The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hydration videos

VonildaBakesBread's picture
VonildaBakesBread

Hydration videos

Is there anywhere I can see a video, or videos, that show me what a 75% hydration, and a 60% hydration dough "should" look like? Would whole wheat and white look the same with the same hydration? My grandma always "knew" what it should look like, but I was just a teen and didn't pay much attention. *facepalm*

Blessings,

Voni

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Here's a video showing 59% hydration at different levels of kneadinghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBZFYzeK1Vo

Whole wheat doughs will look much drier for the same hydration; in my experience there can be about up to 10% difference, i.e., a 60% hydrated WW dough will look closer to a 50% hydrated white dough. 

In a very general way: a soft, smooth, satiny dough surface that is tacky (like a Post-It note) but not sticky indicates sufficient dough development. In the above video, look at the difference in the later phases of the dough from the beginning; a bit hard to tell on screen. Early on, it looks shaggy and pockmarked; later it has a smooth, somewhat tight surface, like a fresh baked dinner roll.

Beware: on some cases that smoothness can mean the dough slightly overdeveloped; also the smooth/satiny/tacky guideline also doesn't hold up too well for really wet doughs, rye doughs, and whole grain breads. 

VonildaBakesBread's picture
VonildaBakesBread

Wow. If it's supposed to look drier when it's whole wheat, I'd hate to see my dough if I used white. It is shaggy and sticks all over my hands and the counter and everything. It's about 72-75% hydration formula. For dough development, does that mean more kneading, then? More flour? Rest time? Thanks for teaching me!

cranbo's picture
cranbo

For 75% hydration for a whole wheat (or white, for that matter), it means you need more development. 

You can develop your dough in several ways: 

  1. autolyse (mix all but salt and yeast, rest 20-30 min, then add salt and yeast)
  2. knead for long periods of time (in a stand mixer, for at least 10 min at medium speed, or by hand for 10-20 minutes, depending on how effective your kneading technique is). 
  3. use stretch-and-fold techinque to build strength (every 30 minutes during bulk fermentation until you have achieved the texture you desire). 

Some combination of the 3 techniques will get you to where you need to be. 

If it's shaggy and it sticks to everything, knead more. Eventually it will become significantly less sticky. 

 

VonildaBakesBread's picture
VonildaBakesBread

I will have to learn the stretch-and-fold and see how it compares with autolyze and kneading with the same recipe. I love how this group encourages me to experiment! thanks, Cranbo!

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Voni,

Take 100 units by weight of flour and add 70 units of water, and voilà a 70% hydrated dough of flour and water.  You could do this by the gram (100 grams of flour and 70 grams of water) and use very little flour for the experiment.  Do this with, white, whole wheat, a mix or whatever flour you are curious about.  Measure (weigh both the flour and the water) very carefully, mix and then check on your dough every hour for a few hours and you will see how it changes.  Short of having a teacher by your side, this is an excellent training exercise.  You can create a little ball of dough of any hydration and best of all it is with your flour and that is the flour that really matters.

Jeff

VonildaBakesBread's picture
VonildaBakesBread

Great idea, Jeff! A little bit scientific, yes? Wish I had a teacher on my little Alaska island, but it's forcing me to be a little experimental, and think and learn on my own, which is also good. Thanks.