The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baker's Percentage Question

shimpiphany's picture

Baker's Percentage Question

Does the addition of wheat bran or other additions affect the total flour weight?  before i start to play with my basic whole wheat recipe, i want to make sure i'm getting the hydration right.



dghdctr's picture

Vital wheat gluten, for instance, since it is wheat-derived, is sometimes considered part of the total flour when defining the benchmark "100%."  It is very water-absorbent, and it needs to be salted like any other flour, so thinking of it as part of the total flour can certainly be explained.  Of course, some people don't include it as part of the flour weight.

Wheat bran could be thought of in terms of flour weight as well, even though it is not quite as absorbent as Vital Wheat Gluten.  You can include it in the "total flour weight" if you like.

On the other hand, you could also treat it like the dry ingredient in a soaker, and soak it ahead of time in just enough water that will be absorbed before any dough mixing takes place.  In that scenario, both the bran and the soaking water are considered separately from the "total flour" or "total water" listed in the formula.

I suppose you could add the bran as if it were just another dry ingredient in the dough, but it is fairly water-absorbent, so you'll have to take that into account when determining the total water in the formula.

--Dan DiMuzio