The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

enriching white flour

bartwin's picture

enriching white flour

I would like to put back some bran and wheat germ into my white flour bread recipes.  Does anyone know what that translates to in terms of additional water per cup of flour?


cranbo's picture

I suppose it depends on how much bran or wheat germ you add in. From what I've read wheat bran absorbs a lot of water. I don't know about wheat germ.

One thing you could do is soak the germ and bran in water for 15 or more minutes, then squeeze all the water out. That should give you a mixture that's fairly hydration neutral, so you should be able to add it to your recipe without significant adjustments in water. 

Of course, you could test it out:


  1. Take 100g of wheat germ.
  2. Add 100g of water.
  3. Let it soak for 15 minutes. 
  4. Squeeze as much water out as possible from the hydrated germ, but save it in a container.
  5. Weigh the leftover water. Subtract that from 100g, and that should tell you how much water was absorbed by the germ. 


Repeat the experiment for your bran.

Does that help?

bartwin's picture

worth a try!  thanks very much.

Breadandwine's picture

I recently began adding ground flax seed to my regular recipe.

To 600g of wholemeal and 100g white I always used 500g of water, which gave me a sticky dough. When I began adding 60g of flax seeds to the batch, I found, by adding extra water a dessertspoon at a time, that it needed an extra 35g. Now I routinely use 535g of water.

It's the feel of a dough that I go by. If it's not sticky enough - add more water - if it's too wet, a little flour.

Here's the method I use, on my blog:

Cheers, Pau

bartwin's picture

thanks so much, Pau. Now I have two - or more -experiments to run.  I copied your method from your blog, so I'm good to go in the next few days.  

Breadandwine's picture

No problem, bartwin!

I wondered why you called me 'Pau' - and thought it was a typo.

Then I looked at my original message and saw that it was indeed a typo - mine!

Good luck with the bread!

Cheers, Paul