The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flour and humidity

Felila's picture
Felila

Flour and humidity

I'm trying out a new recipe, which is too wet even if I weigh everything carefully and use 100% hydration starter as required. I wondered if living in the tropics, in the rainy season, would affect my flour. So I googled. 

http://www.genuineideas.com/ArticlesIndex/flour.html

Note that Hawai'i is not on the map. I'm in the city, not the rain forest ... but it can still get humid here after it rains. Today is 70% humidity and it hasn't rained hard for days. 

I also found this Fresh Loaf thread:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23844/humidity-and-hydration

I think I will follow the recommendation there and add extra flour until the dough feels right.

WatertownNewbie's picture
WatertownNewbie

Rather than add flour (which can upset the overall percentages, because a baker's formula uses the amount of flour as 100%), consider holding back some water when doing the initial mix.  I baked some bread last winter and then went to bake the same bread last summer (i.e., during a more humid season).  I was surprised when the dough behaved differently, and a little research and reading taught me that the amount of water needs to be taken as a rough figure and not as a fixed number.  Many books will include sentences or paragraphs about holding back a small amount of water, or adjusting the water, to gauge what the flour is doing on a particular day.  And on a humid day, the flour will already have soaked up a bit of moisture from the air that it will not have done during a dry time.