ratio of an ingredient:


    • developing a recipe; the recipe still has problems
    • changed an ingredient brand and the new brand is causing problems
    • plan to use the finished good in a different application and desire a slightly different texture, so adjusting the ratio to create that texture

    5. How many eggs make 162% in the recipe revised recipe you used?


    The eggs in the recipes is 1.388 = 1388 grams

    One large egg out of the shell is approximately 50 - 53grams.

    1388 ÷50 = 27.76 round up 28 eggs for 7 cakes

    So that comes out to approximately 4 eggs per cake

    In commercial baking even the eggs are weighed. The customer expects the baked goods to taste the same every time they buy; so to make it exact every time they must use the exact amount of ingredients every time. Also, they use many kilos of ingredients in many different products every day; they would lose money if they did not weigh the ingredients exactly. A bakery might use 6000 eggs in a week. So if they just put that few extra grams in the cake that will add up to a lot of egg cost over the year. Why put more egg than is necessary in the cake batter when there is still other things to be made? So weighing everything exact every time is good business sense too.



    6. You indicated that cornflour shouldn't be used in a cake recipe. We don't have cake flour on.rhe Ghanaian market. I know cake flour is 1 cup flour less 2 tbsp plus 2tbsp cornflour gives me cake flour. How do you please reconcile that?



    Cornflour is not going to make cake flour. Place 2 Tbsp of cornflour is a cup and add water to it and heat it up. Then watch as it absorbs all the water and turns rubbery. And when it cools it will be like a molded gel. That cornflour is not going to do anything different in your cake. It cannot and does not make cake flour. That is a myth. Cornflour is not used in cake formulas for this reason.


    If you want to make you all purpose flour perform more like cake flour, heat treat it to trigger protein denaturation. A study on high heat treatment of flour found it improved the performance quality of flour for baking.



    Instructions on how to heat treat flour. If you do not have a microwave, you might be able to it in the oven with a heat proof bowl. Just watch the flour and adjust the times. What’s important is the temperature of the flour. I do not think its necessary to add the xanthan gum. You can try it to see if there is any improvement in performance.


    https://amerrierworld.com/kate-flour/



    this is the abstract on the paper that was published on heat treated flour that found heat treatment improved the quality of flour for baking


    http://www.icef11.org/content/papers/epf/EPF493.pdf

    This is 2 Tbsp cornflour and water heated. It forms a gummy gel. It will act the same way in your cake.
    5EB26308-E4AE-4F20-9F17-01214AEE7F5B.jpeg

    When cools it hardens to a gummy gel. This is why it is not used in cake formulas. Once mixed with water the texture is not good. Even in small quantities this is a very bad choice for cake batter because of the high liquid content in the batter.
    5AD2D447-7438-4424-A5C9-C9B6C621252D.jpeg
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 26, 2019
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  7. Akos

    Akos Well-Known Member

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    Wow, wow wow wow wow wow. You are such an awesome teacher. Thanks so much. The science of baking - I'm learning a lot from you especially, and on the forum, answers given to other members.

    Thanks a lot. I'll put all that I'm learning to use. From the picture, I've understood why the supposed sponge cake was rubbery. Knowledge of the science behind baked goods is really an added advantage. Thanks so so very much. I can't thank you enough, Cate.
     
    Akos, Aug 26, 2019
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  8. Akos

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    You are very welcome. Knowing the science is very important. There will always be problems in baking. But knowing the science it helps you avoid problems and it helps you fix problems. It makes you a better baker.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 26, 2019
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  9. Akos

    Akos Well-Known Member

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    I agree.
     
    Akos, Aug 26, 2019
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