The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


kmcquade's picture

Spreadsheet for Hydration Calculation adjustments for use with starters and soakers

March 11, 2013 - 8:28am -- kmcquade

I need a few people to test out my hydration spreadsheet for determining adjusted hydrations when using a 100% starter and soakers .

Right now it only works under the assumption that you are using a 100% Starter - but I am working on that .

You can to the link and a viewer will come up , under file choose  save as excel file .

Please let me know what you think.



Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I've been trying to improve my whole wheat loaves as a project for this year. The Italian breads I thought I'd master have been put on the shelf while I work with some home milled flour that I purchased from a local farm. My results with the 1-2-3 formula have been good but I wasn't satisfied in that I felt I could do more.

So I borrowed a copy of Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads" from the Tonganoxie, KS Library through the NEKLS and cleaned my glasses before cracking open the book. So far, so good, I appreciate the added knowledge I gleaned from the pages. The concept of "epoxy breads" is interesting but I didn't want to get into that as much as I just had to figure out soakers for myself. It must have been all that talk about enzymes working over the starches that got me. It has turned out to be worthwhile.

That's what I call my first successful soaker loaf. I used 50g of whole wheat and 50g of WheatMontana's multi grain cereal, 100g water, 2g salt for the cold soaker . Some bread flour, a little more WW, water, 180g of starter, and 7g more salt ended up with very tender and flavorful crumb. I thought the crust tasted a little bit salty in the first slices but that hasn't been the case since. I have no explanation for that.

I've already got another loaf started for tomorrow's session with the flours. Since I don't have to bake for a living or for a schedule, I'm tweaking the procedures already. I'm sure that it will be edible outcome. If I can do this, everyone that is willing to try can do it too.


chyatt's picture

Old bread soakers in recipes which don't call for them

October 28, 2010 - 10:29pm -- chyatt

Quick question:

If I would like to use an old bread soaker in a recipe that does not call for it, is it a simple 1:1 substitution of soaker amount for the flower and water amounts called for in the recipe? In other words, if the bread, dry, is 120g and the water amount is 200g, can I add 120g of flower and 200g less water than is called for? Or is there more complexity afoot?

Much thanks,



JeremyCherfas's picture

Don't soak linseed (flax seeds)

March 10, 2010 - 12:09pm -- JeremyCherfas

Just a word of warning: don't soak flax seeds!

I was making my standard 33% wholewheat pagnotta with a pasta madre leaven and had run out of sesame seeds. I normally add about 100 gm of mixed pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds to the dough. So I used linseed instead, but without even thinking poured hot water over all the seeds to soak them. I know linseed goes all mucilaginous in liquids. But somehow I forgot.

breadbaby's picture

A question about soakers

February 20, 2010 - 9:22pm -- breadbaby

Hi everyone.  I have a question about soakers.  How do I decide how much water to add to a particular soaker?  The Bread Baker's Apprentice gives instructions for specfic soakers for specific recipes, but I have not seen an overall formula for deciding how much water to use.  I like to vary the amounts and kinds of soakers I use to make everyday bread baking more interesting, so it would really help if I could use a formula instead of just guess-work for the water, although I've become really pretty good at guessing.  

beeman1's picture


September 23, 2008 - 6:57pm -- beeman1

I am trying several WW breads from Reinharts Whole Grain Breads. For some reason my soakers seem to want to ferment within 6 hours. Maybee because I am grinding my own flour. Doe's anyone think this is harmfull? 

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