The Fresh Loaf

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Reinhart's Light Wheat Bread: Am I reading this wrong?

HappyBreadHouse's picture
HappyBreadHouse

Reinhart's Light Wheat Bread: Am I reading this wrong?

Hi Fresh Loaf People...

I received the Bread Baker's Apprentice for Christmas.  I am a long time home baker, but I was interested in trying Reinhart's formulas and (I hope) learning new ideas about bread baking.

The first formula I tried was his "Light Wheat Bread."  This seemed like a simple starting place in his book.

I was surprised at how dry the formula was... 55.6% hydration?  I am used to much wetter dough (65% minumum), but I thought I would try to follow his directions before going my own way.

His recipe was for only a single loaf, so I used the baker's % to scale up:

 overallgrams
wheat flour37.50%797.7
white flour62.50%1329.4
water55.60%1182.7
salt2.10%44.7
yeast0.94%20.0
Honey4.20%89.3
Dried Milk5.60%119.1
Butter5.60%119.1
total174%3702

 

The resulting dough was nearly unworkable.  I finally broke down and added more (and more) water (about 250 g more).

Revised formula:

wheat flour797.737.50%
white flour1329.462.50%
water1432.767.35%
salt44.72.10%
yeast20.00.94%
Honey89.34.20%
Dried Milk119.15.60%
Butter119.15.60%
total3952.0185.79%

The loaves are in the oven now, but I don't have high hopes for how they will turn out.  I think the dough was abused too much in the process.

I found a post here where someone also added additional water and was happy with the result.  My question is... has anyone had sucess with the formula as written?  Or is it me... have I misunderstood how I should be applying the formula?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/12095/gluten-development#comment-69076

ran a quick search and found enough comments to convince me to add more water.   I see you updated while I was typing....   Upped the hydration to 67%   I love to abuse dough, it will come out ok.  I'll keep my fingers crossed.

:)

HappyBreadHouse's picture
HappyBreadHouse

Thanks for the reply.   I posted some pictures of the finished loaves here:

http://happybreadhouse.com/post/15149775644/bread-fail-first-bread-of-2012-i-received-a-new

The results were edible, but that's about it.  The main problem was that, by the time I had worked in the additional water, etc., the dough had gotten pretty hot.   I would be curious to try the revised formula from the start and see if it works out.

I've been trying to understand how the formula could be so dry. 

It occurred to me that the dry milk solids (DMS) could be a factor.  According to "How Baking Works" (Paula Figoni), DMS will absorb their weight in water.  That would account for at least half of the additional water I added.  I also set up everything the night before.  In doing so, I added the honey to the water.  Since honey is hydroscopic, I wonder if it absorbed enough of the water to throw the formula off.  I have no idea how much atual water honey will absorb, however.

Question: I'm still curious about 55.6%.  Is this a typical hydration for "sandwich" bread?  Again... my experience is more in the 65% to 75% range, so I don't know what normal is.

pointygirl's picture
pointygirl

From the formula you have posted the total hydration is not 55.6%.  It is 61.2%.  55.6% water + 5.6% milk.  Liquid milk counts.  When you changed it to dry milk without adding any water to compensate,  you made it even dryer than 55.6.

HappyBreadHouse's picture
HappyBreadHouse

Thanks, PonyGirl...  

I thought the same thing.  The recipe in the book called for dry milk, so I swalllowed my doubts and followed directions.

I made the bread again this week -- with a couple adjustments. 

  • I decided to use a preferment, mixing up all the whole wheat flour with an equal amount of water (and a pinch of yeast).
  • I reduced the amount of total yeast (0.5% baker's percentage)
  • I added water to compensate for the dry milk (I brought it up to 65% hydration).

In general, I was happy with the result.  I think I cut the yeast back too much -- the final rise took forever!

Here are some pics...

Before:

After:

 

 

 overall grams  poolish grams  dough grams 
wheat flour37.50%404.1  100.0%404.1     
white flour62.50%673.5      100.0%673.5 
water65.00%700.5  100.0%404.1  44.0%296.3 
salt2.10%22.6      3.4%22.6 
yeast0.94%10.1  0.2%0.8  1.4%9.3 
Honey4.20%45.3      6.7%45.3 
Dried Milk5.60%60.3      9.0%60.3 
Butter5.60%60.3       60.3 
poolish        120.1%809.0207 
total183%1976.8  200%809.0207  285%1976.8