The Fresh Loaf

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What effect will a high hydration have on my bread?

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Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

What effect will a high hydration have on my bread?

I am looking to creat something like http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2984/jasons-quick-coccodrillo-ciabatta-bread but using my gluten free flours. The reason I've posted this in wholegrains is that much like wholegrains, the flours I use require A LOT of liquid. A 100% hydration gf dough feels much like the dough you'd experience in a standard white loaf of about 65% hydration. I have tried recreating the bread with the hydration as it is in the recipe or increased slightly, but the dough is completely solid unlike the usual result (I have made the non gluten free version a few times before being diagnosed as coeliac). The finished bread wasn't great and didn't have the crumb structure of Jason's bread. Should I up the hydration to acheive a batter of the same consistency as the original or will this aversely effect the result?

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Laura,

From my little experiments - that's all the experience I have with GF baking - if I go over a certain flour specific threshold the breads start tasting watery and tend to deflate during cooling.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/33651/some-gf-experiments

All tests in this post have been done with instant yeast. Using sourdough starters I find that I have to lower the hydration a bit. That's the reason, by the way, why I started using starters with 60% hydration - to have enough water for the psyllium soaker.

I hope this helps,

Juergen

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

This one won't be a sourdough, so how high do you think I could push the hydration up? Maybe I could use a lot of psyllium...

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

will be to try it out.

I increased hydration and psyllium at the same time to find out about the psyllium neeed - there are plenty of different ways to play with the parameters,

and the only way to find out is trial and error. It seems the borderlines in GF baking can be very narrow.

 

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

I think I might try something like 180% hydration but not sure how much psyllium to use when going that high. Am I right in thinking you had success at 6% psyllium and 180% hydration?

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

but the crumb looks nicer than it feels and tastes. 

And I assume now (I have no experience) that bigger loaves at this level would collapse during cooling. 

But, please, prove me wrong!

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

Hmmm...I'll try it out soon with my white flour blend and report back! You're probably right but one has to experiment!

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Nothing can replace getting your own hand into that sticky mess ...

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

double post, Floyd, please delete