The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Moisture Content

Justkneadit's picture

Moisture Content

I have two questions about hydration or moisture content.

1) I am from the Tampa Bay area and once I combine all of my ingredients to make the dough I always have to add more water or what ever I am using, is that ok?

2) My other question is that once I have a dough formed and I put a little too much water in the dough can I continue to add flour as I need to obtained the desired moisture content?

Just an amateur baker trying to bake some good bread. Thanks.

MangoChutney's picture

Not much to add to those answers.  *smile*

cranbo's picture

I'll add that depending on how much more flour you end up adding, you can be subtly (or drastically) changing the flavor & texture of the bread from its intended formula. 

For example, if you end up adding a lot more flour to a wet dough to get it manageable, you are actually reducing the % of salt in the bread, or the % of sugar, etc, making it less salty/sweet/etc., and potentially changing the texture too. 

Some doughs are meant to remain wet and sticky (such as ryes, and flatbreads like ciabatta and focaccia), and instead of adding flour it's important to learn to handle these doughs properly. Oiled or wet hands, oiled or wet surface, a gentle touch and oiled/dampened bench knives or scrapers can all be helpful in working with such doughs.