single portion of dough

Mr. Lehman,

How can I make a single portion dough ball using my current recipe? I use about 13 gallons of water, 3 teaspoons of dry yeast, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 2 cups of salt, and 20oz of oil with 50lb bag of flour.

In theory you would have to have a recipe of “actual weights” to work with so that you could properly break it down – especially that much. Then find a scale that could measure small quantities. Breaking things down by “volume” will yield very scewed results.


What kind of dry yeast are you using–active dry yeast or instant dry yeast? And is the oil quantity you mentioned by volume or by weight? The first thing you have to do is to convert all of the volume measurements to weights and derive the baker’s percents for the different ingredients. Then you have to decide what amount of dough you want to make. The baker’s percents can then be used to determine the quantities, by weight, of all of the ingredients for that dough ball. For the ingredients that are too small to effectivey weigh on a scale (digital scale), you can convert those weights back to volume measurements.


13 gallons??? no way that seems crazy, do you mean 13 lbs…


You have a good eye. However, 13 pounds would yield a hydration of 26%. If it is 13 quarts, that translates to a hydration of around 54%, which is plausible.


Well, the first thing that you will need to do is to change your dough “recipe” based on volumetric portions, over to a dough “formula” based on weights. To do this, portion out each ingredient three times, weighing the portion each time. Take an average of the weight for each ingredient. Now, you will need to convert the formula to one based on bakers percent. To do this all you need to do is to divise the weight of each ingredient by the weight of the flour (remember, the flour and ingredient weights must be in the same units, such as pounds, ounces, kilograms, or grams) and then multiply that number by 100. Do this for each ingredient and you will have successfully converted your dough formula to one expressed in bakers percent. Still with me? OK, one last thing to do now, to make enough dough for a single dough ball, you will probably need to use one pound of flour (by weight). Grab your calculator again. To find your ingredient weights for any weight of flour, just enter the flour weight in your calculator, then press “X” then enter the percent you want the weight for and press the “%” key. You can read the ingredient weight in the display window. Here is an example: Salt figures out at 2%. So, we enter 16 X 2 (press the “%” key) and read 0.32-ounces in the display window. If you have a metric mode on your scale it might be easier to use when working with these small amounts. To do this, just convert the flour weight to grams by multiplying the flour weight in pounds by 454. Since we are using one pound of flour, we just enter 454 in this case, then press “X” then enter 2 and press the “%” key. The answer is 9.08 grams.
If you are totally confused, please feel free to give me a call at 800-633-5137 (ext. 165) and I’ll be glad to work you through it, just be sure to have your calculator, a sharp pencil, and a piece of paper handy.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor