The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Too Much Moisture - Finished Loaf

donsabi's picture

Too Much Moisture - Finished Loaf

I have been using a recipe for french bread that normally works very well for me. However, once in a while I will get loaf that looks done, temperature about 205 degrees, but still had some moisture close to the crust. I use a Kitchenaid to mix and knead and using the same ingredients and amounts my dough does feel more staturated from time to time at the end of the kneading time. I think I should add more flour to correct but am not sure what the effect of over kneading would be. I am using good ingredients, King Authur flour, filtered wated, etc.. Comments appreciated.

mcs's picture

If you're using the same ingredients, quantities, and mixing methods each time, then there shouldn't be too much of a difference in moisture content each time.  If you're using volume (cups) instead of weight (grams or ounces) then I would use a scale.  If you're already using a scale, then the temperature difference of the flour and water could have a similar type of effect that you're describing.  If your flour is warm one day and you use warm water it'll feel a lot looser than using cold flour on another day. 
Over kneading and adding too much flour can both cause the dough to be too tough.  This will cause a more closed crumb since it can't expand enough in the oven which means you'll also have a tougher final product since your bread will be denser than it needs to be.


Cooky's picture

I have found the insights of Danielle Forestier ( very useful on this. She says that the moisture level in flour can vary, depending on where and how it is packaged, shipped and stored even before you buy it.

Her advice is to always use exactly the same measurement of flour, and adjust the water as needed. For instance, if the recipe calls for, say, a cup and a half of water, she would hold back about a quarter cup until the ingredients are mixed, then add more in small amounts (a tablespoon or two at a time) if needed. Same thing would apply if you need a touch more than the recipe requires.