The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hydration Question

wizarddrummer's picture

Hydration Question

Hi everyone,

I have a love for assembling ingredients that explode with rich textures and flavors like paints on a canvas or musical notes heard in an orchestra. I've learned many things in other areas and now I want to move on to another level. Breads and other "yeastie" items are my last hurdle so to speak.

I stumbled on to this site for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Baking Enthusiasts ... I am thinking this could be really good!

My first question has to do with hydration.

I've seen lots of recipes and helpful hints for pizza dough.

If it is not too much to ask, I would like a small chemistry lesson of sorts.

I've seen hydration percentages from 58% to more than 70% in reference to pizza dough. I seem to recall seeing percentages that were even greater for some other types of breads

Currently, I have an oven that will go to 550F. I hope that I will be able to build my wood burning oven within a year. So for now this will have to do.

Can anyone explain what would happen to the finished product (pizza) cooked at 550F with the various hydration percentages?

How are hydration and temperature related? Cooking a pizza at between 850F and 900F vs cooking a pizza (or perhaps, any dough) at 550F; Do you need more hydration at a higher temperature?

I am hoping someone else has fiddled with this and has from trial and error learned this information.

In a sense I am looking for a hydration "chart" of sorts. I am sure that there is a recommendation for what would be considered near perfect, but I like to know the "what's going on under the hood, what's happening in the engine" kinds of things.

Perhaps a chart is not a good way to express this. I don't know.

55% would result in:

60% would result in:

65% would result in:


75% would result in:

Thanks, in advance for any help.



milwaukeecooking's picture


60-65%=most breads (sandwich loaf, hearth breads, many free standing breads)


75-80%=ciabatta and focaccia


Generally my pizza dough is 65-70% but that is my personal preference.  Under 65% and it is difficult to sheet.  However, if I am making a thin crust pizza I will go down to 50% hydration. 

La masa's picture
La masa

45%=candeal (a traditional Castilian bread)

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost Absolutely, pizza experts(for the amatuer).


wizarddrummer's picture

thanks to every for your answers.