A Journey Into Bread Baking World

Baking 101: baker's percentages

Baker’s percentages are universally used by both professional and home bakers across the world. It is a very simple notation of writing down recipes in a scalable way so that the same formula can be used to bake a single loaf or a whole factory batch to feed the nation.

Even though it is a very simple and effective tool I’ve noticed that many home bakers struggle to understand how to use it. And then there are some bloggers who interpret baker’s percentages in a wrong way which only leads to more confusion.

Let’s take a look at what baker’s percentages really are and how to use them to bake existing recipes, adapt them and change them to your liking. I believe that once this tool is properly understood one can not only follow instructions, but also start creating their own breads.

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Scalding - what is it?

Scald. Choux. Tangzhong. Mashing. Gelatinised starch. There are many strange words followed by many different process recipes. What are they? Why do we need them to bake a loaf? And why so many techniques? I will try to answer these questions in this post.

I believe English speaking baking communities got introduced to flour scalding through Japanese Hokkaido milk bread, but gelatinisation of different kinds is used all over the world: most of Latvian rye breads are scalded, French chefs are making choux pastry and the whole beer brewing process starts with mashing everywhere in the world. It is a very common process in grain preparation and cooking.

Let’s start with a chemical process common to all methods. This process is called starch gelatinisation.

Oh, and by the way, this post is HUGE!

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