The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

hydration ratio content?

  • Pin It
MISSiShrimpi's picture

hydration ratio content?


I often see posts/recipes referring to having a 70-75% hydration content.

How does one measure for hydration rate other than weighing the

original amount of flour and water? Sorry if this is a stupid question

but want to learn. Thanks

Yumarama's picture

as a stupid question except the one never asked.

I'm not sure why you would specify "without weighing" except to presume you don't have a scale to do so. If that's the case, then in order to know what the hydration percentage of a dough is you will need to go get one because the percentage is based on the weights. X grams of flour to X grams of water = your percentage. You can't really get away from weighing it.

Volume won't work since a "cup" of flour is too flexible and each cup, measured out by the same person each time, can still vary greatly in weight.

MISSiShrimpi's picture

Thanks very much for your explanation. I do measure by weight, I just thought maybe there was some "magic hydration meter" I was unaware of. LOL.

Thanks again very much.

Yumarama's picture

But you still need to know and input the weights of flour and liquids (water, milk, juice, etc.), and the "magic number wizard" (a.k.a. a calculator) will divine the magical percentage for you.

The "Magic" may or may not require batteries. :)

I likely don't have to add this but will in case anyone is unsure:

The formula for calculating basic hydration percentage is very simple: liquid weight divided by flour weight. So if we have:

150g of flour and 100g of liquid, 100 ÷ 150 = .666 or 67%

354g of flour and 189g liquid, 189 ÷ 354 = .5338 or 53%

173g flour and 219g liquid, 219 ÷ 173 = 1.2658 or 126%

Now please note that this isn't "Baker's Math" - that measures total flour against everything else (salt, yeast, water, eggs, etc.) so you'll want to look that up too.

flournwater's picture

Here's a link that will help you get started with understanding bakers percentages (AKA bakers math)

P.S.  If you fail to ask the questions that might help prevent a failure you have failed.

If you don't know or are unsure of the answer to any question, stupidity exists only in the failure to pose the question to someone who might know the answer.

Pjacobs's picture

Dear Miss,

Flour ALWAYS weighs 100 percent

Everything else is a percentage of that.


40 ounces of flour

60% of that is 24 ounces of water

The hydration is equal to 60 percent

 at 70 percent you will need 28 ounces of water and so on.

If you are making only 2 or three loaves, that's all you need to weigh because for a small amount like two or three loave, the weight of the rest of the incredients won" matter. More that that you will need to figure out a percentage (yes, by weight) always by weight if you are a serious baker, for the rest yeast, oil, salt etc.


marc's picture

And then, to carry the concept a bit farther—I have a recipe that doesn't quite make enough dough to fill two bannetons, yet putting the entire recipe is one banneton is too much, and of course, then I don't have a loaf to spare for my neighbor. 

First figure out how much dough you want. Let's say you want 1400 grams of total dough when all is said and done—or should I say, mixed and done.

Total up all of your percentages in whatever formula you are working from.


25% starter + 66% water + 100% flour + 2% salt = 1.93

.25 + .66 + 1 + .02 = 1.93

Then divided total dough you want, i.e. 1400 by 1.93 = 725.38.

Thus, 725 grams would be your total flour—if rounded to the nearest whole number.

Now, you can figure out your new weights for your other ingredients.

starter: .25 x 725 = 31.25 g

water: .66 x 725 = 478.5g

and so on.

From there, you can work out the math of you flour if you are mixing various flour to make the total. (i.e. 50%bread, 40% all-purpose, 10% whole wheat—whatever combination that adds up to 100%)