The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough Flavourings & Hydration

Felicity's picture

Sourdough Flavourings & Hydration

I've been experimenting lately with adding flavours to my dough (pumpkin & cranberry, carrot & poppyseed etc.) I've been coming to understand some basic ideas, like how to tell that the dough is ready for shaping, and how to tell when the dough has proofed for long enough, though my question now is at what stage to add the flavourings. The recipes I have seen, seem to all suggest that they are to be added at the final stretch & fold. My issue with this is though, that if the flavouring is a wet mix, the added hydration changes quite dramatically the feel of the dough, making it feel then not firm enough for final stretch and fold/ shaping. The dough then feels like it is going to lose its shape quite quickly. 

Would anybody have any suggestions? 

ifs201's picture

Hi Felicity,

This is a very good observation. From my experience, add-ins like dried fruit/nuts/seeds can be added during stretch and fold. Ingredients that will dramatically change the hydration of the dough like a puree or porridge would be added much earlier. In the pumpkin recipes I've used, the pumpkin would be added during the initial mix or even during the autolyse.