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Charting ingredients - help appreciated - quick question

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Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Charting ingredients - help appreciated - quick question

Hi - would appreciate some help with charting ingredients for formulae, baker's percentages and hydration.


Just a quick question - I have a recipe with 10g diastatic malt and 10g wheat germ. As these are grains are they counted in the flour weight when calculating hydration or not? I have seen diastatic malt listed separately from flour in some calculations but am not sure if this is the general convention?


With thanks in advance for your help   Daisy_A

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Daisy_A,


I would count these in my formulae, as I think of both as behaving like flour, and taking up water.


However, they should be added to the dough in very small amounts, if you are using them as a dough improver, or, conditioner.  Excess use, even by a small amount will result in the dough breaking down rapidly.   You will also note a reduced bulk time too.


Conventionally, I suspect it is not included in the hydration calculation, but I'd need to refer to the heavier textbooks by the likes of Cauvain, or, Master Bakers to know for sure.   These are in College; I'll look it up and come back to you.


Best wishes


Andy

kermitdd's picture
kermitdd

I do not see these ingredients counted as part of the 100% flour weight in any of my textbooks.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi kermitdd,


But can you think of a reason why they are not, because I can't!


Best wishes


Andy

kermitdd's picture
kermitdd

They are usually treated as dough conditioners, not flours. In many formulas they can be left out or substituted. 


Just my opinion, but I tend to think of flour, water, salt and yeast as bread. Anything else is an additive to the basic formula. If it is a substitute for flour, water, salt or yeast it gets counted like the main ingredient, otherwise it is left separate. Milk often subs for water and would be part of the hydration, dry milk powder does not sub for anything therefore its percentage is taken compared to the 100% of flour.


Butter is often added to a dough but I never think of it as part of the hydration even though it can be upwards of 15% water. 


Sometimes there are no hard and fast rules, so then I just do what feels right to me. Rolled oats are rarely counted as part of the 100% flour yet they sure as heck have an effect on hydration. I still leave them out of the 100% flour yet I do consider their effect on my formula. I have a formula for Irish Soda Bread that uses buttermilk to give 100% hydration yet the final dough acts like about 60% hydro after adding the oats. In my mind it is still a 100% hydro formula.


Sorry if I am rambling. I guess I just see dough as more of a friend or pet to have fun with rather then hard and fast numbers. I can quickly calculate any numbers I want and often play with the numbers to get the desired results but I never worry too much about the numbers or I find that the joy of spending time playing with my friend quickly leaves.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi


I definitely agree with you about these ingredients being additives.


That being the case, and the level of addition being so small, it is probably seen as pointless to include in the hydration calculation, even tho' it would still take up a tiny amount of the water.


That makes good sense to me.   Oats and other ingredients used in soakers etc, really do affect the hydration, as you say.   If I can find a way, I like to try and include them, but it's not that easy.   Otherwise, the hydration information can become meaningless, in some ways.


I wholly agree about the dough being a friend; it's the senses that tell you if your friend is happy, not the number-crunching


Thanks for your reply


Andy

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Andy and kermitdd,


Many thanks indeed for the detailed feedback - it is much appreciated.


I've used oats in a beer flavoured sourdough and did find it had an effect on how the dough worked so may count those as flour for now. As for wheat germ and diastatic malt, I'll probably treat them as bread improvers, then. In the recipes I'm looking at, the percentages are around 1% of final dough weight. Andy- thanks for the advice on how these might effect the dough. The formula I'm looking at lists the diastatic malt as optional so I could leave it out.


I'm with you both on the preference for prioritizing flour, water, yeast and salt above all. I haven't consciously used any dough improvers at all in my sourdoughs. The interest in malt came from the observation that the best sourdough so far was made with (heated) beer and I wondered if the malt played a part in that as the beer yeasts would have been burnt off.


I can't help thinking, however, that the answer to producing stronger dough is one provided already by Andy, that is getting some stronger flour. I have got a 'wish list' at Shipton Mill but there will be a wait while that comes by mail. Have just found that some of the posher farm shops around here stock some Bacheldre Mill that might fill the gap. Remains to be seen, however, whether I will be able to score some good bread flour or whether it will all be Wallace and Gromit muffin mix...(has its place but not what I need).


kermitdd - I love your image of the dough as a pet or friend with whom you can have some joyful moments. I do really look forward to bread making and there are moments that I really love, like kneading. I find I am growing in confidence with yeasted breads that I have made more than once but with sourdough there are so many more variables.


Sometimes it's a joyful journey - when my best-looking loaf came out of the oven I even felt a sense of elation. However I'm so new to all this and so are my starters, which means that as on every steep learning curve there are lots of moments of sheer bewilderment. I don't bring all the knowledge that you have, the ability to crunch numbers in my head, all the experience of previous doughs that have been shaped under your hands! It must be good to be in that place.Your love of your craft really comes across.


I don't think I'm a severe 'dough discipliner', however: I love to be creative. Nevertheless, if my 'dough pet' is lying down and refusing to get up or bolting for the (oven) door before I've got the lead on I don't always know why or what to do with it. Having a chart gives me some kind of map, although I do always diverge from it if the dough seems to require different treatment, Drawing up a chart and making notes on what actually happened with the dough also allows me to share the information quickly with more experienced bakers, like Andy, and get valuable feedback. Please believe that I don't let the chart dominate the whole show. At the moment I'm struggling to keep my sourdough structure healthy through long fermentations so am looking for formulae and methods that use shorter (around 4-4.5 hours max.) proofing times or increase dough strength.


Ah well, will see what those new flours contribute.


Thanks again to both of you for the information and thought-provoking reflections on bread making.  Daisy_A


 


 

kermitdd's picture
kermitdd

Bread A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes by Master Baker Jeffrey Hamelman taught me all the basics that I still build on today. I had never baked a loaf of bread before reading his book and now I can do things with bread that Certified Working Pastry Chefs and Certified Executive Pastry Chefs tell me bread isn't supposed to be able to do. Read the book. Take everything he says to heart. Make a few of his formulas and then, when you are comfortable with real bread, be it sourdough or commercial yeast, let your imagination take over.


I am not saying that the numbers aren't important. I still keep track of everything. I DO NOT let the numbers get in my way. They are there in the event that something doesn't work out. I have something to fall back on. I have had failures but, like riding a horse, if you fall you have to get back on.


I keep ALL non-flour ingredients out of the 100% because, if I do have an issue it is easier to adjust everything if the flour stays constant.


Look at it like this:


Basic bread


Flour 100%


Water 67%


Salt 2%


Yeast 1%


now lets add some malted barley powder to the formula:



Flour 100%


Water 67%


Salt 2%


Yeast 1%


Malted Barley Powder 0.1%


The above is crystal clear but lets say I count it as part of the 100% flour


Flour and Malted Barley Powder 100%


Water 67%


Salt 2%


Yeast 1%


Which of those two do you want to bake?


Flour is always 100%. Everything else is a percentage of the flour. The only place Jeffrey varies from this is with meal like corn meal or rye chops. 



 


Phillip Schmidt


How can a nation be great is its bread tastes like Kleenex? - Julia Child

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Many thanks for the recommendation. It is a fortuitous one as this very book should be winging its way to me by mail right now! It was Andy's best recommendation too, so I'll see that as doubly good. I'm looking forward to using and perusing it.


I have only been baking sourdough for a matter of weeks. Have baked some good and one super sourdough but at as the weather changes and effects the starters I'm finding it harder to get a consistently good-looking loaf, although they all taste better than those from the shop. I'm sure the Hamelman will make a difference. Have read that his explanation of technique is very good.


Right now though, it's back on the horse. Does remind me of horse riding actually, trying to manage the starters. The white wheat is like a bay mare to handle; rye, well that's an arab cross - powerful but sometimes hard to rein in!


Thanks also for your illustration of the formula. Kind regards, Daisy_A