The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

bakers percentages

brianm's picture

bakers percentages

I like to make a loaf with added oats/seeds/rye grains etc. I normally stick to bakers flour/water percentages, such as those laid out by Peter Reinhart and do not include the weight of the seeds & grains in my ratios, am I incorrect in doing this?

wally's picture

You definitely should include the weights of all ingredients as well as their percentages. The oats and seeds additionally will impact the hydration in your recipe - both soak up significant liquid, so unless you increase the overall hydration you're likely going to create a very dry loaf.

A good way to ge t started is to find some recipes that incorporate seeds and other grains. You'll find that the doughs are initially wetter after mixing, but quickly lose their stickiness as the seeds absorb water. And you'll also notice the higher hydration levels called for in the recipes versus ones that don't include seeds, etc.


Chuck's picture

Here's what I do: Whatever seeds/fruit/nuts/grains I'm going to use, after pre-measuring in advance I cover them with water and let them soak for several hours. Then I put them in a strainer over a bowl until long after they've quit dripping (maybe a quarter hour, maybe even a half hour). (I then use the collected water  --measured of course-- as part of the hydration in my recipe.) The end result is my addition has "neutral" hydration and doesn't screw up the recipe. When I mix it into the dough, the hydration neither rises nor falls very much at all.