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Hydration level - Rhinehart method - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
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To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Hydration level - Rhinehart method

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  • Hydration level - Rhinehart method

    I have just run the pizza dough recipe in Peter Rhinehart's latest bread book through the calculator to get the following baker's percentages:

    Flour 680.0 100.00%
    Water 482.0 70.88%
    Yeast 3.0 0.44%
    Salt 14.0 2.06%

    The hydration level comes out at a whopping 71% ... that sounds incredibly high.

    Can anyone comment on this?

    Last edited by heliman; 11-27-2009, 04:08 PM.
    / Rossco

  • #2
    Re: Hydration level - Rhinehart method

    I'm currently using a slightly modified Ciabatta dough as a pizza dough that starts at 78% hydration and 2% oil. It generally gets a little bit of hand kneading so it gets a bit drier, but I doubt it ever goes bellow 75% hydration. The keys to making it work in my experience is a bit of vital wheat gluten, a double hydration(the dough is first kneaded at 60% hydration to develope the gluten, then the rest of the water is added. Getting the rest of the water to mix in is a pain, but it is doable). Lastly folding it a few times while it proofs makes a world of difference. It is far from the norm, but gives me the big holes I want and wonderful leoparding.


    • #3
      Re: Hydration level - Rhinehart method

      Hi Rossco!

      The recipe you cite seems to be incomplete and as cited isn't the full recipe from Reinhart's latest book which is "Artisan Breads Every Day".

      The formula you cite is generally consistent with his Reinhart's Neo-neopolitan dough which uses bread flour. The higher gluten content accomodates higher hydration and makes it manageable. The actual recipe in his latest book includes honey or agave nectar as an optional ingredient which actually raises the hydration higher than you calculate.

      As Shuboyje suggests, ciabatta dough is quite appropriate for pizza if you drop the hydration enough to give it "shape" (I also drop the oil when using it for pizza dough so it has a bit more body). Shuboyje is smart to do the dough in two steps for it is easier to develop the gluten in a lower hydration dough.

      Hydration is all about the flour you use and its water content and the abilities of the baker to deal with it.

      When I look at your picture of leoparded dough it appears that the spots are all where bubbles created thin walls that charred. Some people like that, some don't. Sounds like you do so learning to work with wetter dough will be beneficial, but you complain when the dough is soft and wet doughs will always be relatively soft and hard to handle. I persist in suggesting it is better to work your way up in hydration than suddenly leaping to 71% if your skills aren't up to it!

      Good Luck!
      Last edited by texassourdough; 11-26-2009, 10:04 AM.


      • #4
        Re: Hydration level - Rhinehart method

        Thanks for the responses ...

        Jay - yes, I only focussed on the water element and didn't quote the whole recipe as that was what caught my eye initially. I am not making the recipe, preferring the 65% hydration offered by my latest recipe which produced some excellent results last Wednesday when I had a party at my place.

        This is the recipe used (note no VWG used this time)

        Flour 500.0 100.00%
        Water 325.0 65.00%
        Yeast 2.5 0.50%
        Salt 10.0 2.00%

        Flour used is local pizza flour 11% protein.

        Room temp water, 20 min autolyse, 16 hr fridge fermentation.

        Shu - so there is a correlation between hydration and leoparding. I have wondered about this for some time now (I started a thread on the topic). Good to know that ... tks

        / Rossco


        • #5
          Re: Hydration level - Rhinehart method

          Shu - so there is a correlation between hydration and leoparding. I have wondered about this for some time now (I started a thread on the topic). Good to know that ... tks
          I wouldn't go as far as to say that, but this dough does leopard. I also like to cook at very high temperature and have a low dome oven(only 13" center of dome), both of which I think contribute.


          • #6
            Re: Hydration level - Rhinehart method

            Thanks for clarifying - the quest for the perfect spots continues...

            / Rossco