Q&A - What do you include in your Hydration Rate Percentage?

Jack,

Let’s talk baker’s percentages.

In making breads with other liquid ingredients such as melted butter, honey or molasses.

Should you consider these ingredients as part of your hydration rate?

Mike from Texas


Hey Mike,

It's up to you really. Theoretically yes. Because you would do with eggs, milk, oil etc and it's hard to draw the line. But the most important thing is that you decide whether you do or not, and then remain consistent as you are working out your recipes.

To throw a spanner in the works, all these things are absorbed differently by the flour in any case, so in theory they should ALL be treated as separate things.

Let’s go to the extreme to hopefully explain it better - a loaf with a 65% hydration rate made up entirely of water will be a much different consistency to the same loaf where the moisture is made up entirely of molasses (I know you wouldn't do it for real but you get the idea.)

Baker's percentages work well, but there is a point where you need to take it with a pinch of salt. (not literally)

Decide how you’ll work out your recipes and remain consistent. I would be inclined to work it out without the molasses, butter etc. Then, I’d expect there to be a slight change in the consistency when adding those things and, depending on the quantity added, adjust the water if I think I need to.

Hope that helps!

 Jack