ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Pastries & Baking › What is the hydration % of this?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What is the hydration % of this?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
  • 2 cups water, lukewarm
  • 5 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt

 

Dry

100% flour

1% sugar

1% salt

 

Wet

35% Water

2% oil

 

Hydration 37/102=36%

 

Is that correct and if so doesn't it seem too low?

 

Here is the original link:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/basic-italian-bread-recipe/index.html

post #2 of 5

First off, Abe, you need to convert everything to weights if you want to use a formula rather than a recipe.

 

Figure flour at 4.5 oz per cup.

Water is, of course, 8 oz per cup

 

You can see, already, why volume comparison's don't work. With volume measurements you are comparing apples and oranges.

 

For this discussion, you can ignore the other ingredients.

 

So: 4.5 x 5.75=25.9 oz flour

 

Flour=25.9 oz

Water=16 oz

 

This puts the hydration at 62%---a little on the dry side, IMO, and you might have to add a bit more liquid.

 

Frankly, based on this and other questions you've posted, I think you've been working your way into a morass of technical details that are all but meaningless to you as a home baker. Why do you care what the hydration level is? Just mix up the dough and let it tell you if it needs any adjustments.

 

The way to become a good bread maker is to make a few loaves of bread. It's really that simple---and that difficult.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks!

 

Two reasons #1. I'm not happy with most of the loaves I've made #2. This one seems on the dry side

post #4 of 5

You're kind of proving my point. If you're not happy with how a loaf comes out, learning technical jargon and the methods used by commercial bakers isn't going to help you improve. You have to focus on 1. what is it about the loaf you didn't like, and 2. how to fix the actual problem.

 

Formulas, and various % levels they represent, are used so that a pariticular dough can be multiplied or divided. They don't help much when you're making one or two loaves.

 

Take this Italian loaf recipe. As I mentioned, it seemed a little on the dry side to me. But if you're mixing up the dough, it isn't knowing the hydration level that's important. It's recognizing, in the dough in hand, that there isn't enough moisture. So you add some, a tablespoonfull or so at a time, until the dough is the consistency it's supposed to be.

 

And, of course, make a note on the recipe to the effect that you added X amount of water.

 

The whole key is learning what a well-made dough feels and acts like. No amount of technical knowledge, not all the sophisticated techniques and advanced methods in the world, will not help you until you learn that basic rule. The simple fact is, you cannot fix a problem unless you recognize what the problem is.

 

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

You're kind of proving my point. If you're not happy with how a loaf comes out, learning technical jargon and the methods used by commercial bakers isn't going to help you improve. You have to focus on 1. what is it about the loaf you didn't like, and 2. how to fix the actual problem.

 

Formulas, and various % levels they represent, are used so that a pariticular dough can be multiplied or divided. They don't help much when you're making one or two loaves.

 

Take this Italian loaf recipe. As I mentioned, it seemed a little on the dry side to me. But if you're mixing up the dough, it isn't knowing the hydration level that's important. It's recognizing, in the dough in hand, that there isn't enough moisture. So you add some, a tablespoonfull or so at a time, until the dough is the consistency it's supposed to be.

 

And, of course, make a note on the recipe to the effect that you added X amount of water.

 

The whole key is learning what a well-made dough feels and acts like. No amount of technical knowledge, not all the sophisticated techniques and advanced methods in the world, will not help you until you learn that basic rule. The simple fact is, you cannot fix a problem unless you recognize what the problem is.

 

 

Thanks good tips!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Pastries & Baking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Pastries & Baking › What is the hydration % of this?