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Archive for the ‘chleb’ Category

Rye-Spelt Loaf with Pumpkin Seeds

with 5 comments

Strangely, adding coarsely ground grains makes for a more active dough and a well-aaerated crumb. The dough for this loaf is simply made from rye sourdough (150g, made with whole-rye flour), a spelt-pumpkin-seed soaker (250g in total, using 150g coarsely ground spelt grains) and 250g medium rye flour, salt, yeast and additional water. As with all loaves that include a considerable amount of coarse meals, there is an extra mixing time of about 5-10 minutes at the end of the first rest. Next time will add more grain chunks and perhaps I will have a loaf such as the beauties on the site of Steinofenbäcker – a very good bakery that sells moist and grainy breads and excellent fruit bread as well.


Written by theinversecook

19 September 2010 at 01:32

Baker’s math – a handful of practical examples

with 7 comments

A bit of number crunching is a baker’s daily business. Here are a few calculations I feel myself forced to use rather frequently (except the last one, which is more of a very theoretical nature). Note that these calculations do not work for volumes like cups (or handfuls, gills or shovels) but only for weight / mass measures. I like to use g and kg, but if you prefer ounces, stones, atomic mass or any weight unit, fine. Weight reflects the number of molecules of the ingredients that connect with each other. Volume doesn’t.

Straightforward scaling, etc.

1. How do I calculate the hydration of a dough?

Answer: Hydration is given by weight of water to weight of flour (and all other dry mass that will bind water except salt and yeast). Example: The recipe uses 600g of flour and 400g of water. The hydration is 400 / 600 = 2/3 = 0.666… = 67%. Note that liquids in general are not 100% water. Full fat milk for example has about 87% of water. When calculating hydrations, you have to take this into account where large amounts of it are used.

2. I got a recipe from the internet that uses X grams of flour but I want make a loaf using Y grams flour. How to fix this?

Answer: Scale every ingredient with factor X / Y. Example: The recipe calls for 700g of flour, but you want to use 500g of flour. Multiply every weight in the recipe with 500 / 700 = 5 / 7 = 0.71…

3. I made a dough with a hydration of X %. If I use Y lb. of flour, how much dough will I have not taking into account salt, yeast and all other small quantities?

Answer: You will have exactly (1 + X/100)*Y lb. of dough. Example: Hydration is 68% and 1 lb. of flour is used. This will yield 1.68 * 1 lb = 1.68 lb. = 1 lb. 10.9 oz. = 762g of dough.

More hydrations

4. I have a recipe here that uses a hydration of X %. I want to have exactly Y kg of dough, neglecting salt, yeast and other small quantities. How much flour do I need?

Answer: You will need Y / (1 + X/100) of flour. Example: Recipe has hydration of 70% and you want to make 300g of dough. Flour needed is given by 300g / 1.7 = 176.4g.

5. I wanted to make a dough with X % hydration and used Y g of flour. Now I accidentally added Z g of water, which is way too much. Since I can’t take out the water, how much flour do I add now to get the correect hydration?

Answer: You will have to add (Z / X) – Y of flour. Example: 500g of flour is in the bowl and you want 65% hydration. You accidentally added 430g of water, which is too much. Then you must add (430g / 0.65) – 500g = 162g of flour.

Further playful examples

6. During baking dough for a medium-sized loaf of bread will lose 20% of its own weight. I am using a hydration of X % and need the baked loaf to weigh Y g. How much flour do I need for such a loaf?

Answer: You will need (1 / 0.8) * Y / (1 + X/100)) lb. of flour. Example: You want 750g loaves and are using a hydration of 71%. You will need (1 / 0.8) * 750g / 1.71 = 548g of flour.

7. I want to test the effect of a specific ingredient on height of finished loaf of bread baked in a rectangular tin (which then is a measure for dough volume). I have made 8 different loaves using the following quantities of the ingredient: 0%, 2%, 4%, 6%, 8%, 10%, 12% and 14%. I have measured the height and have the feeling the greatest height is somewhere in the middle, but where is it exactly?

Answer: If the greatest height is somewhere in the middle you probably have results like shown in the picture below. Even with such a small amount of samples it is possible to graphically determine the maximum by drawing the resulting curve. In this case the best bread volume would be at around 5% of the ingredient.

Written by theinversecook

28 May 2010 at 18:56

Spelt-Einkorn bread with coriander

with 21 comments

My success with whole-spelt flour has been limited so far, up to a point where I wanted to abandon the idea of using it ever again. Although delicious, it does bake to a rather dry crumb. Using sourdough, a soaker and a little fat is recommended (or increase fermentation times of a direct dough drastically). And then I did remember Einkorn greatly increasing crust and flavor of most hearty and whole-grainy breads I’ve added it to. Spelt is no exception, it also benefits from the powers of Einkorn, here added in a soaker. I also put the whole tin with the dough inside one of those fancy baking bags used for the Sunday roast because I’ve had about one meter of it left. Haven’t cut into it yet, but looks promising fresh out of the oven. The lemony aroma of coriander dancing under my nostrils at this moment next to the warm and robust smell of whole grains is quite seducing. Stay tuned for crumb piccies…

…the bread is dense, moist and has that wonderful crispy Einkorn-crust, which I have grown quite fond of. The coriander is barely offering anything substantial to the flavor, it is the aroma that enters through sidestreams which augments the fine taste that this otherwise simple and bold loaf of bread provides.[/babble]

Spelt-Einkorn bread with coriander

Einkorm soaker

  • 100g coarse Einkorn meal
  • 100g water

Let stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours.


  • Einkorn soaker
  • 180g whole-spelt sourdough, hydration: 80%
  • 280 whole-spelt flour
  • Enough water to make a loose dough, 26°C, approx. 150-200g.
  • 1 tsp of crushed coriander seeds
  • 5g fresh yeast
  • 9g sea salt
  • 15g sunflower oil

Mix briefly with a fork, let stand for 15 minutes, mix again. Let stand for 20 minutes, then give it a turn. Let stand for additional 45 minutes at room temperature.

Dust the dough with rye flour, give it a turn, then dust again. There should be thin coating of rye flour on the dough (some of the flour will be incorporated, that is okay, but use only a little flour). This will make pouring the dough into the tin easier.

Let rest for 20-40 minutes. The short final rise will make for a dramatic burst of the crust and prevent the weak dough from collapsing under its own weight. Bake in a small and narrow tin at 240°C for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 200°C and bake for further 40-50 minutes until the crust is a golden brown.

Written by theinversecook

13 June 2009 at 16:42