The Fresh Loaf

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Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour Hydration

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Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour Hydration

Typically approx. how much more % hydration does stone ground whole wheat flour take than regular whole wheat flour?


golgi70's picture

varies based on type of wheat, variety, and vintage. I've gone over 100% with some and down in the 80s with other hard wheats. starting low for autolyse and adjusting based on consistency is a good way to find your number. Also if you know the grower they may have specs to save you from the testing 


dabrownman's picture

that Josh has hit on I agree with and maybe a  couple things I will add.  First is making sure to do a longer autolyse to make sure that the flour soaks up as much water as it can - I use 4 hours as a minimum.  Two start low - say 80% for the autolyse.  You can always add more if you dissolve the salt in more water when you add it and squish the dough through your fingers.  You can get the feel of the dough that way - after it has autolysed.  You can tell pretty quick by feel at that point.  Like Josh says whole grain flour can be all over the board and 'green' home milled  grain is even more thirsty.  For a 100% multi-grain bread with home milled flours,  we have been around 91-92%% here lately just to get them to slap and fold half decent and that is 2 slaps to 1 fold :-)  But they shape for baskets well  If i'm going to pan it ,100% for the same flour isn't too much so it depends on how you are shaping and baking it too.

Hope thos helps John - Hope business goes well.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Thanks man...This latest attempt at stone ground ww loaves were a success, probably most in part to a long autolyse - about 5 hours.  The problem I had was that I did not have much water to use in the final dough flour in autolyse.  Some water was in the levain, and some in the soaker, so I only had so much to work with in the autolyse.  The ball of autolyse dough was very dry and hard.  I am sure it still helped however.  For next time, if I run into this issue, can I add the soaker grains as well for added hydration to the autolysing dough?  Or will this cause some issues with enzymes, etc.?