The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flour and humidity

Felila's picture

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.

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:

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

WatertownNewbie's picture

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.