The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hydration % Calculation

Grenage's picture

Hydration % Calculation

Hi there,

I'm wondering whether people include levain flour and water into their calculations, when working out hydration levels.  Assuming my levain is a mass of 100% just-fed starter; if I bake a loaf with 100g levain, 200g water, and 300g flour - do I have:

a) 66.6%  (200/300) x 100
b) 71.4% (250/350) x 100

I assume that I would have 'b', but assumptions have gotten me into trouble before now...

Grenage's picture

Thank you, Millstone, for the great links.

So it is 'b'; case closed!

tn gabe's picture
tn gabe

Not sure about the links, but it's 'number B' for total hydration.

Grenage's picture

Yes, I should really have said that Millstone sent me a message with the links:

The latter was particularly convenient (and colourful :).

breadforfun's picture

There was a thread on TFL a few months ago that referred to this link from Bread Bakers Guild of America.  It also has a link to a "standard" spreadsheet for calculating percentage.  Interestingly, the spreadsheet doesn't indicate a calculation for the final hydration after all the preferments, but it show the totals for each ingredient, so it is easy to calculate.  I believe that in "Bread" Hamelman follows this format.



proth5's picture

the BBGA standard does indeed include a calculation for the "final hydration after all the pre ferments."  That is the exact purpose of the "total formula" columns - the ingredients for the pre ferements are subtracted from this to give the flour and water amounts for the final dough (note that there are no baker's percentages there - they have been covered in the baker's percentages of the Total Formula and Preferments columns.)

A small thing, perhaps, but if you bake using the total formula  and pre ferements columns rather than the pre ferment and final dough columns - you may get some odd results...

Hope this helps.

Grenage's picture

That's a great document, thank you for sharing; I've grabbed a copy!