The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Effective vs calculated hydration

Dave Cee's picture
Dave Cee

Effective vs calculated hydration

Does the substitution of whole wheat and/or rye flour in place of WBF (say 10% ~to ~ 20%) change the hydration in a recipe?

 

For example, instead of 500gr straight WBF (other ingredients being unchanged):

400gr WBF

50gr whole wheat flour

50gr rye flour

 

Do I need to add more or less water to achieve the correct  hydration?

 

My dough feels slightly drier or stiffer with these substitutions.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hey Dave, very observant on your part. The hydration is unaffected by variour types of flour. BUT higher protein flours and especially whole grains absorb more water. A 70% hydrated all purpose dough and a 70% hydrated whole grain dough will feel extremely different. The whole grain will be drier.

Dan

Dave Cee's picture
Dave Cee

I have been using a basic recipe with 75% hydration which makes a dough that can be difficult for this amateur to handle. The substitution of small amounts of whole wheat flour seems to make a more manageable dough for me at the same 75% hydration. As well as (slightly) improving the taste/texture of the crumb over straight WBF. Thanks again. Dave

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Everything you’ve said is correct. Whole wheat flour contains the bran, but bread flour does not. The bran absorbs more water (weight for weight) than bread flour. Also higher protein bread flour will also absorb more water than lower protein flour. But whole grain absorbs much more. For instance, 85% hydrated whole wheat is easily handled.

Dave Cee's picture
Dave Cee

Sic Semper Panem!