Baker’s Percentage For Pizza: Everything You Need to Know

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Baker’s Percentage for Pizza.  What is it?

This article will show you how this simple method can change your homemade pizza skills forever.  It is a professional technique used by PROs.

We will also help you become a Pro; we’ll show you precisely what the baker’s percentage method is, how you can control it, and why this method is the best of any other method to make you a better pizza baker.

We are going to uncover the math behind making great pizza at home. At first, it will appear slightly intimidating, but don’t worry. Let us do the numbers; the only thing you need is your imagination!

Pro Tip


Most food processors have a line on the plastic bowl indicating how much liquid is safe to add to the bowl.

However, it Is best if you never fill the base more than a quarter of the way—a third, tops. Otherwise. the machine will agitate the liquid, causing it to splash up and out of the bowl.

What is Baker’s Percentage for Pizza or Baker’s Math?

Baker’s percentage for pizza (or baker’s math) is a simple method where all ingredient amounts are expressed as a percentage of the total weight of the flour contained in the recipe. 

The total flour weight is always given as 100 percent.  

In other words, the flour is the base amount, so it’s always 100 percent. The other ingredients are expressed as percentages of that amount.

How Do You Calculate Baker’s Percentage for Pizza?

Now for the fun part. The formula to calculate the baker’s percentage is as follows:

baker's percentage formula image

At first, you see the formula and think, “WTF!” (What the Flour!) but relax, it is not as complicated as it looks.

Let’s break it down; for example, our basic Neapolitan recipe calls for 500 grams of flour and 325 grams of grams (milliliters) of water; the formula would show the flour as 100% and the water as 65% (because 325 is 65% of 500). The recipe makes about two 10 to 12-inch pizzas.

The recipe also calls for 1% of yeast, then you calculate 1% of 500 (multiply 500 x .01) and get 5 grams plus 2% salt = 10g of salt. This way, you can scale to any amount of flour you want.

Let’s say you want to double the recipe and make four pizzas. You will need 1000 grams (500g x 2) of flour at 65% Hydration = 650 grams of water and 10g of yeast, and 20g of salt.

Easy!

Check Out this Ooni Video About Baker’s Math

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What are the Advantages of Using the Baker’s Percentage for Pizza?

One of the advantages of using the baker’s percentage for pizza is that it allows you to easily convert your recipe into different weight measurements, such as pounds, ounces, kilograms, or grams.

Once all ingredients’ weights are calculated, it’s easy to scale, multiply, or divide the recipe.

By weighing your ingredients, your recipes will always be consistent because there is no room for error 10 grams are always 10 grams, and 1 cup of flour is never the same weight. Try it!

Now, to make things even easier, you can just plug in the numbers in the chart below, giving you the numbers you need to make your recipe.

No need to do any calculations; just use your imagination and creativity to create the best pizza!

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How Do You Weigh Your Ingredients for Pizza Dough?

Before we start weighing any ingredients, keep in mind the following:

  • You should be consistent with your unit of measurement. If you measure by ounces, pounds, or grams, all ingredients should be measured by ounces, pounds, or grams. Use only one unit of measurement; you need to be consistent.
  • A good home use scale will let you select between ounces, pounds, and grams. When working with small amounts of ingredients, it’s better to work with grams; we will tell you why in a bit.

Always Weigh Your Ingredients in Grams

Weighing Your Ingredients

How to weigh ingredients using a scale:

If your dough recipe is given in volumetric measures, it doesn’t take too much to convert it to a baker’s percentage, but you will need to have a good scale available for weighing your ingredients.

  1. Get a separate container for each ingredient. 
  2. Press the “Tare” button on the scale; this should bring the level to 0.
  3. Start adding the ingredient to the container until the desired amount.
  4. Write down 100 percent after the flour weight (remember flour is always 100 percent). Then divide each ingredient’s weight by the flour’s weight and multiply by 100. 

 

Do this for each ingredient that you are portioning. 

Do this for each ingredient, and you have your formula in baker’s percentage. You can manipulate it up or down in size without changing other ingredients.

As you can see, baker’s percent will only work with weight measures; it will not work with volumetric measures (cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, etc.)

Why is it better to use grams as a measure of weight in the baker’s percentage for pizza?

Grams are always a measure of weight, never volume, so there is no confusion. Ounces can be a measure of weight or volume, which can be confusing to some.

However, the main reason we use grams is that when making pizza at home, we handle small amounts of ingredients; with grams, these ingredients are easier to scale.

Grams are more straightforward to scale than any other unit of measurement. Why? 

No fractions!  All-round numbers, no need to round up or down. 

Check this out, wouldn’t it be easier to read and weigh 530 grams of flour on a scale than “1 pound, 2.695 ounces”? or isn’t it easier to add 10 grams of yeast rather than .352 ounces?  

Also, remember that most home baking scales can’t register decimals or fractions.

 Pounds and ounces are a thing in the US. The rest of the world uses the metric system. 

When you see a recipe with gram measures, don’t even think of doing the math to convert to ounces; flip the switch on your scale, and start weighing.

What is the Baker’s Percentage for Pizza Dough?

The best ratio for homemade pizza dough is 65%, meaning you will add 65% of water to the amount of flour. If you have 500g of flour, add 325g of water. This will give you the perfect pizza crust.

If you want to make any other style of pizza, you should try the following baker’s percentage for pizza by style:

Baker’s Percentage for Pizza by Style

IngredientNeapolitanNY-StyleSicilianChicago Deep
Flour100%100%100%100%
Water65%65%75%60%
Yeast1%1%1%1%
Salt2%2%2%2%
Oil5%2%
Sugar4%
Lard4%
Malt3%2%
Butter4%
Cornmeal5%

For more on this, you can check our article A Baker’s Percentage Shortcut to Create Unique Pizza Recipes.

How to Calculate the Baker’s Percentage when You are Using Two or More Types of Flour

The baker’s percentage of 100% will only apply when using the basic flour needed for the dough mixture.

If a dough formula contains both white (bread flour) and whole-wheat flour, the total weight of the two flours will equal the total flour weight.

If a recipe calls for vital wheat gluten, the gluten weight will be added to the weight of the flour to arrive at the total flour weight. 

If you are making Neo-Neapolitan or NY Style or Chicago Deep Dish that requires the addition of cornmeal, do not include it in the total flour weight. 

The same goes for any other type of flour.   

What is the Second Most Crucial Component of the Baker’s Percentage for Pizza?

Perhaps the second most crucial component of a baker’s percentage formula is the water’s weight relative to the flour’s weight or Hydration. The hydration level helps the baker predict the texture of the crumb. The more water in the dough, the more open the crumb. You can quickly identify this with large and irregular holes in the crust.

First, weigh the flour and water to calculate the hydration level of a recipe. Divide the water’s weight by the flour’s weight and then multiply the result by 100. 

Let us show you an example of how it’s done; our base Neapolitan recipe contains 325g of water and 500g of flour, which results in 65 percent (325/500 = .65 x 100 = 65%) hydration level; this will result in a moderately airy crumb.

How Do You Find the Percentage of a Pizza Recipe?

If you want to express a formula in baker’s percent, all you need to do is divide each ingredient’s weight by the flour’s total weight and multiply by 100. 

How do I change a dough formula expressed in percentages to one based on weight measures?

If you have a recipe that is expressed in percentages instead of weights, you can calculate the weight of each ingredient by doing the following:  

Going back to our base recipe expressed in percentages:  

Flour 100%, Water 65%, 1% yeast and 2% salt.  

Now that we have the dough formula expressed in baker’s percent, we can manipulate the size of the dough based on the amount of flour we want to use.

Don’t forget we are making pizza, so the smallest pizza you can make would be maybe around 8 to 10 inches to be called pizza. Something smaller than that is called something else.

Thus, the minimum amount of flour you will need to make one pizza would be around 180g to 250g, depending on how thick you want your crust. Accordingly, you have 100% of the flour figured out.

Let’s say you use 200g of flour for one pizza; let’s do the numbers.

Your ingredients would look like this:

Ingredient Percentage Calculation ​Recommended Effect of Changing your Ratio​
200g Flour = 100%You can make more or fewer pizzas
130g Water = 65% (200 x .65 = 130)Changes the texture and chewiness of the crumb
2g Yeast = 1% (200 x .01 = 2)More yeast accelerates the fermentation process, but less flavor
4g Salt = 2% (200 x .02 = 4)It affects fermentation, speed, and flavor

There you have it, your pizza recipe for one person, based on what you chose according to the thickness, Hydration, Fermentation, and Saltiness. You can scale your formula to any recipe you like.  

Note that the weight of the ingredient will always be shown in the same weight units (pounds, ounces, grams, kilograms, etc.) as the flour weight. In this case, we used grams.

How do professional bakers measure ingredients?

Always by weight. 

Since pizzerias handle substantial amounts of dough, they typically measure in pounds, not grams. So, the math will be more straightforward for them.

Here is the reason why.

1 pound of flour = approximately 454 grams, but you can only make about two pizzas with this amount of flour. You’ll need more flour when making over a hundred pizzas in a day. So to make 100 pizzas, they will need 100 pounds, which is easier expressed in pounds than 45,400 grams.

Professional pizza makers or pizzaiolos use commercial equipment when making pizza at home; you can have a simple pocket scale.

What are the benefits of using baker’s percentage for pizza?

There are good reasons for using baker’s percent for our formulas. Baker’s percentage method allows you to:

  • Easily compare recipes (i.e., which is saltier, breadier, yeastier, etc.).
  • You will quickly identify a lousy recipe or predict its baked characteristics.
  • You can add a single-ingredient percentage without changing the other ingredients’ proportions.
  • You can uniformly measure a component where the quantity per unit may vary.
  • You can scale recipes up or down; it’s a simple matter of multiplication or division for different dough batch sizes.2
  • It allows easy conversion into pounds, ounces, kilograms, or grams.
  • Since each ingredient is weighed, it enables us to work with precision using only one unit of measure.
  • And last, it allows bakers to share a common language.

Additional Baker’s Math Resources

If you are interested in learning more about other factors that affect the pizza-making process, don’t forget to check the below articles.

Pizza Making Process

Master the Pizza Making Process Controlling these Powerful Pizza Elements

the PROs

Master the pizza craft with this guide, discover the elements of pizza and become a master pizza baker once you dominate these elements.

Baker's Percentage Charts for Pizza

Baker’s Percentage Charts: Easy Way to Create Unique Pizza Recipes

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This baker’s percentage chart will give you a starting point to develop your own recipe.  These are the four main base recipes that can be adapted to any other pizza style. 

Baker's Percentage Calculator for pizza dough

Baker’s Percentage Calculator for Pizza Dough: Is as Easy as 123

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This Baker’s Percentage Calculator will allow you to you calculate the baker’s percentage for any given pizza recipe in a few seconds.

The Last Slice

Once you stop thinking in units or volume and start thinking and measuring in grams, scaling recipes up and down will become quite simple.

Understanding the baker’s percentage for pizza will allow you to create your pizza recipes. You learned how different ratios of ingredients would interact to create numerous different types of pizza.  

You have the recommended ratios for a great pizza, and if you stay within these parameters, you should be fine. But if you want to break the rules and come up with something new, you will now be able to troubleshoot your pizza recipe based on your ratios.

You are now ready to find out if something went wrong, like too much water or less salt. It’s all about the numbers, and you are now an expert!

The best thing is that now you can instantly use recipes and share your recipes with the whole world!

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2 thoughts on “Baker’s Percentage For Pizza: Everything You Need to Know”

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