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Will converting White recipe to Whole Wheat require more water?

BKSinAZ's picture

Will converting White recipe to Whole Wheat require more water?

I am trying to convert a 100% white loaf  recipe to a 50/50 (white and whole wheat). Will the amount of water need to be adjusted in this conversion? If so, is there a way to calculate the adjustment?

jo_en's picture

I use 90% hydration on the whole wheat flour and 66-70% on the white flour. Account for the water and flour in your starter too.

trevor wilson has a good video on a 50-50 loaf.

BKSinAZ's picture

Thanks for the video

phaz's picture

Usually it will need more water, and usually not an extraordinary amount. Use recipes as is and see how it feels is best way to go. Enjoy! 

mariana's picture


You already know your white flour, so the amount of water it needs is well known. For example 1 kg white bread flour needs 600g water to make nice, soft bread dough.

But whole wheat might take the same amount of water, less water or more water depending on the kind of whole wheat flour you will be adding: bread wwf, pastry wwf, freshly milled wwf, etc. Some whole wheat absorbs water as it ferments, other will release water in the process of fermentation. Whole wheat flour is tricky in that sense.

If it's the same brand WWF as your white bread flour, the same mill, then most likely you would need to add more water, but it is impossible to say how much. For my whole wheat all-purpose flour, it's about 20-30% more water. 

You can determine the amount of water experimentally. Take 25 or 50g of your whole wheat flour and add to it the same amount of water you would add to 25 or 50g of your white flour in your bread recipe and see if the whole wheat needs more water or less water than 25 or 50g of white flour to obtain the same softness or firmness of the ball of dough. If it needs more water, add more drop by drop to get just the right dough softness. And weigh the piece of dough, to see how much water you added.

This way you will know the exact adjustment for your 50% whole wheat bread dough recipe with mathematical precision.