Tip - Affect of moisture content in flour
Let’s consider 1000g flour with 1% increase in moisture over a comparable baker.
Extra water .01*1000=10g
Original hydration = 65%
Original water = 650g
Flour that has 1% more moisture
Extra 10g water
Less 10g flour
Total flour = 990g
Total water = 660g
An additional 1.7% hydration for every additional 1% of moisture in flour.
Consider this -
- Identical flour is used by 2 different bakers with a moisture content of 15%
- Baker #1 lives in an arid environment and loses 1% moisture
- Baker #2 lives in a humid environment and gains 1% moisture
Considering the same formula above there is a 3.4% variance in hydration.
Percentage of moisture in flour may be increased or decreased at the mill, during transportation, stocked in stores, or in the baker’s home (arid climate vs humid).
Is this reasoning incorrect?
Can anyone improve the wording of this scenario?
Don, aka MTLoaf lives in Montana. He really started me to thinking about the moisture content in the flour. During the Baguette Community Bake he used French T65 . Same brand as myself. There was no way I could mix the dough at his hydration. He claimed it was the variance in local humidity. I also think elevation could have been a scenario in that case also. I live southwest of New Orleans, near the Gulf of Mexico (very humid).
The gist of this post is to stress the importance of evaluating the “feel” of your dough once it has absorbed all of the available water. Until you know your dough, hold back a little water. You may think you can just as easily add more flour. But every other ingredient in your dough is based upon the Total Flour weight. It is best to handle the “feel” of the dough with more or less water.