Check out my very first instructional video on how to make rye starter from two malts.
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.
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!