Author Topic: Please define "high Hydration"  (Read 1488 times)

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Offline mkevenson

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Please define "high Hydration"
« on: February 16, 2013, 12:23:30 PM »
I have time so I have been searching for a "definition" of high hydration pizza dough. I have seen references to "relatively" high hydration, being the same hydration % as another post being "high hydration".
Is there an accepted standard definition ie, what % of liquid to flour = high hydration?

Mark
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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013, 12:42:05 PM »
If you can pour it out of the bowl, it is high hydration.

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2013, 12:44:08 PM »
If you can pour it out of the bowl, it is high hydration.

LOL :-D :-D :-D
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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2013, 12:57:38 PM »
I wasn't kidding.


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2013, 03:37:33 PM »
I have time so I have been searching for a "definition" of high hydration pizza dough. I have seen references to "relatively" high hydration, being the same hydration % as another post being "high hydration".
Is there an accepted standard definition ie, what % of liquid to flour = high hydration?
Mark,

I tend to view hydration in relation to the person who is making the dough. If the person has had a lot of experience working with wet doughs and using stretch and fold and similar techniques, for example, in bread making, a hydration of 70-80% is manageable and would not normally be considered to be particularly high. Maybe things get a bit dicier when you get above those values although there are some people who can handle 85%. But if the person is new to dough making, either for bread or pizza, a hydration of 65% and above will most likely be viewed as high.

Based on the above, I tend to view any dough with a hydration of 65% and above as being a "high hydration" dough. I can't recall seeing any industry standard or definition of what constitutes a high hydration dough in a general sense. For pizza dough, I have seen doughs with hydration values from the mid-30s% up to about 90%.

Peter

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2013, 04:56:07 PM »
Thanks, Peter. My current dough in the fridge is 65%. No real problems for me working with it. A few months ago this may have not been the case.

Mark
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2013, 05:06:52 PM »
The choice of flour is also a factor. 67% with one flour may feel like 61% with another.
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Offline lennyk

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2013, 06:49:10 PM »
Good point

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 08:41:06 PM »
For pizza dough, I have seen doughs with hydration values from the mid-30s% up to about 90%.

Peter

I know it's not pizza, but one of my favorite bread recipes is a quick ciabatta recipe I use. It is 95% hydration and is really fun to work with because of how different it is.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2013, 08:51:37 PM »
I know it's not pizza, but one of my favorite bread recipes is a quick ciabatta recipe I use. It is 95% hydration and is really fun to work with because of how different it is.
Jeff,

The upper limit that I mentioned came from the ciabatta type dough described here: https://sites.google.com/site/hollosyt/quickrusticciabattapizza. Depending on how a cup of water is converted to a weight, the hydration value can be over 92% or a couple percent higher if you use the technical conversion of a cup of water to about 237 grams (8.345 ounces). Most people do not measure a "technical" cup.

Peter


Offline caltheide

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2013, 03:45:34 PM »
I've read several posts that state higher hydration will give a more open, airy crust.  What is a good hydration level to create that type of crust?  Also, does more and more hydration lead to an even more open and airy crust or is there a point that no longer applies?  Other than a more open and airy crust are there any other benefits to larger hydration amounts?  Or problems, other than working with, with very high hydration amounts?  Thank you, Cindy

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2013, 04:33:05 PM »
I've read several posts that state higher hydration will give a more open, airy crust.  What is a good hydration level to create that type of crust?  Also, does more and more hydration lead to an even more open and airy crust or is there a point that no longer applies?  Other than a more open and airy crust are there any other benefits to larger hydration amounts?  Or problems, other than working with, with very high hydration amounts?  Thank you, Cindy

Cindy, from what I have read here, higher hydration and hotter temps = more open and airy cornice. Peter has also talked about a flours ability to absorb moisture. Depending on which flour you choose. I am relatively new at this too and like you have been trying to get that puffy cornice with higher hydration and also higher oven heats. I haven't hit on the perfect combo but am still trying new options.

Another factor that's comes to mind is how you open your dough ball, to preserve the airy effect of fermentation.

Mark
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 04:35:47 PM by mkevenson »
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Offline norma427

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2013, 07:28:01 PM »
I've read several posts that state higher hydration will give a more open, airy crust.  What is a good hydration level to create that type of crust?  Also, does more and more hydration lead to an even more open and airy crust or is there a point that no longer applies?  Other than a more open and airy crust are there any other benefits to larger hydration amounts?  Or problems, other than working with, with very high hydration amounts?  Thank you, Cindy


Cindy,

I don’t mean to get this thread off-topic about “high hydration“, but Peter gave some very good explanations about the types of factors that appear to govern, or to be implicated for a rise in the dough skin (oven spring) at Reply 515 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9908.msg104559.html#msg104559  As you can see from Peter’s post there are more things than hydration that apply to acheiving good oven spring.

Norma

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Offline bakeshack

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2013, 10:11:27 PM »
I've read several posts that state higher hydration will give a more open, airy crust.  What is a good hydration level to create that type of crust?  Also, does more and more hydration lead to an even more open and airy crust or is there a point that no longer applies?  Other than a more open and airy crust are there any other benefits to larger hydration amounts?  Or problems, other than working with, with very high hydration amounts?  Thank you, Cindy

Cindy, while it is true that a higher hydration dough will help produce a more open and irregular crumb structure, it is also much more difficult  to handle (especially for pizza) and properly develop.  Most of the time, the less experienced bakers will end up with a dense and even gummy crumb due to too much handling or lack of gluten development.  A dough with at least 80% hydration using bread flour will give you a relatively open crumb structure but you might also need to employ more advanced techniques such as a double hydration method to properly allow the flour to absorb that much water while still developing the gluten properly.  If not done properly, you will end up with a batter-like consistency and the dough will not have a chance to develop enough gluten, subsequently, preventing it from trapping the air inside the dough.  The resulting pizza or bread will be flat, dense, gummy, and not very good. 

I would suggest you start with a moderate hydration amount such as 72-75% using bread flour.  If you have made a Tartine loaf before, you can use that formula and workflow and make a very nice pizza with an open and airy crumb.  Once you are comfortable with it, you can always bring it up to 80-85% and see the limit of the flour you are using.  Once you find that balance, stick with it. 

Have you seen the Pizzarium thread in the sicilian section?  The dough is usually made with at least 80% hydration baked in a pan.  The crumb is very open, light, and airy.  If you are interested in high hydration dough and what it can do to pizza, you should check it out.  These are 80% hydration I believe. 












Offline mkevenson

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2013, 12:01:32 AM »
Cindy, while it is true that a higher hydration dough will help produce a more open and irregular crumb structure, it is also much more difficult  to handle (especially for pizza) and properly develop.  Most of the time, the less experienced bakers will end up with a dense and even gummy crumb due to too much handling or lack of gluten development.  A dough with at least 80% hydration using bread flour will give you a relatively open crumb structure but you might also need to employ more advanced techniques such as a double hydration method to properly allow the flour to absorb that much water while still developing the gluten properly.  If not done properly, you will end up with a batter-like consistency and the dough will not have a chance to develop enough gluten, subsequently, preventing it from trapping the air inside the dough.  The resulting pizza or bread will be flat, dense, gummy, and not very good.  

I would suggest you start with a moderate hydration amount such as 72-75% using bread accept. I think that 65% hydration is relatively high, or at least at the beginning of the higher zone.














« Last Edit: February 24, 2013, 10:52:00 AM by mkevenson »
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Offline c0mpl3x

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2013, 11:03:17 AM »
high hydration, i feel, is several percentage points above the absorption rate of the flour. 'high hydration' and 'artisan hydration' are like saying lincoln towncar and mercury grand marquis.

i started with lower quality flour and 55-60%, now i don't make anything under 65% hydration, and i almost exclusively use bakers and chefs high gluten, and sometimes i add a percentage of vital wheat gluten, depending on my oil and rise time i have to work with
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Offline caltheide

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2013, 03:56:46 PM »
Wow, so much to learn, thank you everyone for your input.   Norma427 your pizza's (the ones from the link you sent me) look AMAZING!  What recipe are you using, if I may ask?  Your thick bubbly pizza's are EXACTLY what I am trying to make.  What do you think is the key to those bubbles?  They look thick, chewy, bubbly, soft, moist, the perfect pizza for me, what is the secret? 

Offline norma427

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2013, 07:24:28 PM »



Cindy,

Those pictures from the link I gave you were the preferment Lehmann dough pizzas.  If you want me to give you the link for one dough ball, or 5 dough balls, under that thread just post under that thread at the end.  I don’t use that formulation anymore, but did really like it.  I have also liked Reinhart doughs and they are higher in hydration.  The Reinhart doughs also gave good oven spring.  I am always looking what the key to those bubbles are, but really it is from what Peter posted in that link.  

Norma
« Last Edit: February 24, 2013, 07:26:55 PM by norma427 »
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Offline norma427

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Re: Please define "high Hydration"
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2013, 07:25:26 PM »
Cindy,

Those pictures from the link I gave you were the preferment Lehmann dough pizzas.  If you want me to give you the link for one dough ball, or 5 dough balls, under that thread just post under that thread at the end.  I don’t use that formulation anymore, but did really like it.  I have also liked Reinhart doughs and they are higher in hydration.  The Reinhart doughs also gave good oven spring.  I am always looking what the key to those bubbles are, but really it is from what Peter posted in that link.  

Norma

Edit:  I don't know how I double posted, but was trying to quote.  Would a moderator please delete one of these posts.
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