Profile PhotoMark Floerke
Keymaster
@independant-consultant
Post count: 223

Hello @daliciousbread,

  1. The amount of water absorption – 50-60% – is the total amount of water for the total amount of flour, including the sponge.
    For example:
    Sponge
    Flour   10 kg    100% BP     20% Total BP
    Water   5.5 kg    55% BP     11% Total BP
    Yeast    2 kg       20% BP        4% Total BP
    Dough
    Flour     40 kg     100% BP     80% Total BP
    Water    22 kg       55% BP     44% Total BP
  2. Instant yeast is fine, and generally speak you use 1/3 the amount compared to fresh yeast.  If you get really detailed in lab experiments, then you also need to replace the water amount of the fresh yeast when using instant.  If the formula calls for 30g fresh yeast, use 10g instant yeast plus additional 20g water.  Most bakers put all of the yeast in the sponge, for sponge and dough process, some bakers split it in whatever ratio they like to use.
  3. Ascorbic acid is best added when mixing the final dough.  Most countries limit ascorbic only by GMP – Good Manufacturing Practices.  Too much has no benefit and only will serve to over oxidize the dough.  Ascorbic is measured in parts per million, of pure ascorbic.  Tablets and other formats are sold in diluted format to make measuring for the baker easier.  Follow instructions or recommendations of the product you are purchasing in this case.  Typical is n the range from 30-90 ppm.  You have to try and see what works best for your flour and your product.  There is no singular answer one size fits all.
  4. As for the other ingredients; again it depends on the format and what you want to accomplish.  Start small to test and adjust from there.  Start at 0.1% of the formula for concentrated items, or 1% of the formula for many spices and herbs.
    With vinegar usually the objective is to lower the pH and help provide a slight increase in shelf life to prevent molding.  Too much vinegar will affect the yeast, the gluten and of course the flavor.  Standard liquid vinegar start at 1%, and of course adjust water accordingly as well.