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Yoghurt bread - more water needed?

Khamsin's picture

Yoghurt bread - more water needed?

Hello everyone!

I was hoping someone could help with a simple question. This morning, I made some bread dough ready to bake tomorrow. (I always refrigerate dough overnight and bake the following day). My dough always contains the same amount of liquid to flour which is 300ml liquid to 450g flour.

I had a 150ml pot of natural yoghurt in my fridge that needed using, so I decided to put it into my dough mix. Then I added 150ml water to make up the liquid amount to my usual 300ml, and then added the flour.

However, this seemed to produce a much drier dough than usual. Should I have added more water to compensate? And am I wrong to presume yoghurt is the same as water when it comes to liquid content?

Thank you in advance! 

mrfrost's picture

Yes, more water will be needed, presuming your results were not satisfactory.

I use yogurt for a lot of my breadbaking in which I have altered a recipe to use my homemade yogurt instead of water, milk, buttermilk, etc.

I usually add water and stir very well to get a consistency between milk and buttermilk. It depends on the recipe though as to how much the thicker yogurt may adversely affect the recipe(how wet/soft the dough is intended to be, how many other liquid ingredients, etc), the results you are satisfied with, etc.

A dough that is intended to be on the firmer/stiff side even with water, may be impossbly dry with thick yogurt substituted. A recipe that makes a very soft/slack dough may not be affected so much, depending on things mentioned above, etc.

Just remember that when you have changed the recipe, it is your recipe when it comes time to judging it.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Yoghurt is made from milk,  and milk contains solids which don't give up their moisture so a little less than 87% of the water in milk is water.  If you add the milk solid weight or 10% of the milk weight to the flour you come closer to figuring the hydration.  By thinning the yoghurt with water you come closer to 300g milk. 

So to get a rough estimate...  

Milk 300g minus 30g added to 450g flour gives  270g water and 480g flour.  Lets subtract the fat from the milk (3.5%) giving 260g water, divide by 480 (x 100) comes closer to 54% hydration.  

The 54% hydration is rather low compared to the 67% when using just water.  And if using bread flour, a very stiff dry dough will result. (cough, cough)  It may take an autolyse for the milk solids to share their water with the flour but still, I reckon up to 60g more water is needed. 


Khamsin's picture

Thank you both for your replies which have been of enormous help (and interesting too when broken down like that, Mini Oven!) I have been been back to my dough ball and have attempted to knead in more water. I think I got around 40ml into it before the consistency started to became a bit like wet clay. I decided to stop there and hope for the best come tomorrow. Still, I will know better in future!


Thank you again,