The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

High hydration dough

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alhbamboo's picture
alhbamboo

High hydration dough

It has been a while since I've visited so pardon if I'm going over well traveled ground.

The usual no-knead bread is composed of dough with high hydration. Presumably the high moisture content permits a very effective autolyse which results in gluten development without kneading. However the reulting dough is so slack that, unless the loaf is contained, it tends to collapse and does not gain much height even with oven spring. I've had success in maintaining shape after proofing in a banneton by cooling the loaf in the banneton after it has risen for a couple of hours - or overnight in the refriferator. The cold dough is considerably stiffer so that when it is teipped out of the banneton and hits the oven heat enough of a crust forms to maintain shape. I've tried this at a hydration of 78% using KA AP flour. For a 1 3/4 lb loaf I use 506 g flour, 384 g water, 11 g salt and 20 g of a 125% hydration starter. I bake in a cloche at 475F for 1/2 hr, remove the top and brown at 450F for 10-12 minutes. This results in a rather strong sourdough. If I use a large aliquot of starter (190g with the flour and water adjusted accordingly) I get a faster rise and a much weaker sourdough

My apologies if all this is old hat to the bakers out there but I was pleased to discover these techniques and use them to my satisfaction. I'm eager to hear theexperience of others.