# Professional Baker’s Reference

# Batch Costing

The price of the ingredients in a loaf of bread is relatively inexpensive. Certainly, the ingredient cost in a loaf of lean dough, for example a baguette or ciabatta, is astonishingly modest. Of course this changes quickly when we add cheese, olives, or other costly ingredients. Whether a baker is making breads that cost a dime per pound of dough or a dollar, it is equally important that he or she knows how to compute the batch cost for a given quantity of dough.

## An Example

For example, we make a batch of dough using the following weights:

ingredient | weight | cost | total | ||
---|---|---|---|---|---|

flour | 100 | ||||

water | 66 | ||||

salt | 2 | ||||

yeast | 1.5 | ||||

total | 169.5 |

Simple addition tells us that we are making 169.5 pounds of dough. We now consider the cost per pound of our ingredients:

ingredient | weight | cost | total | ||
---|---|---|---|---|---|

flour | 100 | $0.18 | |||

water | 66 | 0 | |||

salt | 2 | $0.09 | |||

yeast | 1.5 | $0.56 | |||

total | 169.5 |

Note that although we are considering the water to be free, it is still included in the dough weight. Now we calculate the entire batch cost:

ingredient | weight | cost | total | ||
---|---|---|---|---|---|

flour | 100 | x | $0.18 | = | $18.00 |

water | 66 | x | 0 | = | $0.00 |

salt | 2 | x | $0.09 | = | $0.18 |

yeast | 1.5 | x | $0.56 | = | $0.84 |

total | 169.5 | $19.02 |

We now know that it has cost us $19.02 in ingredients to make 169.5 pounds of dough. To determine the cost of one pound of dough, we divide the batch cost by the dough weight:

ingredient | cost | weight | total | ||
---|---|---|---|---|---|

total | $19.02 | ÷ | 169.5 | = | $0.112 |

In this example, our batch cost is **11.2¢** per pound of dough.