Dough Calculator Download


The starting point for using this worksheet is that you have (obtained or developed) a formula for bread dough that uses baker's percentages. We'll discuss this with the aid of a screenshot of the top of the first page in the Recipe worksheet. It may be helpful if you also have the spreadsheet open in Excel.

Top of Recipe

The name of the recipe/formula is entered in the very top cell, as you can see. Below it you enter the total amount of dough you wish to produce, the desired dough temperature (after mixing and kneading is complete), the mixer friction (see more on that later), the preferment overage (if any), and the (estimated) weight loss during baking (9% is fairly typical).

The remaining cells you have to enter data into are below and have three columns. The first column should contain the name of each ingredient. The second column should contain text identifying the part of the formula the ingredient belongs to. Finally, the third column should contain the baker's percentage for the ingredient.

The formula in the recipe calls for two separate preferments (the soaker and the biga). They have been named "1" and "2" in the "Pre" column. These names could have been anything you like but must be unique for each separate preferment.

With those values entered, the worksheet calculates:

At the bottom of the ingredient table, you will find this:

Bottom of table

Here you see some other calculated values on the totals line:

Preferment Overage

When you are making a dough with a preferment you are faced with the fact that if you put the preferment together using the exact percentages and resulting weights, you better not lose any weight during the preferment storage to evaporation, or during transfer between containers (which is almost unavoidable). To remove this issue, I usually make slightly too much preferment, and weigh the exact amount into the final dough. That means you need to scale just that part of the formula, which is not trivial. The Dough Calculator helps here by adding an additional percentage to each preferment ingredient, according to what is set in the "Preferment Overage" value. I typically use 3-5%.

NOTE: When you do use a percent other than 0% and you are looking at the weights in the "Recipe" worksheet, remember that the weights have been (artifically) increased so the sum of flour weights shown will not equal, but be larger than, the computed flour weight (which does not include the overage).

About computed ingredient volume

To compute the volume of an ingredient from its weight, we need to know its so called specific gravity. This is a number that expresses the ratio of the weight of one specific volume (say a cup) or the ingredient to the weight of that same volume of water. Combined with the knowledge that one cup of water equals 237 grams (really 236.588) we can then do the calculation.

The spreadsheet contains a worksheet called "Lookup" that contains this information for many common ingredients. If, however, an ingredient is not listed there, the conversion will result in "???". Since you are advised to not use volume measurements to begin with, but rather weights, this should not be a real handicap. If, however, it bothers you, you can go ahead and add information to the "Lookup" worksheet.

About the use of baker's percentages

There are different ways of using baker's percentages when using preferments. A discussion of this, and why this spreadsheet works the way it does is available.

Water temperature calculation

At the very bottom you will find a mini worksheet for water temperature calculation. This is discussed in more detail on another page. Basically, though, you adjust water (liquids) temperature according to the temperature of other main ingredients and mixer friction factor, so that the final dough will arrive at the desired temperature.