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How much water for whole wheat bread?

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How much water for whole wheat bread?

Father Kitchen | | Dec 6, 2006 01:28 PM

People like myself fiddling with whole wheat versions of the Lahey no-knead bread have realized that whole wheat flour takes a lot more water than AP flour. But how much more? In today's page from www.realbakingwithrose.com, Rose Levy Beranbaum gives a fine recipe for a whole-wheat epiphany loaf. In the course of it she mentions that typical bread requires a hydration rate of 66% but that whole wheat, because bran absorbs so much water, needs about 88%. That works out to 1/3 more water. However, if you add that much more water to a recipe for very slack dough, like the Lahey recipe, which is already hydrated at 80% you can end up with more water than flour! Conclusion: When you increase the amount of water, hold some back. Let it rest for about an hour to autolyse and allow the bran to absorb the water. Then add more if the dough is too firm.

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