New Event: Introduction to Reading and Interpreting Bread Formulas

This free event will take place in Chicago on Monday, May 13, from 5:30-6:30pm. For venue information and to RSVP, please join our meetup group.

At this event, we're experimenting with a new topic: reading and interpreting bread formulas (also known as baker's percentages or baker's math). This is a topic in which many of our bread bakers have expressed interest, and a topic about which our organizers are passionate.

Meeting Format:

In the first 30 minutes of the meeting, we'll introduce some fundamentals of bread formulas. In the second 30 minutes, we'll look at some examples of breads our bakers like to bake, and see what we can learn about them, just by looking at their respective formulas.

The emphasis will be more on the meaning one can derive from reading a bread formula, less on the math, itself. The discussion will be driven by your questions.

Why are Bread Formulas interesting?:

Because a baker who can read and interpret bread formulas can:
  • "Taste" a bread in his/her imagination, before ever having baked it. This is an especially nice skill to have when planning meals and menus.
  • Accurately compare one bread formula with another, which enables one to more productively build up one's knowledge about bread.
  • Clearly communicate and learn with/from other bread bakers. This is important if one, for example, dreams of working in a bakery.
  • Quickly and easily make changes to a formula, while developing awareness of how these changes interact with other elements of the bread (such as hydration, salt, sugars, and fats). In this respect, bread formulas are a springboard for developing one's creativity as a bread baker.

What to Bring:

We encourage you to bring one or more of your favorite bread formulas/recipes with you to the event, and we'll use it as an example. If your formula is not already expressed in terms of baker's percentages, please email it to Jacqueline (jacqueline [at] amateurbakers [dot] org) before the event; she'll convert it into percentages, print it out, and bring it to the event.

You are also encouraged to bring bread you have baked, for the group to snack on during the meeting.

For more information, please join our meetup group.

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