The Fresh Loaf

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Dough doesn't look wet enough

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the3rdPoliceman's picture
the3rdPoliceman

Dough doesn't look wet enough

Hi,

I'm new to baking, and am following instructions from Peter Reinhart's book, along with a few of his video clips from Youtube. I'm making an 80% hydration dough, for Pain a la Ancienne.

My worry is that when I look at his dough on youtube, it's much wetter than mine. I guess my flour is a bit different than his. I'd be interested to know if people think I should stick to his proportions and have a dryer looking dough, or add a bit more water to get a similar consistency to what i see on his video.

Thanks in advance,

Dave

DivingDancer's picture
DivingDancer

Are you measuring your flour by weight, or by volume?

the3rdPoliceman's picture
the3rdPoliceman

I'm measuring by weight. It's the second time i've tried the recipe, so I was extra careful when measuring out.

Guess it could be that my flour is different.

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

type temperature humidity all play into the final outcome. A bread you made in the middle of winter will appear different then the one made in summer. After a couple hundred loaves you get an idea of what to expect both visually and by feel. I take notes and sometime even a digital photo to remind me that I did indeed say "this seems really wet" the last time I baked it. Trust me unless you have a computer like recollection of recipes or stick to only one recipe it really pays to write side notes. Wetter dough will provide a more open crumb...so I suggest you bake it as you measured and compare visual results with his final product. Keep us posted

the3rdPoliceman's picture
the3rdPoliceman

I went ahead and baked the recipe, as suggested. It turned out pretty decent. Perhaps not quite as airy as the picture in the book, but not too far away. 

All in all i'm pretty satisfied. I'll try adding a bit more water next time, to get the dough consistency Peter had, and see what that does to the texture.

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

will give you more air. Good luck!!

the3rdPoliceman's picture
the3rdPoliceman

Thanks for the advice :-)

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

it once again as soon as possible with the same environmental conditions and add an additional amount of water that you note well and see what that brings. If you weighed and calculated it to be 80% that should be a fairly wet dough already. Note well also your time in the mixer and additional stretch and folds so you have as much consistency as you can with the things you can actually control. Measuring the actual dough temperature is yet another control you can put in place. Mixers run at different speeds and length of time will produce different results. Taking an extremely wet dough and doing the stretch and fold over the course of 2-3 hours will change both the look and feel as well as the workable nature so you end up with a dough that will hold its shape during a final proof as opposed to one that spreads like lava from a volcano.