# Baker’s Percentage or the German Dough Yield – With Calculator

There is a calculator for “Baker’s Percentage” here – well, almost. In reality, the small program calculates what is called “dough yield” (DY) in German („Teigausbeute“ = TA). This indicates the ratio of flour to water in a dough – and can be converted accordingly.

Other ingredients are not important at first (details below). The DY/ TA is an indication of the consistency of the dough. Just like “Baker’s Percentages”, if you only look at the water content (or all liquids added to the dough).

The TA value corresponds to the water content in “Baker’s Percentages” if you subtract 100.

If you take 60 g of water for every 100 g of flour, the water content in “Baker’s Percentage” is 60%. The dough’s TA value is 160.

A TA of 100 would therefore mean: 0% water is added to the flour (which is always set as 100%). A TA of 200 (TA 200) means: 100% of the flour weight of water is added to any amount of flour.

For the tiny calculator, it is therefore only important that you add 100 to the English baker’s percentage to enter the TA value – and subtract 100 accordingly to get the baker’s percentage” for the liquids to be added.

You can find out everything else you need to know about how to use this little number game in the (long) text below, which has, however, been automatically translated.

The following is a translation of this text.

What is the “dough yield”? How do you calculate it and use it to work out the ingredients of flour and water? All the formulas are explained in detail below.

The so-called “dough yield” (EN: DY; DE: **TA**) is not just an ominous piece of information that can confuse newcomers to baking out of self-defense and ambition – it is a helpful piece of information that belongs with every recipe. It can be said that anyone who does not indicate the dough yield in their overview of baking instructions is denying the reasonably knowledgeable observer one of the most important pieces of information (along with the flours used and the total processing time).

Because with the information about the dough yield (TA), we immediately have a picture in front of our eyes of how the dough should be – and we can calculate any required amount of ingredients from that if we want to deviate from those given in the recipe (which is practically always the case because we use different baking tins, a different oven size, have more or less space in the freezer, etc.). Each (!) ingredient must be calculated with the yield and the target size (total dough). And it’s very easy (although the calculator on your cell phone is certainly helpful sometimes for people who are as bad at mental arithmetic as I am).

Examples of use are, for example (concrete exercises at the end):

+ We want to convert a given recipe to a different size. If the amount is not to be halved or multiplied, calculating with the TA can make it easier.

+ We have a dough (known), take a certain amount of it to increase the TA. From the dough weight, we calculate its previous components and the water still needed.

If you accidentally add too much flour or water to the kneader/dough, the TA can be used to determine the required other ingredients.

**What is the dough yield (DY)?**

The value given in every proper recipe for the “dough yield” (DY/ TA) describes the ratio of flour or “cereal products” (abbreviated to “F” below) to water or liquids (abbreviated to “W” below) in the dough (“D”). It is the most important figure for getting an idea of the consistency of the dough you will be dealing with – even though this is, of course, entirely dependent on the flours used (not only do rye and wheat differ, but so do the individual varieties and types, not to mention mill products, i.e. growing areas, grinding degrees and mixtures). If not otherwise indicated, further ingredients such as salt, yeast, nuts are not taken into account (so-called “net dough yield”), otherwise one speaks of the gross dough yield. In the following, TA always refers to the net dough yield.

Definition: Dough yield is dough weight divided by flour weight times hundred. So:

TA = (dough : flour) x 100

Before we start calculating examples, let’s first take a look at the abbreviations and symbols used:

First, the abbreviations used in the following (as variables):

D = dough (the overall result that is baked at the end) (German: T = Teig)

DY = dough yield (German: TA = **T**eig**a**usbeute)

F = flour (or “milled products”, i.e. also meal, semolina, pseudo-cereals, etc.) (German: M = Mehl)

W = water (or “bulk liquid”, including milk, beer, etc.; for oil at the end) (German: W = Wasser)

: = division sign ÷ (division)

* = multiplication sign (multiplication)

( ) = parenthesis, the calculation of which is done first, usually only for clarity

[ ] = second parenthesis, usually only for clarity

The specification “gram” is sometimes omitted below because it is irrelevant (it is shortened if necessary, and whether grams, kilograms or tons are written is irrelevant as long as the unit is the same for all numerical values, e.g. for flour, water, salt). That’s why the TA (DY) value has no unit (“200 grams divided by 100 grams times 100” is just 200 – and not “200 grams”). Of course, the specification of the quantity types is mathematically nonsense, you can’t divide water by flour or the like, but we don’t care about that because it’s easier to understand this way and mathematicians would probably just shake their heads at the explanations here anyway. But then, we don’t have to explain the yield to mathematicians either.

(At the end, the formulas are shown again as images.)

With a dough weight of 1000 g and a flour content of 500 g, we have

Dough Yield = (1000 : 500) * 100 = 200. So DY/ TA 200

Flour and water are present in the same quantity (500 g flour, 500 g water).

With a dough yield of 150, there is twice as much flour as water, e.g.

dough yield (TA) 150 = (1500 g dough : 1000 g flour) * 100

For most baked goods, the dough yield ratio value is between 150 and 200. As usual, the value depends heavily on the handling (baking pan or free-standing, use of a raising agent or cooking piece, etc.), on the other hand, the flour used also has a great influence (grain type or variety, degree of milling, growing area, vintage and mill). Therefore, there may be rye breads with a hydration of 168 and rye breads with a hydration of 185. (And you shouldn’t be surprised if you don’t succeed as claimed in an internet recipe.)

The hydration cannot be below 100. This is because at 100, the “dough” contains no water at all (which is why the numerator and denominator are the same number). In other words, if we subtract 100, the hydration can also be read as the proportion of water to 100 parts of flour. In this form, it is often given as the “hydration” (often also “hydration”) in percent (so-called “baker’s percentage”, see below): TA 150 = 50% hydration (so 50% of the flour weight comes with water; read differently: we subtract 100 from TA 150 and have the percentage of water that still needs to be added to the flour).

The difference between hydration and dough yield is as follows: Hydration refers to the amount (in percent) to be added to the flour; the dough yield refers to the result, namely the relative total ingredients of the dough in flour (always 100) and water.

If we know the desired dough yield, we can calculate the flour-water ingredient quantity for each dough. However, the usual formula has a small catch: the term “dough” consists of the ingredients flour and water; it cannot therefore be broken down into water.

Dough yield = [(flour + water) : flour] * 100

But at least we can break it down into flour and dough:

flour = (dough : yield) * 100

So if we know the final weight that our dough should have (because we know how much we can/want to process), and we have a yield, then we can calculate the required flour.

Example:

We want to get 1200 g of dough (T) and have a dough yield (TA) of 164.

The formula gives us:

Flour = (1200 g : 164) * 100 = 731.707317 g – rounded = 732 g

Of course, the difference between the dough and the flour then gives us the amount of water needed

(water = dough – flour):

1200 g D – 732 g F = 468 g W

In this example, we need 468 g of water for the recipe.

But we can also rearrange the TA formula as follows:

T = (TA : 100) * F

So: dough = (dough yield divided by 100) times the amount of flour

Obviously, the ratio of dough to flour and the ratio of water to flour are related. And lo and behold:

dough : flour = (water : flour) + 1

To make it clear using the above example:

1200 g dough : 732 g flour = (468 g water : 732 g flour) + 1

1.64 = (0.64) + 1

To get the value of the dough-to-flour ratio – which everyone can see – we would now have to multiply both sides by 100. Since anyone can do this in their head, we could leave it at this simplified formula, but to make it easier to understand, we can relate it back to the dough-to-flour ratio:

TA = (dough : flour) * 100 = [(water : flour) + 1] * 100

For example:

TA = 1.64 x 100 = [(0.64) + 1)] * 100

If we omit the hundred multiplication, it is easier and faster to calculate than with the classic TA. You just have to take this into account on your calculator and don’t be confused if the result is 0.64 for TA 164, for example.

But to do it correctly, here are the conversions:

TA = [(W : F) * 100] +100

W= [(TA – 100) * M] : 100 or [(TA – 100) : 100] * F

F = [W : (TA – 100)] * 100

Example with TA 163, 1400 g flour, 882 g water (therefore D 2282)

TA = [(882 g : 1400 g) * 100] + 100 = 163

W = [(163 – 100) * 1400 g] : 100 = 882 g [Corresponds to W = 1400g [flour] * 0.63 [hydration]

F = [882 g : (163-100)] * 100 = 1400 g

If we know the TA, we can calculate the required amount of water for a given amount of flour – or, conversely, the required amount of flour for a given amount of water. It is very simple, you don’t need the many TA calculators available on the internet. 😉

Why is all this necessary if you have a recipe? Well, if you work stubbornly AND correctly according to the instructions and if all the information is correct (same flour, same temperature, etc.), then you don’t have to worry about the TA. But as soon as something is different than specified in the recipe, if you experiment a little or if you simply change the quantities (from time to time), then it is helpful to be able to calculate the ingredients needed. Those who already manage everything by eye are of course off the hook (like the top musician who can’t read music). But for those, the TA still offers a rough orientation of what the recipe author might have had in mind. And for recipes you have developed yourself, it is best to also note the TA that you have found to be a good starting point, as a central value for the future.

Now to the claim that ALL ingredients can be calculated using the TA formula and its conversions. This is possible because in good recipes all ingredients are given as a percentage addition to the flour – otherwise you can calculate them yourself.

The most important additional ingredient is the salt. (Of course, the objection may be raised that the water content changes over the days following baking, but that is the natural process: the bread changes over its aging time – and most breads improve at the beginning of this process, unless a too high humidity destroys the crust after a few hours, but bakers have no influence on that, except in the choice of storage location. The flour content in the bread does not change in the normal period of time, and therefore it is the best reference point for the salt content).

So we always have to calculate the amount of flour to be used for all other ingredients, and the rest will follow.

**Example: Salt**

The salt content is typically 2 to 2.5% of the flour (Neapolitan pizza up to 3%, but in my opinion that is really too much, even with unseasoned tomato sauce).

If we want to calculate the required amount, we first divide the percentage by 100 (because that’s exactly what “per cent” means, calculated on a hundredth basis), and then multiply the amount of flour by it.

With 2.3% salt, we need 28 g of salt for 1234 g of flour (calculation: 1234 * 0.023).

If the amount of salt is given instead, we calculate the percentage by dividing the absolute amount of salt by the amount of flour and multiplying by 100:

(28 g salt : 1234 g flour) * 100 = 2.269%, rounded to 2.3%

**Example yeast**

The same applies to malt, sugar, bean flour, etc. And of course to yeast, where the value is usually much smaller (and professionals would rightly say that the amount of yeast is not directly proportional to the amount of flour, but that doesn’t matter for household quantities).

So if 0.2 g of yeast is added to an uneven 137 g of flour in some poolish, then we first calculate the percentage of yeast for 500 g of flour that we want to use:

(0.2 g yeast : 137 g flour) * 100 = 0.14598% yeast

We then get the actual amount of yeast needed by simply multiplying the absolute amount of flour (g) and the yeast percentage (%)

500 g flour * 0.14598 % yeast = 0.7299 g yeast

or, for those who can’t find a percentage sign on their calculator:

(500g flour * 0.14598) : 100 = 0.7299 g yeast

(To be honest, it has to be said that with this amount of yeast, time and temperature are much more important than the amount of yeast added, which is why such generalizations as “a pea-sized piece” are not as wrong as some pedants feel. It is much more important to develop an understanding of how “bubbly” the preferment should actually be – photos are usually more helpful than exact recipe instructions, as is the case with our central value, the dough yield, which ultimately refers to the consistency of the dough, which, as already mentioned, depends mainly on the flour used, but also very much on the temperature of the dough.

So much for our calculation options. As a baker, you should understand these – and then you can also use the “TA calculator” below, which uses these small formulas as needed. 😉

**Calculation examples (called “exercises” at school):**

**a)** Changing the recipe (I’ll leave out the “g” for grams from now on as usual)

The recipe calls for 500 flour and 350 water.

TA = (850 : 500) * 100 = 170

Now let’s bravely increase the TA to 174. So we either have to add more water (then the dough weight increases slightly) or take a little less flour. If we want to keep the total weight instead, we have to adjust both ingredients.

“More water” variant, TA174 instead of TA 170:

TA 174 = (W : 500) * 100

We solve this basic equation for the unknown amount of water:

W = [(174 -100) * 500] : 100 = 370

So instead of the original 350 g of water, we need 370 g of water for the same amount of flour and get 870 g of dough.

Variant “same amount of dough”, DA 174 instead of DA 170:

We need the formula where “M” is on the left, so:

F = D : DY * 100

With our values, this results in:

F = 850 : 174 * 100 = 488.5

Now we subtract the calculated amount of flour from the total dough to get the amount of water:

W = 850 – 488.5 = 361.5

So we need 488.5 g of flour and 361.5 g of water for 850 g of dough with a yield of 174.

And while we’re on the subject of calculations:

When dealing with percentages, please always bear in mind that plus and minus cannot be swapped at will. We turn two bars of chocolate into three by adding 50%, i.e. half again. However, we don’t turn three bars of chocolate back into two by taking away half (=50%); then we’re only left with one and a half bars.

100 flour + 60% water actually does make 160 dough. But it doesn’t work the other way round:

160 dough – 60% = 96 flour. To calculate it correctly in reverse, you have to divide the dough weight by 1.6.

b) We take a recipe from Dietmar Kappl that is given for a dough weight of 1855 g, but we want to get 4500 g of dough (to get two loaves of about 2 kg each after baking).

The TA/ DY is given as 183, the flour is made up of 90% spelt and 10% rye.

The total amount of flour needed is

F = D : TA * 100 = (4500 : 183) * 100 = 2459 [flour]

(2459 – 10% = 2213 spelt flour; 2459 – 90% = 246 rye flour)

W = [(TA -100) * F] : 100 = [(83) * 2459] : 100 = 2041 [water]

Of course, we can also simply subtract the initially calculated flour from the dough:

W = 4500 – 2459 = 2041

And here are all the formulas again as text and image

[in notation ÷ or : for division]; in the images, the division is shown as a fraction].

TA = (D ÷ F) * 100 or (D : F) * 100

TA = [(W ÷F) * 100] + 100 or [(W :F) * 100] + 100

TA = [(W ÷ F) + 1] * 100 or [(W : F) + 1]

F = (D ÷ TA) * 100 or (D : TA) * 100

F = [W ÷ (TA – 100)] * 100 or [W : (TA – 100)] * 100

W = [(TA – 100) * F] ÷ 100 or [(TA – 100) * F] : 100

T = (TA ÷ 100) * F or: (TA : 100) * F

**Finally, a few special cases**

a) Small quantities of oil are treated like water, i.e. they are considered part of the bulk liquid. This is no longer the case with high oil contents because the consistency of the dough changes fundamentally.

Butter is usually not taken into account in the dough absorption (although it actually contains about 15% water). Fats are always added at the end of the dough processing; butter should almost always be kneaded in cold. That fat added in this way behaves differently from water can be clearly seen in a product like Christmas stollen: if we were to include the butter in the “pourable liquid” here, we would end up with a dough yield of 207, which would have to be a liquid dough; in fact, however, this dough, which is rich in butter, can be shaped without any problems.

b) If the dough contains other ingredients such as fruit, you can’t simply calculate the flour content by deducting the water (or the water content by deducting the flour). The reference point is and remains the flour, so if necessary, the other ingredients that literally make up the bulk of the dough must be deducted from the total amount of dough in order to calculate the flour or water (milk, etc.).

Solid ingredients such as raisins and nuts are not insignificant for the consistency of the dough, but we cannot meaningfully include them in the yield and can therefore ignore them. (An example from my own experience: the same panettone dough needs to be proofed for twice as long with the addition of raisins than without fruit.)

c) After I have repeatedly pointed out that the TA is only a guideline: For new recipes or new flours, you should always hold back some water (called “bassinage”) and only add it when the consistency of the dough seems to indicate that it can actually take it. How much is “some”? About 10% (which, in the usual range, corresponds to 5 to 10 TA points).

About the term “baker’s percentage”

Instead of as TA, the water content is given in many recipes as a percentage (”baker’s percentage“). Here, the flour used always forms the reference point (100%), and all other ingredients are then given as a percentage addition. Since with a TA of 176, 76g of water comes to 100g of flour, this corresponds to an addition of 76%.

Example:

Our recipe calls for 58% water (= TA 158), 5% sourdough starter (ASG) and 2% salt. We want to end up with about 750g of dough.

a) Approximation using the known TA formula

As a first approximation (which is usually sufficient), we omit the odds and ends and calculate from one of the above TA formulas:

F = (D : TA) * 100 = (750 : 158) * 100 = 475

So we need 475g of flour.

Now add 58% water:

475 + 58% – 475 (or 475 * 0.58) = 275.5 (the half gram too much is due to the rounding).

Of course, we could have also obtained the water by subtracting the calculated flour from the target dough:

750 [dough] – 475 [flour] = 275 [water]

As ASG we need 5% of the flour weight, so (475 + 5%) – 475 = 23.75

(The calculator kindly displays the percentage result before we tap on the equal sign, so we can read the value directly without having to subtract the flour from the new total weight again).

We need 2% of 475 g for the salt, so 9.5 g.

With this approximation, we will of course get more dough than the desired 750 g because we have not taken the ASG into account.

b) Calculation using proportions by weight

We can also convert the baker’s percentage directly into ingredients if we add everything and then divide the desired dough weight by it:

100% flour + 58% water + 5% ASG + 2% salt = 165% ingredients

750 D ÷ 165 = 4.54

This means that each percent of ingredient corresponds to a quantity of 4.54 g (or kg or tons…).

So for 100% flour we need: 100 * 4.54 = 454 F

58% water: 58 * 4.54 = 263 W

5% ASG: 5 * 4.54 = 23 ASG

2% salt: 2 * 4.54 = 9 salt

Due to the rounding, we now get 749 dough.

This exactness is relevant when larger quantities of ingredients other than just flour and water are to be used. Let’s take some kind of fruit bread with

100% flour (as I said, these 100% are set!)

50% water

250% fruit, sugar, butter, salt,

so a total of 400%.

The above approximation does not help us here. If we set the target dough to 1500 g, then we get:

We need 3.75 g of each ingredient per percentage (calculation: 1500 : 400), so 375 g of flour, 187.5 g of water and 937.5 g of fruits, sugar, etc.

Accuracy is also important if we want to calculate the true TA. This no longer corresponds to the baker’s percentage if we use other ingredients containing water, such as a sourdough starter. We have to break this down into its components of flour and water, with the 5% ASG given above and an assumed (standard) TA of 200, so 2.5% flour and 2.5% water. Consequently, our TA in the above calculation example is not 158 (which is derived from 58% water), but TA 159. But as I said, this only becomes relevant for larger quantities. Just be careful not to get confused by the different values. In the above calculation example, we actually have 475 F + (23 ÷ 2) = 486.5 F in the dough, but we should only add the 475. The other percentages must also be taken from this value, without the flour content in the ASG.

c) Estimates. It is therefore helpful to have an idea of the absorption capacity of your own “standard doughs” and to be able to estimate it fairly reliably based on the consistency. After all, it’s easy to use different types of starter dough or leftover dough from the refrigerator. So if you know what consistency a rye or wheat dough has at 200 TA with your own flours, you can bring the leftovers to that consistency by adding a little water if necessary, and then you know that half of it was flour and half water. This can then simply be entered in the baking plan.

d) Recipe example with baker’s percentage: The recipes in Lutz Geißler’s blog (“Plötzblog”) show the baker’s percentages (if you press the corresponding selection button). For example here: Recipe Saftkornbrot. There you can see very nicely that the sourdough starter is broken down into its components of flour and water. Shown are 4.6% rye sourdough with TA 200. For the base unit 100% for the total flour used, 2.3% of this was taken into account (77.7% rye sourdough, 20% spelt sourdough and just 2.3% rye in the ASG).

Additives: To keep track of things, especially when baking by eye, I use a simple form that is available here as a pdf file: Backplan_Backprotokoll_timo-rieg.de.

When filled out, it looks like the one shown here, which is usually very sloppy. I just note when I add something and – since I miscalculate so often – I note the current subtotal to see how much is still allowed to be added (plus the target values above for M=flour and W=water). If there is a better or more original one at some point, I will exchange the picture here, but I didn’t want to “fake” a protocol.

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