The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What is ideal hydration for soft rolls?

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

What is ideal hydration for soft rolls?

I'm trying to make cinnamon rolls. What's the ideal hydration for a dough so that it's malleable enough to roll and results in a soft & moist roll? I just tried a recipe that was more than 57-60% hydration. It was too wet to nicely roll. Some of the recipes I've seen seem to be 45% or so hydration (but this is when I convert volume into weight, so there's no telling for sure what the target hydration is) -- and that seems too dry to me.

What is the ideal hydration for this?

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Go with 60-62% hydration (by weight). That will be in the ballpark; you can adjust according to your preference, but I wouldn't stray too far.

cheers,

gary

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

Will that be dry enough to roll? 

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

Also, I know oil & other fats don't count towards hydration, but if the recipe contains it, it'll contribute to the dough being wetter and harder to roll. How do I account for that?

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

I find that hydration level to be very easy to roll and shape. If you use butter, which I prefer, you should adjust the water to allow for the water in the butter, about 20% of the butter's weight. For example, if your formula calls for 80g of butter, you'll need to reduce the water by 16g to account for the water in the butter.

Fat (butter/lard) will increase extensibility a bit. I find it makes working the dough easier. Oils do too, but do affect the apparent hydration also.

cheers,

gary

baybakin's picture
baybakin

60-65 is certainly dry enough to properly shape, if you develop the gluten enough.  A few letter folds throught he bulk fermentation process should help that.

sandydog's picture
sandydog

As per usual, there is no one definitive answer to your question - The one thing you can be certain of is that the person who wrote the recipe you tried is convinced that it works. You never know - They may be right - It may be down to your skill set, or your ingredients. 

You have no good reason to expect another recipe from any of us on this forum, or indeed the other various recipes you say that you have already researched, to be any better or worse - merely different. Most of the people on this site who offer advice are very knowledgeable and skilled bakers - The one thing they can not do is imbue you with their own skills. Only practice on your own part can do that.

For my own part I can tell you that I have made two different batches of cinnamon rolls in the last 10 days, from different recipes. One of them was hydrated at 58% and the other at 46% - They both turned out well although you need to understand that they both had varying %'s of egg, butter and sugar as well as milk powder in them. Additionally they utilised separate and very different methods of incorporating the butter and cinnamon, as well as differing shaping and prooving techniques.

My suggestion is that you trust the recipe you have (Assuming it is from a reputable, known, source) and adjust it in the light of your findings when you bake it. You will very quickly arrive at the right hydration level for yourself. Otherwise you can start from scratch with another recipe of your choice.

Good luck, and happy baking.

Brian