Bread and Better

Bread and Better

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

A Note On How Much Water To Add To Your Bread

My friend recently told me that when making bread, his dough always seemed quite wet, even when he had carefully added the correct amount of water suggested in the recipe. Even though usually with baking you have to be quite specific with your measurements (it is a science of course), with bread making it's really hard to know how much water a recipe reader will actually need, as there are so many factors that could change it. Different flours will need different amounts of water, so unless you are using the same flour that the baker used in the recipe, your bread might need a lot more or a lot less liquid. Also the weather can affect how much water you will need, say if it's a a humid day you might need less, or if it's a particularly dry day you might need more.... My advice would be, add a third of the water suggested in the recipe, give it a good mix for a minute or so, and then see if you need to add any more. If you do need to add more, do it slowly, about 20ml at a time, mixing well in between each addition.

    Having a really wet dough isn't wrong. Some of the tastiest bread has up to 80% hydration. All it will mean is a slightly different crumb structure, with larger holes. A wet dough might not keep it's shape as well during the second prove, so I would suggest placing it into a proving basket, or a tin. Wet dough can be quite hard to handle, so oil your hands and your work surface to stop it sticking everywhere.

Hope this has been helpful!

Happy baking!

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