The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough very dry

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nami5602's picture
nami5602

Sourdough very dry

Hi, today I made my 1st sourdough bread. Well, it's rising in the oven (turned off) now - but there is an issue which I couldn't find answers to so decided to ask on here. It's a Mary Berry 'sourdough rye bread' from her book 'Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook.' Ingredients:

1.5kg strong white flour

1 x 7g sachet yeast

250ml lukewarm water

3 tbsp caraway seeds (optional - I didn't use)

1 tbsp salt

For the starter:

250g strong white flour

1 tsp fast-action yeast

250ml lukewarm water

For the sponge:

200g rye flour

250ml lukewarm water

So, I made the starter as directed (purposely being vague here so no-one can copy the recipe for free.) and left for a few days at room temperature. It definitely seemed active -  bubbling and doubling in size at it's peak. Then, added the sponge ingredients and left for a few hours (precise time in book). Again, it bubbled well. Then, mixed the other ingredients, left it to rise. 

The problem I encountered was with the mix. It was incredibly stiff - so much so I had to add a lot more water just to incorporate the flour. Why is this?

So, the other instructions are to knock it back, shape, score, prove, and bake. 

It is rising - slowly as expected - just wondered why the dough was so dry. Thank you.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

add up the water   250 + 250 + 250 = 750

add up the thirsty flours   1500 + 250 + 200 =  1950

Divide the water by the flour and multiply by 100 to get hydration...    38%    wow!

The dough should be anywhere from 60% upwards for your thirsty flours.  (50% with AP)    

So what is 60% of 1950g ?   1170g total water would be needed,  1170 -750 = 420  <--  this much more water is needed

How about the more reasonable 65% hydration?   1268g total water is needed,  1268 - 750 (already in the dough) = 518g

So I would say you more than likely added about half a litre of water to the coughing dry dough.    

Does that help?

The salt amount is very low.   Salt is around 2%, I tend to use less, around 1.6 to 1.8% ......  One tablespoon is about 15g of salt.  2% of 1950g flour is 39g salt,   1.8% would be 35g, and a low 1% is 19g.  Salt is important in getting a nice fermentation in the dough as well.  Taste the dough and see if it is salty enough for you.  You can easily spread it out and sprinkle some more onto it and work it in for a minute and then continue with a final shaping and rise.

Mini  

nami5602's picture
nami5602

Thank you, as I said I'm new to baking bread. The bread was actually very good, so the recipe's wrong with so little water.

The dough is salty enough for me, but possibly not for other people. 

The info about water content helped a lot. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

the error, it would be the first listing of 250ml of water.  

Because of the order of mixing, this would be the last water addition, the other amounts make sense.  it was more likely 750 and not 250.   Just a thought.   It is a nice basic recipe to play around with.

The recipe "starter" can also be referred to as a "poolish" here at TFL although it is a small one in proportion to the total flour weight.  You might want to repeat the recipe playing with a larger portion of the flour & water in the starter.  See how it affects the overall flavour.   

Mini

Davo's picture
Davo

I hate to break it to you, but that's a yeastedd bread rather than a sourdough.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

What makes you think I think otherwise?  :)

not only, it uses two kinds of instant yeast.

Davo's picture
Davo

Sorry - Mini - not meaning you - comment was to the OP....

It matters not anyway for home bakers - who cares what you call it, but when it's in a book, I find it a little annoying. Mainly because this gives credence to commercial outlets calling their bread Sourdough, when it contains yeast, and some "sourdough flavouring". 

Davo's picture
Davo

I should have hit reply under the OP, my mistake...

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

just a different kind.  But I understand where you're coming from.  It is a soured dough.  Even if no yeast was added to the starter in this recipe, it would be a sourdough according to the loose definition.