This is very easy to do, and all that’s needed is a simple calculator. Begin by deciding how much flour you want to use in your dough formula. Keep in mind that the weights of the ingredients will be given in the same weight units in which you have expressed your flour weight. For example, if you show that you want to use 50 pounds of flour, the weight of each ingredient will also be expressed in pounds. If you were to express that 50 pounds of flour in ounces, you would show your flour weight as 800 ounces, then each of the ingredient weights would also be expressed in ounces. The same holds true for kilograms and grams.
Here is a very basic dough formulation to show how we change from percentages to weights:
• Flour 100 percent
• Salt 1.75 percent
• Oil 2 percent
• Instant dry yeast 0.375 percent
• Water 56 percent
1) Let’s say we have decided to use 40 pounds of flour in our dough. So the flour weight is now shown as 40 pounds.
2) Then, using your calculator, enter 40 X 1.75 (press the % key) and read 0.7-pounds in the display window. If you want to change this to ounces simply multiply the 0.7 by 16, which equals 11.2-ounces of salt. Repeat the same process for the other ingredients.
You might wonder why formulas are presented in this manner rather than in weight measures right from the start. The reason is because when presented in percentages, flour weight has no bearing on any aspect of the formula, where as if we were to give the formula in weights, then we would need to know how much flour you wanted to use before we could write up the formula. Also, by putting the formula into percentages, we can quickly scan the formula for errors or check it to make sure it’s properly balanced rather than making the dough and then trying to figure out why the dough or finished crust wasn’t up to our quality standards.