The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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robin8's picture


I wonder if anyone here could explain to me what for example 100% hydration or 65% hydration means. I've seen that in a couple of recipes. It could say for example    0.75oz starter 100% hydration and I don't know what that means.

Crider's picture

Just like bread dough formulas. A 100% hydration starter will have an equal amount (by weight) of flour and water. A 75% hydration starter will have an amount of water equal to 75% of the weight of the flour.

holmcooked's picture

The percent sign threw me off too when I first started baking with weights. I will never understand why they don't call it a baker's ratio instead of a baker's formula/percentage/math. I get the feeling that most bread book authors and editors didn't do very well in their math classes.

In my ideal world they'd list true percentages instead of ratios. That way if I want to bake a 1 lb loaf of bread I just multiply the true percentage of ingredient by 16 oz to find how much flour/water/etc should be used. Or if I want to make a 2 lb loaf I multiply everything by 32 oz. But that would be far too easy. 

halfrice's picture

Metric and baker's % go hand in hand. You only need to know the amount of flour you are using, you'll have all the other measurements in your head in 2 secs. I'm sure you'll grow to love it.