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 have Grandma’s flaky, buttery biscuit recipe memorized 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 Dough3 parts flour: 2 parts fat: 1 part water
Muffins2 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg: 1 part fat
Quick Breads2 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg: 1 part fat
Biscuits3 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part fat
Pound Cake1 part flour: 1 part butter: 1 part sugar: 1 part egg
Pancakes2 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg: ½ part fat

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Christina Herbst
Christina is an Assistant Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in content creation and SEO optimization. She enjoys trying out local foodie restaurants and coffeehouses and adding copious amounts of garlic and cheese to any recipe she can get her hands on.