Creating your own recipe.

A quick review:

Flour is always represented as the primary ingredient and always is 100%.

It may be a combination of multiple different flours but the total weight of all the flours will be 100%

All other ingredient’s weights areĀ  expressed as a % of the total flour weight.

Typical ranges for most common ingredients

Water (may include milk and/or

buttermilk : 55-85% (there are recipes as high as 120%)

Salt : 1.5 – 2.2%

Sugars (sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, molasses, etc.) : 0 – 12%

Fats (oils, butter, lard, etc) 0 – 10%

Starter: 5-40%

Yeast: 0.1 – 2%

Changes in the amounts for either a starter or yeast have a dramatic impact as it will directly change the rate of fermentation. More = a faster rate of fermentation. For sourdoughs – this will most frequently result in less sour breads.

More starter = less sour.

For sour breads, a common add is 5-10%.

For non-sour, a common add is 20-30%.

There are also exceptions to this general guideline.

One thing to note- these are the general

ranges of each of the different ingredients which represents the majority of recipes. There will always be some recipes with 110% hydration, 2.5% salt, 15% sugar, 60% starter, 3% yeast etc. – where the amount exceeds the normal ranges.

Frequently bakers ask for a basic SD recipe. If you think about a recipe in terms of baker percentages and consider the general range of ingredients, creating your own recipe is not that hard.

You might decide, for example, that you want a non-sour loaf made with 20% whole grain flour. You want to bake 2 normal sized loaves and you want them to be moderately high in hydration with slightly lower salt.

We can pick 800g as our total flour weight… a good starting point for 2 loaves. We can adjust up or down depending on our actual results. Lower gluten flours will tend to make slightly smaller denser loaves – so we might want a higher starting weight if using them… but still wanting a larger sized loaf.

Since our goal is a non-sour bread, we will want a shorter fermentation. To shorten times, we simply need to choose a starter(yeast) amount that is a higher %. The general range is 5-40%. In this case, I will pick 25% – a shorter but not overly fast fermentation.

Our recipe might evolve from there to be:

20% WW Flour

80% Bread Flour

75% hydration

25% 100% hydration starter

1.8% salt

By weight , the flour becomes

160g WW flour (0.2×800)

640g bread flour (0.8×800)

We next need to look at the starter – It will be 200g 100% hydration starter (0.25 x 800g = 200g)

Since it is 100% hydration, we know it will be 100g flour and 100g water.

Since our overall dough hydration goal is 75% – we need to now determine how much water we need to add.

So far – our total flour is 900g (160+640+100(starter))

The total water we will need is 900g x 0.75 (75% hydration) = 675g

The first 100g comes from our starter. We will need to add an additional 575g water.

And last – our salt

14.4g salt (0.018 x 800g)

So – to summarize – our recipe is now:

160g WW flour

640g bread flour

575g water

200g 100% hydration starter

14g salt

This is an example of the first step in creating your own bread recipe. Next, you simply have to determine the process that will be used to mix, ferment, shape and bake the dough.