The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

thirsty flour

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joolz's picture
joolz

thirsty flour

thirsty flour. is there such a thing? i live in sweden and have just become involved in artisan baking. i am having a real problem with following the recipes as far as water is concerned. it just doesn't seem to be enough! this problem is even more acute when wholegrains are involved. i made a loaf with rye, barley and white and needed so much more water that i gave up measuring it! i was just trying to get the soft, sticky mass as described in the book. being a newbie in this game i have no idea why this is so, all i can think of is that the flour over here is very thirsty! so can anyone help me with water amounts? is the flour over here really that different? 

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Your observation of whole grain flours needing more water to accomplish the recipe is correct. Higher protein flours do that. Since you're just starting out, I'd like to suggest that you work on one recipe until you feel you've got it down right. Do keep a notebook account of each bake, making sure that you record the quantities, measuring by weight and not volume, each time no matter how tedious it may be.


Working with whole grains is different from working with white flours and certainly more difficult for beginners. Many of the bakers here on TFL have benefitted from the lessons available such as the "Your First Loaf" which you'll see on the right hand side of the home page. You can't go wrong following those lessons. If you find that you have more questions after that, it will just go to show that you're really interested in learning more about baking bread.


Welcome to the community!

joolz's picture
joolz

thanks for the feedback, it's greatly appreciated. i had actually set up and used a notebook for my baking, but i'd forgotten about it in my enthusiasm, so out it came again yesterday, thanks for reminding me :) i've just baked two rather wonderful loaves, from the artisan breads every day so i'm feeling rather pleased with myself and my family love me :) i did have to add more flour to the last loaf, but i'm thinking that the starter was more liquid than the one in the book, i carefully weighed out how much i added and noted it down. this site has been such an inspiration and a great source of information, thank you everyone.

crunchybaguette's picture
crunchybaguette

Do you soak the grains? I personally think for the artisan baker, the senses are the best tool of all. Treat the water as a guide and add more as you see fit. Dont be shy on the water!