The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

75% Hydration 50% home milled hard red, 50% bread flour

texasbakerdad's picture

75% Hydration 50% home milled hard red, 50% bread flour

My last bake went so well that I thought I would do it again and try to tweak 2 things about the bake. Here is the link to my blog entry for the last bake:

My 3 complaints about that bake:

  1. The dough was too dry, I wanted a supple and extensible dough.
  2. The crumb wasn't the super open. It was a great crumb, but not that super open tartine crumb and I want to try and get there.
  3. The top might have gotten a bit too dark. Honestly though, it looked and smelt a bit 'singed' when it came out of the oven, but after letting it rest overnight, I think it was perfect.

#1 and #2 are related. I need to raise the hydration, the dough was just too stiff. So, I bumped my hydration to 75%. The bread came out almost exactly the same as the 55% hydration. It was a great loaf, but the dough still felt a bit dry. The crumb was great too, just not open tartine style crumb.

The only major difference in this loaf compared to the previous other than the bump in hydration, was that I did the loaf in 1 day, instead of an overnight bulk ferment. Also, I used even less starter.


  • 338g Home milled hard red wheat
  • 338g HEB brand bread flour
  • 80g 50:50 sourdough starter
  • 1 TBS Salt


  • 30 minute autolyse (recipe minus salt and starter)
  • folded the dough every 30 minutes until the dough had some bulk to it (about 8 hours)
  • preshaped, then waited 30 minutes, and shaped and dropped into long banneton
  • preheat oven to 550dF with long romertopf in oven
  • let rise for about 2 hours
  • transferred into hot romertopf bottom from banneton using parchment paper and cut off the excess parchment. Scored with razor blade. Covered with top of romertopf and stuck in oven.
  • Reduced oven to 450dF, baked for 45 min with top on. Then, 15 min with top off.
  • Let cool on wire rack overnight.
  • The whole bake minus the cooling started at 9am and finished at 11pm.  

Problems with this bake:

  • Still seemed a bit dark coming out of the oven, but then was perfect after it cooled overnight.
  • Crumb wasn't as open as I am striving for.
  • I think, maybe, I could have let the dough rise for another 30 min to an hour... I am thinking I will keep tweaking the recipe until I get the hydration right, and then, I will bake the same loaf over and over again, trying to get the proofing just right.

As I type this, I am working on a 3rd loaf, this time with 85% hydration. The dough, this time, finally feels wet enough. I think it will turn out great.


DanAyo's picture

Think you’ll be happier with the higher hydration, especially with 50% home milled flour.

” baked for 45 min with top on. Then, 15 min with top off.” Sounds like a very long time to bake. Have you considered removing the bread form the baker after the top is remove to finish it off directly in the oven?

Do you have a crumb shot to post?

Experimentation is the path to good bread. Looks like you are well on your way.

texasbakerdad's picture

Lucky for my blog, I had a few slices of Monday's 75% hydration left in the pantry, layed it up against my 85% hydration loaf from yesterday and snapped a photo. Blog post now complete.

DanAyo's picture

For 50% home milled grain, I call that super good. Very nice even cell structure. I'd be happy with that one...

Every oven is different, some quite a bit. A loaf that size would be thoroughly baked in 30 minutes for me. You did manage a very toothsome crust if that is what you like.