I have just started to read the book *Pizza More Than 60 Recipes* and it appears at first blush to be a well written one. However, I share Mike's (mmarston) view on the desirability of having baker's percents. I think baker's percents give a recipe or formulation a great deal more flexibility.

It is possible to do some calculations with recipes to get certain baker's percents, particularly when certain dough weights and pizza sizes are specified. But it can still take a lot of work to get those baker's percents. For example, I deconstructed the NY style dough recipe from the book and got a baker's percent for water than was quite a bit higher than what is normally used. To show how I did this, I determined the weights of the ingredients in the recipe except for the flour. This is what I ended up with:

1 package active dry yeast, 0.25 oz.

1 c. lukewarm water and 1 1/4 c. ice cold water, 18.74 oz. total

1 t. sugar, 0.14 oz.

1 T. salt, 0.59 oz.

2 T. olive oil, 0.99 oz.

Adding the above weight values together and subtracting the sum (20.71 oz.) from 45 oz. (the total dough weight specified for the recipe) yields a weight for the flour of 24.29 oz. For that amount of flour, 18.74 oz. of water yields a baker's percent of a bit over 77%. I first used a mathematically accurate conversion factor of 1 c. water = 8.33 oz. to get the 18.74 oz. value. Then, as an alternative approach, I measured out 2 1/4 c. of water by eye and weighed it and got around 18.25 oz. This value yields a hydration value of a bit over 75%. Either way, the hydration is higher than what I am used to using for a NY style (e.g., Lehmann) dough. Maybe part of the wetness is taken up by the dustiing flour, but there is no way to know how much that comes to. Also, the instructions for the recipe indicate that the dough will be on the wet side. So, maybe it is normal.

I also calculated that the thickness factor for the dough is 0.1326, based on a 15-ounce dough ball weight for a 12-inch pizza. That thickness factor is more in line with a thick crust than a thin, NY style crust, which typically has a thickness factor of about 0.08-0.10.

So, as can be seen, there is a limit to what can be determined by examining a recipe where the ingredients are specified in volumes rather than weights. The best way, and sometimes the only way, to know what you will get from a recipe is to actually try the recipe out and see what happens. When I do this, I usually note the weights of flour and water that appear to produce a workable dough. That way, next time I make the dough I have a pretty good idea of how much water and flour to use.

Peter