The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Amount of water in bread

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chera's picture
chera

Amount of water in bread

What changes can I expect to see in a bread dough and its finished product if I were to increase the water from say 50% to 70%?

Would it be more elastic?  Chewier?  More open crumb?

I am trying to understand how each ingredient affects dough and final product better...

BreadBro's picture
BreadBro

While the hydration of the dough relies on the type of flour you're using (flour with low protein can absorb less water), there are major differences between 50% and 70% hydration.

50% hydration is extremely low - far too low, I think to make a good loaf of bread. That's practically in bagel territory. With 50% hydration your loaf would likely be dense, hard, crumbly and cake-like, with no open crumb at all.

A higher hydration, in the area of 70% would produce a much more open crumb with larger, irregular holes. This, however, depends on how well you handle the dough. If you handle it too roughly, you can press out all the gas and deflate it. Higher hydration breads are generally lighter, and slightly chewier in nature.

chera's picture
chera

Thank you!  That explains perfectly and is exactly what I wanted to know.