The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My Breads are too Dry

dragon49's picture

My Breads are too Dry

My friends are complaining that my breads are too dry.  I am using 3 tablespoons of olive oil for each 4 chup of flour and between 1 1/4 and 1 1/3 cups of water.


Will a different type of oil be better, or should I jsut add more oil?  Also, for more percentages of Whole Wheat, should I add more oil generally?



crunchy's picture

Dragon, what about adding more water? It seems that your recipe is about 30% hydration, which is pretty dry, even with the extra oil.

Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

Make sure it feels right as you work it.
If it feels dry, if you add a lot of flour on the surface, it will be drier.

btw, what are you using for a surface to work the dough?
For those I'd suggest a large lightly oiled stainless bowl, or invest in silicone mats.
That way you will not need to add any additional flour once its mixed.

Nickisafoodie's picture

use a scale and target 64% hydration ratio - I use this with 80% whole wheat and 20% all purpose flour.  Bake at 450 for 10 min, than 350 for 35-40 until (use a probe themometer) internal temp is 198 degrees.  Bread will be moist and keep for 5 days or more!  Happy baking...

Yerffej's picture

More water is needed...definitely.  You can even skip using any oil if you want to.

dragon49's picture

Thanks for the replies,

I am a novice at Breadmaking.  I'm putting the ingredients into a breadpan and letting my breadmaker do all of the work.  The size of the pan limits the amount of water I can use.  I'll try making some smaller breads with a higher hydration ratio.

I'll let you know how it works out.


davec's picture

I use four cups of flour in my breadmaker, too.  But I also use 1 1/2 cups of water.  For my whole wheat recipe, I use 3 TBS olive oil, as you do, plus 3 TBS honey.  With the whole wheat, I usually have to increase the water to at least 14 fl oz, to get the dough consistency right.

Ironically, if I use less water, I get a much denser, and therefore wetter, not drier, loaf.  It just doesn't rise right if the dough is too dry.


dragon49's picture

I used this modified formula:

3 3/4 cups of flour

Between 1 1/3 and 1 1/2 cups of water.


I put the Bread in a Breadbag 5 minutes after removing it from the pan, while it was still steaming hot.  The condensation was trapped in the bag and probably added extra moisture to the bread.

I wonder if this last factor made a significant difference to the moisture factor.  I did this with my last 2 breads.  They were significantly wetter than breads that were left out 1 hour, beofre sealing them in Bread Bags.  I find it hard to believe that the small amounts of extra water and less flour made such a big difference.