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European flour, and water absorption

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4 replies to this topic

#1 jjahorn

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 02:59 AM

New member here, and a hobby chef.

This last week I was trying a few different yeast dough recipes from American web-sites, and found an I had a problem.
The 3 recipes I used (weight measurements for the ingredients - so it should have been fairly accurate), all had a fairly high level of liquid. When I combined everything - respectively after the first rising, I found that the dough was not at all malleable, but very much a wet glop.
To be able to work with them I had to add quite a big more flour to firm up the dough. This happened with a 'pizza' flour (I assume it had a higher glutton rate) and normal 405 flour.

Is it possible that the flour that I get in Germany does not absorb liquid the same as the flour that would be used in America?
Has anyone else experienced this? Maybe I just had some bad luck and tried 3 separate recipes that well all equally unbalanced...


#2 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:36 AM

What percentage of water? I usually use between 60 and 66 percent total water for my recipes using King Arthur organic white flour. (That's baker's percentage, with flour equal to 100%.)

#3 Mjx

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:39 AM

Did the recipes give any actual indication of the consistency the dough was supposed to have? A lot of recipes are specifically for slack doughs, in which case, the recipes were behaving the way they were supposed to (I work almost exclusively with doughs that definitely fall into the 'wet glop' category; I don't even consider kneading these, but just go at them with a hand-held mixer with dough hooks).

Flour will absorb water differently, depending on protein content; it's possible that the recipes you used were intended for flour with a completely different percentage of protein (405 flour runs about 9% protein, US all-purpose about 11% protein, high-protein flours run about 14 to 15% protein).

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums

#4 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:01 PM

Here is a thread that might be of interest:


#5 fatmat

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 02:30 PM

I think that water absorption depends on the level of gluten in the flour. I.e. higher gluten can take more water