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62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

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  • 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

    I just made two batches of 1kg Caputo pizza dough back to back using the same techniques and times. 3 minute mix of flour and water on low (1), 20 minute rest, add yeast and salt, and 8 minute mix on low (2).

    The first one was 645 grams of water and the second 625, and the difference is big. The 645g batch was too sticky, and I ended up having trouble hand mixing it on a cold granite counter, and it really stuck to my wet hands. I barely got it into the bowl for bulk fermentation and never really made a nice boule shape out of it.

    The second as 625 grams of water, and it was much better. It is well hydrated, but I was able to max a boule using Jim's (Cannuck) technique for primary fermentation and it didn't stick fo the final hand kneading.

    Is there a tipping point? Do you go right up to the edge and then fall over?

    Or, does it have something to do with lunar cycles.

    Anyways, it's an interesting experiment. I'm doing the third batch at 62.5%.

    James
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

  • #2
    Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

    I have been using the blue caputo and have been at 69% every time with no handling issues. I also give it a 20 min rest before adding salt...I don't bulk ferment at all, I use cold water and shape it immediately after kneading...wonder why yours was so hard to handle when mine was fine...
    My Oven Thread:
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

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    • #3
      Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

      I too made a batch of pizza dough last week and put in too much water. I refrigerated it overnight in anticipation for my pizza party. The next day, one hour before the party, I was going to shape my dough balls. They were goo, it was a disaster. I said a prayer, and made another batch of dough, putting about 1/2 cup less water in that batch. Then I combined the two, and let them rise together for about an hour. Miraculously, the dough performed correctly, and the party was a success. That taught me a big lesson that I really need to measure the water!

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      • #4
        Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

        Wouldn't humidity and altitude make a difference with hydration percentage, esp in Colorado?

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        • #5
          Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

          It absolutely makes a difference...we always reserve a bit of the measured water, maybe 2 ounces...it is much easier to add a bit more water if needed rather than try to create a well mixed dough by adding flour later adding flour later...the additional time in the mixer will heat up your dough and to a certain degree the additional bench kneading would also
          Best
          Dutch

          Originally posted by krosskraft View Post
          Wouldn't humidity and altitude make a difference with hydration percentage, esp in Colorado?
          "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
          "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

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          • #6
            Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

            I agree with that. High/low humidity changes everything. If the dough doesn't seem quite right, I add more water or flour till I get the consistency I'm looking for.

            I might end up overworking the dough occasionally, but for pizza, at least for me, its less important than in bread. The sauce and toppings hide the errors in the crust a bit.

            I love great crust but I'm not going to throw away a Kg of flour 'cause it didn't mix up normally. When things go bad, work on trying to get it back to what the dough looked and felt like the last time I made it.
            GJBingham
            -----------------------------------
            Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

            -

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            • #7
              Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

              After a bulk fermentation, I still found the one batch of wet dough more difficult to work with, so I mixed all three together. It's fun working with about 10 pounds of pizza dough on a stone counter. I cut and shaped 250 gram dough balls, and everything went fine.

              I guess I have to think more about my overly wet batch. Who knows, maybe I just can't measure. :-)

              Still, I think the idea of mixing each batch together before making your dough balls has a lot going for it.

              James
              Pizza Ovens
              Outdoor Fireplaces

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

                Kind of like mixing epoxy ...in the end you end up with a hydration of approximately 63.5%...our formula uses 63%...and it is a lot of fun working with a lot of dough...here at home we have gone up to about 20 pounds when we had a pizza party for my wife's swimmers
                Dutch

                Originally posted by james View Post
                After a bulk fermentation, I still found the one batch of wet dough more difficult to work with, so I mixed all three together. It's fun working with about 10 pounds of pizza dough on a stone counter. I cut and shaped 250 gram dough balls, and everything went fine.

                I guess I have to think more about my overly wet batch. Who knows, maybe I just can't measure. :-)

                Still, I think the idea of mixing each batch together before making your dough balls has a lot going for it.

                James
                "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
                "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

                  I know that humidity makes a difference and it is very here in Colorado, but I thought that measuring by weight took humidity out of the equation. Am I mistaken there? James are you measuring with scale?

                  Drake
                  My Oven Thread:
                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

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                  • #10
                    Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

                    Drew,
                    This was all done using my handy FB digital, measuring the water and the flour.

                    If the flour is damp (which the Monterey peninsula is; it's really foggy here), then the flour would be heavier, and some of that weight would be water.

                    Possible?

                    James
                    Pizza Ovens
                    Outdoor Fireplaces

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

                      Originally posted by james View Post
                      Drew,
                      This was all done using my handy FB digital, measuring the water and the flour.

                      If the flour is damp (which the Monterey peninsula is; it's really foggy here), then the flour would be heavier, and some of that weight would be water.

                      Possible?

                      James
                      Yup, mass is also temperature dependent for small measurements. I try to keep my flour sealed in an air-tight container. Here in Washington dry ingredients self-hydrate quite quickly. ( say that three times as fast as you can )

                      Bruce
                      Sharpei Diem.....Seize the wrinkle dog

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                      • #12
                        Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

                        This all reminds me of something the Caputo family said. They claim that their pizzeria flour will work with the same recipe your around in Naples -- and that they made modifications to the flour for the season.

                        I always thought that was sort of a stretch (forgive the pun), but with my experience here, I have to say it makes sense.

                        Winter and summer versions of the flour. :-) From the mill to the pizzeria.

                        James
                        Pizza Ovens
                        Outdoor Fireplaces

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

                          My thinking is that the dough/flour continue to absorb water from the atmosphere as long as they are exposed to it, until they reach an equilibrium with the air around it. If you take the flour out of an air tight container and expose it to 80% humidity, the water you need to add for dough is less than if the humidy is 40%
                          Just an observation, no scientific method here.
                          GJBingham
                          -----------------------------------
                          Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

                          -

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

                            Drew,

                            One of the things I teach in my bread workshops is to always have a cheap, analog temp and humidity gauge in the kitchen. High humidity will always change the necessary hydration level; so too very low humidity. I think most formulas are based on an average 50 per cent humidity. Once you know which way you're off and how much, you'll either need slightly less water or slightly more. And, yes, humid flour will weigh more.

                            Jim
                            "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

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                            • #15
                              Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

                              This weekend in Phoenix we had 2% humidity (the driest it has been in 20 years) and my bread and pizza dough seemed very dry compared to other days. I use scales and try for 65% hydration. In the future I will start looking at the humidity and adjust accordingly.

                              Paul
                              Paul

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