The Fresh Loaf

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% hydration for wholemeal flour

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MickB123's picture
MickB123

% hydration for wholemeal flour

Hi all

I've recently tried Richard Bertinet's white dough with 73% hydration - I enjoyed experimenting with the slap and fold technique (not sure my downstairs neighbours felt the same though!). Could anyone suggest what % hydration I should use for the following: 100% wholemeal flour; 50/50 wholemeal/strong white?

Cheers

Michael

sandydog's picture
sandydog

Hi Michael,

If you have access to Bertinet's recipes/books - What hydration does Bertinet suggest?                                               Why not try what he suggests and then amend the formula depending on how well it works for you with your flours?

Joy in baking to you.

 

Brian

MickB123's picture
MickB123

Hi Brian

Thanks for your reply and suggestions. I don't have Bertinet's books yet (but they're on my wish list); I was using a recipe from a video masterclass he did for waitrose. Also, thanks for the info about ABC - I've emailed Simon to enquire about volunteering.

Cheers

Michael

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

100% whole meal flour that I grind at home can be 90 -100% hydration.   The stuff from he stores seems to be 80 - 90% if using slap and folds.  A 50/50 loaf might be 75-80% for the store bought.  If tinned you can go higher still.  The key as always is to get the gluten developed and slap and folds in the beginning followed by S&F's are a great way to do it,   It is a lot easier to add water than to take it out.

With slap and folds you develop a feel for what the dough should be like so starting low and adding water till it feels good is what i do every time.  It is fun to measure out the extra water and then calculate the hydration after you are done based on how much of it you used.  You will be surprised sometimes since each flour is different when it comes to how wet it wants to be.

Don't forget to autolyse your flour every time too.  White flour 1 hour half and whole grains 4-8 hours.  This will allow you to up the hydration substantially as you are dong the slap and folds..

MickB123's picture
MickB123

Thanks for your reply. It seems that it's all about experimenting; I'll try for around 75/80% with 50/50 and see how it goes. I wasn't sure what autolyse meant so looked it up; do you do this with every bread you bake? Does it make much of a difference to the finished product?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

all of my bread flours without salt or levain.  I want them soak up as much water as possible.  I also try to get the hard sifted out bits from home milled flour into the levain so it is wet for as long as possible and can get soft.  Autolysing makes a huge difference in whole grain breads but also helps white breads too, 

After 6 minutes of slap and folds you can usually tell if the dough need more water or flour or not.  If it stops sticking to the counter at 8 minutes you are just right if it still sticks after 10 minutes than add a little flour.  The later stretch and folds will help itt keep its gluten structure.

Once you get the feel of the dough, the great thing about not using machines, your bread will improve quickly.  It takes a ;little getting used to working with wetter dough but once you are comfortable with it then - no worries.

sandydog's picture
sandydog

Mick,

The search function on this site is pretty good for finding what you seek as most things have been covered at one time or another. At the end of the day it all boils down to personal preference from one's own experience of trying things out.

Try   http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20754/wholemeal-bread-recipe and see what you think.

 

Brian