The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Determining hydration with powdered milk

chasenpse's picture

Determining hydration with powdered milk

How would one determine the final hydration of a dough that calls for powdered milk (or any powder/dry ingredient), would you simply divide your overall water content by your dry ingredient weight?

water / (flour + powdered milk) - is this correct?

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

When using baker's percent, all ingredients (powdered milk, salt, water, everything) are expressed as a percentage of the total flour weight. Water absorption is defined as water/flour. This absorption may vary as you add additional ingredients to the dough (such as powdered milk).

chasenpse's picture

Correct, so if I was using this recipe (purely as an example):

100% flour - 300g
65% water - 195g
15% powdered milk - 45g
2% salt - 6g

The powdered milk would alter the hydration so my guess is that it's not at 65%, my question is how would you take this into consideration?


dabrownman's picture

common sense and experience when figuring hydration and where I want to be.  For Flour water salt and yeast this is pretty easy.  300g of water and 400 g of flour would give you a 75% hydration dough which may be where you want to be for say a white bread.  But if you toss in 15 g of VWG because you are using low protein AP flour, 10 g of potato flakes to improve flavor and you add int 5 g each of red and white malts trying to improve flavor, color and enzymatic action then all of the sudden you are really at 69% hydration and may not get the dough you after.

I personally add anything that affects hydration on the dry and wet side and would increase the liquid above to 326 g to compensate for the extra 35 g of dry stuff that will soak it up.  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

instead of water,  I would have to divide it up using approximately 10% of the milk weight as dry weight and the rest as water.  Your recipe is already divided so add the milk pwd to the flour weight to figure the hydration.