Essential Pizza Dough Baker’s Percentage Guide

Pizza Dough Baker’s Percentage Guide
Pizza Dough Baker’s Percentage Guide

Any discussion on pizza dough, or any serious discussion on baking in general, and you will hear the phrase Baker’s Percentage.

What is a bakers percentage, what does it do, and how do you apply pizza dough bakers percentage in recipes? I cover that and more in this essential guide to the pizza dough baker’s percentage and what it all means.

Measuring cup

What is a baker’s percentage?

Whilst it sounds very scientific and difficult to calculate, a baker’s percentage (sometimes called bakers formula or bakers math) is actually very simple.

It is basically measuring all ingredients weights in a recipe against the flour weight. For example, say you are using 1,000 grams (1 kg) of flour. 600 grams of water would be considered 60%. That is, 600 as a percentage of 1,000 is 60%. Say you are using 50 grams of sugar in the same recipe. That would be described as? That’s correct! 5%.

The purpose of a baker’s percentage is you can easily change the amount of ingredients you use, up and down, depending on needs.

That same example I just mentioned, if I said we had 500 grams of flour, and 60% water, 5% sugar, then we know in baker’s percentage terms, it is 300 grams water and 25 grams of sugar.

Baker's Percentage Formula
Baker’s Percentage Formula

Benefits of using baker’s percentage

Besides the toppings and cheeses on your pizza, the next biggest taste influence is the dough. In fact, I would say pizza dough is the most important thing to get right when creating a pizza. That’s why it is important to understand the dough and baking processes, hence this guide on pizza dough baker’s percentages.

There are a number of clear benefits to use baker’s percentages when creating dough or sharing baking notes and the like. These benefits include;

  • A greater consistency in recipes because it is always based on weight (pounds or kilograms).
  • Instant ability to check if a mix is correctly balanced
  • Common language among pizza enthusiasts when comparing formulas
  • Ease and simplicity of scaling up or down formulas to meet higher or lower demands
  • Ensures better consistency of results
  • Much easier to calculate the water absorption or flour hydration
  • Quickness to correct defects in the formula or recipe
  • Precision of measurement and eliminating/fixing scale errors

I am sure if we delve deep enough, we will find other benefits too, however as you can see just from these main ones, it really is worth learning the baker’s percentage when you start making your own pizza dough at home.

Measuring cup

Imperial and metric measurements

The old debate about measurements raises its head again. Typically, most recipes using bakers percentage use metric system, since it is far easier to calculate when thinking hundreds, tens and thousands, etc.

The beauty though, is if you prefer to use pounds instead, then you can. The percentages don’t change, just the measurement units do. This makes pizza dough baker’s percentage much more universally accepted.

Measuring cup


How to use pizza dough baker’s percentage?

As I mentioned at the start, the idea of a baker’s percentage is simple, however it takes most of us a whole to get used to it in our heads. Remember that maths teacher you used to roll your eyes at in school? Maybe we should have listed a little closer.

Pizza dough baker's percentages in a table
Pizza dough baker’s percentages in a table

The above table shows fairly common ingredient amounts expressed in both baker’s percentages and real grams, when making pizza dough. The columns show 4 different amounts of flour, and the corresponding water and other ingredients for that amount.

Note that this isn’t an actual recipe, but rather a common percentage to apply to your own recipes. I share some recipes down further in this guide.

A note on hydration

I have listed the water differently to the other ingredients, because I wanted to explain the phrase hydration as well. You may see this from time to time in various recipes or when people are discussing pizza. If they mention a 60% hydration dough, what they are referring to is the amount of water in the dough recipe.

You will soon notice that most dough recipes call for somewhere between 55-75% hydration, or 55-75% of the total flour weight in water.

Hydration, as you can imagine, has a big effect on the final pizza dough, and if it will perform well in a kitchen oven, a pizza stone, an outdoor woodfired oven and more.

Pizza dough over rolling pin
Pizza dough over rolling pin

Baker’s percentage and pizza dough recipes

Here are a few recipes that I have found that use pizza dough baker’s percentage to measure ingredients.

Same day pizza dough

This pizza dough can be made the morning of your pizza dinner, or the night before and left in the fridge overnight after allowing it to rise for at least 3-4 hours first.

I have written this in pizza dough baker’s percentage, however I have also put the actual weights for a 1kg bag of flour after the ingredient name. Try to calculate it with just the baker’s percentage first.


100% flour (1kg)
70% warm water (700ml)
1.5% yeast (2 sachets x 7g yeast)
1.2% salt (12 grams, 2.5 teaspoons)
3.4% sugar (33.5 grams or roughly 8 teaspoons)
4.3% olive oil (43 grams, approx 1/3 cup)


Add dry ingredients to a bowl and mix.

Add water and olive oil, stirring in well.

Either use a mixer with dough forks on low speed for 5 minutes, or hand knead for 10 minutes.

Put in airtight container or bowl with plastic wrap.

Leave until at least double in size, and then punch down.

Let rise until at least double the size again.
Put on well floured counter and create smaller balls.

1 kg should create 10-12 small pizza bases.

Measuring cup

Now you’re full bottle on pizza dough baker’s percentage

Hopefully now that you have completely read the above, you are the full expert on using the pizza dough baker’s percentage when you are next making your pizza dough. It is an eye opening way to look at any baking recipes, and you’ll find that you will notice it more and more in the recipes that you are using or experimenting with.

Now off you go, prepare your delicious dough and enjoy the pizza making process (have you chosen a pizza sauce yet?)!