The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Scott Grocer's picture

Hydration: Effect of potatoes?

February 22, 2011 - 5:25pm -- Scott Grocer

Does anybody have a good rule of thumb for calculating the hydration of a dough when it includes plain, cooked and mashed potato?

According to the USDA: Potatoes, baked, flesh, without salt (100 grams) contain on average 75.42 grams of water. That sounds right I guess, but how much of that moisture is available to the dough, and how should I adjust hydration in relation to potato content?


crazyknitter's picture

soaker: buttermilk/yogurt verses water??

November 1, 2010 - 7:25am -- crazyknitter

I am wondering something.

I made Peter Reinharts' whole wheat bread with soaker and biga.  In the soaker, since I didn't have any buttermilk (and my buttermaker died on me - and I didn't have time to make butter by hand) I used some fresh (but older milk).

My bread turned out wonderful!  I was so pleased.

Well, now that I am back to square one with no butter milk, I am wondering how water will fare in a soaker in my bread?

Can anyone share some insight with me?



CT's picture


July 18, 2010 - 9:46pm -- CT



I'm new to baking bread, but I've made  a few different breads from a few recipes by now.  Every time I make bread I end up with the same problem: The recipe always specifies too little water.  usually by a lot (25-50%).  This is the case if i measure the flour by weight or volume.  Why is this?


suzanne pepin's picture
suzanne pepin

Ok, this is my first entry into my personal blog and hopefully not my last one (excuse my syntaxe as French is my first language...).

It has been a long journey into trials and errors, but I kept my passion for making the perfect sourdough bread and today, I believe I have achieved the beginning of the perfect sourdough loaf, for myself anyway.

So here it is... I follow these instructions from Susan from San diego, up to the 'T' without changing a thing.  Et voilà, my perfect sourdough bread is borned.

It was made with my homemade starter 'Bécacine', borned May 05 2010.  The smell of sourdough is very present and I am so pleased with the easiness of this method.  For baking, I used the method 'Roasting lid' because this method seems to work the best for my condition at the moment : living 6,000 feet above the sea level in high altitude, in central Mexico, and I have to make breads with what I have around me and not always run to the store, which is pratically, non-existant here. 

For the colander, I replaced it with a straw bowl for tortilla, well floured, and cover with a coton dish towel, it worked like a charm. I don't have a pizza stone so I used the back of my cast iron pot to deposit the bread to be on it.  It did the job also.

Now, my big problem was to understand the process because here, everything with yeast in it will raise very quickly but also go down very fast because of the altitude, some days are better than others...  So the manipulation of the dough had to be restricted to a minimum and had to be studied closely to know the right time to move it.

It has been a long journey since May 05.  This bread is my 13th bread.  All the others ended up in the field for the birds, the snakes, black widow, scorpions, fire ants, etc... around me.  I could have kept them for building a wall of brick actually.

So it shows that it is not only a recipe that makes the perfect dish, it is the 'knowing how to cook, bake' that makes the difference, the location we live also and the passion for it.

boxodough's picture

water or dough temperature?

July 21, 2009 - 9:22pm -- boxodough

Hi all,


Newb here and I hope my questions not been covered before so here goes.  When I disolve my yeast recipes typically say 110-115f degrees but then after mixing (kitchen aide stand mixer) my dough temperature is very much warmer than what I understand it should be.  90 as opposed to 75ish?  So, what's more important here, my water temp to disolve yeast or dough temperature...or am I completely mixed up?  I'd really appreciate some help and clarification here!




acuthbert's picture

What consistancy should the dough be before kneading?

July 18, 2009 - 3:35am -- acuthbert

Hi there, I'm fairly new to bread making and bake bread by hand. I keep hearing about the perils of using too much or too little water in recipes, however I can't quite find anyone how can give an accurate description of what the dough should feel like if it's right. I'm talking here about a standard sandwhich loaf.


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