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What happened to my dough?

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sirrith's picture
sirrith

What happened to my dough?

I'm making my regular baguette recipe (9% protein T65 flour, 65% hydration, poolish), and because normally the dough is a bit too wet for my liking, I decided to reduce the hydration to 62%.  However, instead of becoming easier to work with, the dough actually got even stickier!  The only other thing I changed was going from a 30% of total flour poolish down to 12% of total flour.  The dough was so sticky that it was almost impossible to work with, it acted more like the 80% hydration ciabatta I made a while back.   I did about 5-7 minutes of slap & fold, which did not improve anything; gluten development was there, it passed the windowpane test easily, but it did not behave anything like a 62% hydration dough.  Against my better judgment, I had to add a large quantity of flour to get it to the state where I could form it into a ball.  Now I'm waiting for it to rise so I can divide and shape, then bake and see what results I get (I am expecting a disaster).

Does anyone have any idea why this would happen?  I did open a new bag of flour (same brand same type), could it be a bad batch of flour?  Could reducing the poolish to 12% instead of 30% cause this? 

Thanks

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

How did you work out the 62% hydration?

sirrith's picture
sirrith

500g flour * 0.62 = 62% water

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

So you've gone by weight. Sorry if I've started simple and with the bloomin obvious but its good to work methodically.

Now i'm not familiar with T65 flour so just did a google search and here is a snippet from an article:

Using French T55 or T65 (Euro T550 or T650) instead of strong white flour: Reduce the liquid in the recipe by 10% – 15%, and reduce the rising temperature to about 21C  – 24C for the best result. As T55 or T65 will colour quickly in the oven, reduce the oven temperature towards the end of baking to stop it burning.

 

I think we may have the answer here. You reduced the hydration by 3% but they recommend 10 - 15%

 

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

that you found it to high a hydration so added in more flour so it might turn out ok. Hopefully. But now you have a more accurate way to deal with this flour.

sirrith's picture
sirrith

That is very helpful!  I'm going to go search for that article right away, and try reducing hydration a bit further to see if it still gives me the crumb I'm after.

However, I've been using 65% hydration with this flour for a while now, and it never behaved the way it did today, which was my main concern.  

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

http://www.danlepard.com/2013/01/10/coming-on-strong/ 

Hope it is of use. Best of Luck.

alschmelz's picture
alschmelz

Maybe just decreasing the amount of starter and not adjusting the main dough recipe threw something off.  Try using these formulas. I found these equations online and they have been a big help to me.  They help me determine the hydration I need my starter to be or my dough needs to be for a specific final hydration percent.

I use the first one when I know how much starter I want to use and how hydrated I want it to be, I know what I want my final hydration to be (like you wanted yours to be 62%), but I need to know how hydrated by dough portion should be for the desired final hydration.

I use the second one when I develop a recipe and want to determine how much starter to use in order to get a desired final hydration (do this by changing the "starter percentage" variable).

Let me know if these formulas don't make sense!  It took me a little bit to figure out how to use them properly at first but now that I know they help immensely!

  • FDH- Final Dough Hydration (final desired hydration percent of the bread)
  • Sh- Starter Hydration (hydration percent of the starter)
  • Sp- Starter Percentage (ratio of "starter:flour in dough" as a percent)
  • H- Hydration of dough (hydration of the dough without influence of the starter)

H= (FDH)(Sh + Sp + 1) - (Sh)(Sp)

                       Sh +1

 

FDH= (Sh)(Sp) + (Sh)(H) + H

                 Sh + Sp + 1

sirrith's picture
sirrith

I just measure a total amount of flour and water in my recipe, then from that I deduct the amount used for my poolish.  For example, my standard recipe is 500g flour and 325g water.  To make a 30% poolish (my usual amount), I just use 150g of the flour, and 150g of the water, leaving me with 350g flour and 175g water to mix later on.  This way I know my total hydration and amounts. 

Is my method wrong?