6 Essential Baking Ratios That You Should Know
Make your favorite baked goodies with this handy baking ratios chart—no recipe needed!
While you may know Grandma’s flaky, buttery biscuit recipe by heart, you might still find yourself following step-by-step instructions when trying a new biscuit recipe. Or maybe you don’t fully understand the science (or what I like to call “baking magic”) behind why her recipe is so gosh-darn delicious.
What if I told you that the same formula that makes Grandma’s tried-and-true biscuit is the same as the Red Lobster copycat biscuit that you just tried? Save yourself from flipping through countless pages in your recipe book—or scouring the web—to find these fundamental baking recipes. Instead, use baking ratios to make the basics or use them as a starting point to create your own recipe from scratch.
James Schend, Taste of Home’s Deputy Culinary Editor, has referenced Michael Ruhlman’s book, Ratios: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking when creating recipes for Taste of Home. (Fun fact: James and Michael both went to culinary school together at The Culinary Institute of America.) Ratios breaks down the science of baking by covering what basic ingredients (and how much of each ingredient) you need to make kitchen staples like pasta dough and pancakes. Here, we’ll be covering just a few of the many handy ratios that Michael discusses in his book.
How Baking Ratios Work
Baking ratios are based on, you guessed it, math. To keep things short and sweet, baking ratios are broken down into “parts.” These parts describe how much you need of each basic ingredient (like eggs, liquid and flour) and they must all be measured in the same unit of measurement. The easiest way to measure for each part is by weight, so you’ll want to haul out your kitchen scale; especially since weighing your baking ingredients is more accurate than using measuring cups.
Something to Keep in Mind
Before you turn on your oven and get down to business, I do want to fill you in on a key point when following Michael’s baking ratios. You should always use ratios as a starting point when creating your own recipe. Adding other ingredients can alter the ratio, so keep that in mind when you start customizing.
Baking Ratios Chart
Without further ado, here are the baking ratios that inspired some of our most popular baked goods.
|Baked Good||Baking Ratio|
|Pie Dough||3 parts flour: 2 parts fat: 1 part water|
|Muffins||2 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg: 1 part fat|
|Quick Breads||2 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg: 1 part fat|
|Biscuits||3 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part fat|
|Pound Cake||1 part flour: 1 part butter: 1 part sugar: 1 part egg|
|Pancakes||2 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg: ½ part fat|
- Pie Dough: Use in our Classic Butter Pie Pastry recipe.
- Muffins: Put this ratio to work in our Coffee Cake Muffins recipe.
- Quick Breads: Try it out in our Lemon Blueberry Bread recipe.
- Biscuits: Give it a go with this Southern Buttermilk Biscuits recipe.
- Pound Cake: Try the ratio out with Key Lime Pound Cake recipe.
- Bonus Recipe: Pancakes! While it may not be a baking recipe per se, we thought you needed this baking ratio, too. Put this ratio to work in our Best Ever Pancakes recipe.