One of the reasons I was eager to keep an online journal (wish it weren't called a blog), was so that I might be able to answer critics who might take me to task on this or that issue.  But it also proves advantageous when I malign myself.  Which is what i do when I let an error get published in a book.  I'm happy to be able to fix a couple here that readers have alerted me to in Ratio.  If you have a first edition or a second edition (happily there have been four printings so far!), the following errors occur.

On page 5, this sentence about the 5:3 bread ratio should read: "If your scale has a gram measurement on it, it's even easier (and shows why metric weights are so much more efficient than our U.S. equivalents): 1,000 grams of flour, 600 grams of water, 30 grams of fresh yeast, 20 grams salt." –not 3 and 2 (I was thinking percent, not total grams, though to keep to the 5:3, should have said 500 grams flour, 300 grams water (see, even here I can't help but keep revising!).

On page 42: the 3-2-1 cookie dough mentioned in the Spice Cookie recipe should read 1-2-3 cookie dough.

On page 74, in ingredients list, 4 ounces flour (about 3/4 cup), not 1/4

On pages 117 and 119: The 3:2 roux ratio is reversed in the recipe.  The first two ingredients of the cream soups should be 1-1/2 ounces flour (about 3 tablespoons) and 1 ounce butter (2 tablespoons).  See my recent post for pic and recipe.

If any of you find others, please don't be polite by not mentioning them—I want to know about anything that needs fixing.  Pls email me or post a comment here.

This mea culpa also happens to be, of course, a clever way to continue promoting my book!  This is not so unnecessary as it may seem.  Listen to this.  At the Greenbrier, a symposium of food writers, a woman asked me if I had a new book out!  A food writer at a conference where I was a speaker.  Last night at a party, a friend of mine whom I don't see a lot but who loves to cook, asked me what was new, and I told him about the book.  He stared at me blankly—hadn't heard of it.  Sheesh, if a food writer AND a friend in my own beloved city doesn't know the book exists, what more do I need to do?  I thought I was flogging this thing to death, but apparently not hard enough.

So, friends and readers, I ask you, if you have read and like Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, please tell others who might like it as well.  I will be very grateful (as I am so grateful to so many who have emailed and tweeted and posted on Facebook to say they like it—thank you!).  If this book doesn't bring the publisher enough schloss, they may not give me another contract to keep writing. Just ask @PowerofNo on twitter—my editor.  She's hilarious on Twitter, but she didn't choose that name by accident! Tweet her some love, would you?


53 Wonderful responses to “WINCE! Ratio Errata”

  • carri

    I just ordered two more copies through my locally owned bookstore and encouraged them to get a few for their shelves…we’re taking grass roots efforts here!

  • Chris

    I’m loving the book.
    I have a question though about the order of ingredients in the ratios. Could you comment on the thought process behind that? I’m finding it difficult to remember them, because sometimes it’s flour:fat:liquid, other times it’s liquid:fat:flour, etc.

  • joanne chang

    I’ve ordered copies for my cooks and will continue to do so as well as promote the heck out of on twitter and blog! Wow I thought everyone knew of this great book with all the awesome press you’ve gotten so far. Keep on truckin’!

  • toontz

    And I thought I lived in a bubble…
    I have even heard about your book. Obviously they are not hanging out with the right crowd, lol.

  • ruhlman

    Chris, the ratios are written in the order that the ingredients go together.

    That’s why it’s a 321 pie dough a 123 cookie dough and a 312 biscuit (or 3 parts flour into which you cut 1 parts butter and add 2 parts liquid).

    Is this clearer?

    And thank you Joanne and toontz!

  • Chris

    Excellent! That makes sense. I’ll have to adjust my thinking.
    I think I’m the type who knows what to do with the ingredients once I have them measured and in front of me. I could remember the numbers easily, I just couldn’t remember which ingredients the numbers attached to.
    But if I visualize the process first now instead of the ratio, it should make it easier.

  • dadekian

    It happens. Somehow many of us end up in circles (bubbles) that seem impossible. I’ll mention something that I’ve seen online EVERYWHERE to my wife and she won’t know what post/video/photo I’m talking about. My brother works in entertainment and I’ll mention a movie that to me seems like it’s been marketed to hell and back and he won’t know what I’m talking about. I know it’s happened to me many a times. I don’t think we’ll ever figure out how things show up on various people’s radars, but all the more reason to constantly be sharing your message. Thanks.

  • Mike S

    Got my copy and scale last week. Yesterday I made the 3-2-1 pie crust and quick lemon curd for a tart. I even threw in some blueberries. Very tasty.
    Oh, and toffee earlier in the week!

  • Chris

    I have told all of my cook friends about the book.
    I recommend it to all the new cooks I meet as well.
    A copy has made more than one appearance at our local cooks Meetup group.
    Great book even with the errors.
    I used a straight 5-3 bread ratio to make my first loaf of bread. I didn’t notice the errors.

    Awesome book.

  • Natalie Sztern

    Michael, Montreal knows nothing about Ratio…only a few copies at the big stores and hidden on shelves…need to get publicity here too: make sure Toronto knows too!!

  • Ann V.

    I heard about the book on The Splendid Table and Good Food from KCRW (both of which I listen to as podcasts at the gym). As soon as I figure out the scale thing, I’ll go someplace local and have them order the book.

  • lisadelrio

    Thanks so much for writing Ratio, Michael. I have been waiting for a book like this my whole cooking life. I am spreading the word.
    So far, I’ve made quiche, pie and muffins using Ratio. All 3 were some of the best I’ve ever had. I know this is because Ratio gave me the info I needed to make things my way.
    I did use less salt than the muffin ratio called for. A teaspoon seemed like too much.

  • Spicehound

    I mentioned the book on my “online journal” and have promoted it at the farmers market for a few recent cooking demos. I did bread (something I had little success with until reading the book), an asparagus tart and fried dough pizzas finished on the grill. People were intrigued by weighing ingredients. I expect some to come back and announce that they bought a scale!

  • Laura

    In the sandwich bread recipe (mentioned as being more “for the kids”) in the applictions, you suggest baking the bread at 350 for an hour. That crust was extremely hard and dry. 30 minutes or so made it much softer and more like what I think you envisioned.

    I love the book otherwise. I’ve mostly made bread & cookies so far.

  • ruhlman

    thank you everyone, really appreciate your support.

    my favorite thing to hear is someone’s saying it’s the first time i made bread or my pie dough never turned out right till i understood the ratio.

    laura, thanks, it depends on your oven, thirty minutes is really short, for some reason my bread always takes longer. thanks for the comment.

  • brandon_w

    I have been telling people about this book too. I have been using this book a lot lately, and everything has turned out well.

    The pancakes and butterscotch sauce are fantastic. The butterscotch sauce could help a single guy keep a woman around.

    Also used a brine ratio that worked great. The lemon and shallot mayo is truly great on some asparagus.

  • the2foodies

    I checked the publisher website for an errata page and didn’t find one. If there are more errors found I was wondering if you could get the publisher to list them on one page that’s easy to print, or maybe create such a page on your blog?

    I’ve been playing with making pasta and pancakes following your ratios. I find them immensely helpful. Thanks!

  • Angela

    Thanks for posting the changes for the book. Once school ends, I hope to put my copy of ‘Ratio’ to good use. I promise to post my first ‘Ratio’ success on Facebook … not much of a crowd there but a few folks will see it.

  • Carol Peterman

    Thanks for posting the fixes. I tried to post your message on, a book cataloging site. I haven’t quite figured out how all the features work so I am not sure that my message will be associated with everyone that catalogs your book in their collection, but I tried. There are 35 other people on the site that have your book listed in their collection. I haven’t had a chance to read and cook from Ratio yet, but it is sitting in front of me and I will dive in soon!

  • Sorcha

    Thanks for the fixes. Luckily I’m lazy and so I haven’t tried making anything yet.

  • Amy

    Michael – do these errors occur in Australian edition? (due to be published 1st June)


  • Gale Reeves

    My book arrived today! Thanks for the blog post listing the corrections. I attended a Baking Bootcamp at CIA in NY last year. There, I learned to use a scale (can’t live without it now!). And, I look forward to working with the ratios. I’ve read several bread baking books that deal with percentages. I’ll post on Facebook and Twitter as I begin reading through the book.

  • S. Woody

    Reading the book is good for the local economy, too. Yesterday I went out and bought a new kitchen scale and my first ever pasta machine. My local kitchen equipment purveyor was very happy.

  • Salty

    The people, I think they want drama. Whether it’s in photos, concept, recipes, stories or characters.

    Kinda like the food world. Presenting a consistent high quality product sometimes isn’t enough.You have to throw some shiny trinkets in there to keep the schloss flowing.

  • Tags

    The already humble getting humbled.

    Talk about the rich getting richer.

    Next, I guess you’ll be putting an errata section in the “view my complete list of books” section of your website.

  • Kevin

    Hey Michael,

    Just thought I would let you know that last Sunday was my fourth loaf of bread (I’ve been making one every Sunday), all because of the book. I finally got the crust on the outside like I want it. This was the best one yet. We just picked fresh strawberries yesterday as well, so I’m sure the bread will go nicely with the preserves we are going to make. Thanks.

  • luis

    Thanks for the heads up. I knew the yeast thing because you mentioned the baker’s percentage thing…so I went with that.
    Cookies…well don’t bake them much. But it’s good to know.
    The book Ratio is a significant contribution to the home cook. But there is a lot more to Ratio’s than meet the eye here. I find myself using them in the kitchen and….outside the kitchen as well.

  • kayenne

    Mr Ruhlman,

    so, you’re advice, for those of us who haven’t a copy yet, to try and get the 3rd or 4th printing where the above mistakes have been corrected already?

    i’ve put a halt on cook book buying(shelves groaning – and i rarely use them anyway!) and saving up for references and basics instead. this sounds like a candidate for it. i hope to see it on my local bookstore!

  • Roger

    Add me to the list of those who are telling all our cooking friends about Ratio. I’d never succeeded with custard until now.
    However, one minor complaint. REALLY minor. Both of the last two books have a spine with a color unlike that of the cover. In my mind Ratio is a cheery, yellow book. However, the spine isn’t that color, so when it’s shelved I have a hard time seeing it. I know I may be the only person having this problem, but when I want Ratio I want it NOW!!
    Thanks for all your work. My wife is especially appreciative of the custard!

  • Carrie

    I am a mom of two small boys living in a very rural area of NC. I was raised on Velveeta and Jello, so have never had an understanding of how to use whole ingredients successfully. Which has been frustrating as I live in a very agricultural area and there is no shortage of fresh local ingredients here!

    I wanted to thank you for this book and for your blog. I want to learn how to cook so my boys will grow up knowing what real food looks and tastes like. This is the first book I’ve found that is actually teaching me how to cook in a very basic way – it’s exactly what I need. And it’s so helpful to have it online as I would never have access to this kind of information locally.

    I got my first kitchen scale for mother’s day, and we’re having homemade pizza tonight using the crust you posted the recipe for recently. My family is astounded – can’t wait to see how they react when I start making bread! I’m spreading the word about your book to everyone I can.

  • Dick Black

    I think you should be commended on writing this book as you seem genuinely interested in teaching and encouraging people to learn. I also appreciate your honesty when discussing schloss and the need to make some in order to keep this blog alive.

    I get so discouraged when I go into a book store and head to the food section and see just about any Tom Dick or Harry has put out a “cookbook”. I know most of then will be useless to me and I think it is a shame the market has become so saturated.

    So for that reason, i look forward to your recent effort and will pick one up soon.

  • Tom

    This erratum isn’t from the new book (which I’m looking forward to reading!), but from your rhubarb pie post (whose comments section appears to be closed).

    I was making the pie when I came to this odd sentence:

    “Divide in two for each half into a disc and refrigerate for about twenty minutes or up to a day.”

    The rest of the recipe seems to proceed as though there were only a single large disc of pie dough….

    Anyway, I ended up dividing the dough, and the pie turned out really well. I especially appreciated having so much dough to work with, since when I roll out my pie crusts they sometimes fall apart at the edges, this extra margin of error helped me cover the pie dish with room to spare.

  • other side of the river

    The errata for cookies and roux made me laugh because I noticed the first one (while making a bourbon-pecan riff on the cookies) and cooked right through the second on the way to cream of asparagus soup (awesome!) … because I already had the roux part down and so skipped reading the details for it in the full recipe.

  • S. Woody


    Page 74, Basic Fritter Batter – after, in most of the book, you tell us that four (4) ounces of flour equals about a cup, all of a sudden (in this recipe) four ounces is “about 1/4 cup.” I like my fritters light, but this didn’t compute.

  • kellymo

    There will be another sale shortly – my mother’s made off with my copy and I’m starting to think I may not see it again. She’s the most talented and creative cook I know (used to make a living at it too when she was head of dietetics at a hospital down here in SW Ohio), and you have her trying things she’s not done before. The whole clan goes to the beach in 2 weeks – she’s already got my daughter & her friend enlisted to make fresh pasta with her.

  • S. Woody

    So, like an idiot, I didn’t catch the earlier correction about page 74.

    However, taking a look over on page 17, for the pasta dough, there’s the sentence “To ensure the dough reaches the full width of the roller, I cut the following dough into 4 or 5 1/4-pound pieces…”

    Pounds? Shouldn’t that be “4 of 5 1/4-ounce pieces”?

    I wouldn’t be spotting these things if I weren’t actually using the book. I haven’t had this much fun in the kitchen in some time. And that mate of mine loved the homemade fettucine dressed with butter and Parm – a genuine Fettucine d’Alfredo.

    My scheme where I keep whatever cookbook I’m reading stashed next to my register at the market paid off today, too. A customer spotted my copy of Ratio, asked me about it as I was ringing up her purchases, and after I let her look through it, wrote the title down on her reciept as a reminder. I love when that happens.)

  • JC_WSeattle

    I’m really enjoying the book. I’m not 100% sure this is a mistake but on page 7 of the first edition the first line should read 2-1/4 teaspoons not ounces. I hope this is helpful.

  • Chris

    On page 114 (first edition) it states the section on cream soups is on page 115 when it is actually on page 116

  • luis

    Michael ratio is much on my mind when I think cooking.
    When industry food designers speak “hitting the three points of the compass” Sugar fat and Salt …. do you know or can speculate on what that kicked up ratio might be??

    ref David Kesslers new book.

    I know its.. but I keep wondering what these industry food designers are truly aiming at? Is it a ratio? an experience? I know they are trying to hit the “bliss point” again from the book…and if they overshoot the mark then the food is not as appealing or succesful in the market. Do you realize how big this topic is?

  • Liz

    Delightful book with tempting recipes. Living in Switzerland I cannot buy vegetable shortening. Can I substitute butter in the recipe for Rip’s Spice Cookies?

  • other side of the river

    FYI, found a discrepancy between the book and the pdf in biscuit dough. The book says 1 t baking powder per 4 oz flour; the pdf calls for 1 t per 5 oz flour.

  • Chris

    On page 155 (first edition) the garlic-sage brine variation says to use a “large bunch of thyme” but does not mention sage at all. I’m guessing it should be a “large bunch of sage” instead?

  • Gabriela

    Michael! Thank you so much for the book. I’ve just finished it.
    I live in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and found its review at A friend who went to NY bought it for me.
    It really “frees” you in the kitchen. Ratio and The Flavor Bible is all you need!

  • Jered

    I don’t know if this has been corrected in more current printings but I have some concerns with the instructions for “Everyday Chicken Stock”. On page 94 you mention starting stock one evening and then, “turn it off…and let it cool on the stovetop uncovered until I’m ready to finish it the following evening.” That seems like a recipe for some serious gasto-intestinal distress.

  • ruhlman

    nope, jared, it’s correct. It’s simmered once which will kill any bacteria, then simmered again before being cooled. only issue is flavor. if it sits on your stove top for a week it will taste bad.