High Hydrations

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mick hartley

Jul 29, 2003, 3:27:37 AM7/29/03
Moro is a Spanish/North African restaurant in London. Their sourdough
recipe comes from their cookery book and is at about 80% hydration. My
slightly modified version can be found at

Not being a specialist bread book it suggests using tins as opposed to
the traditional round shaped hearth bread. This I have successfully
done a number of times including using a fluted ring mould to produce
a jokey birthday "cake" complete with candles.

This weekend I thought I'd be brave and let it rise in a banneton
which I use all the time with lower hydrations. I also used rice
flour for the first time to dust the banneton and can confirm its
effectiveness in preventing sticking.

However, on turning out the dough for baking it had no structure and
spread right across the baking sheet producing a flat loaf barely
three quarters of an inch high

I'm not really bothered about this – it produced a really good flat
bread – but a photograph in the Moro cookbook shows a low, round,
traditional looking hearth bread. Anyone have any techniques for
forming loaves with highly hydrated doughs?

Bets wishes,


Ed Bechtel

Jul 29, 2003, 9:18:34 AM7/29/03
Mick asks:

<< Anyone have any techniques for
forming loaves with highly hydrated doughs? >>

A technique that is different than the one posted in the link is to not be
touching or forming the dough late in the proofing sequence.
My few good results were had at 78 percent hydration using high protein white
bread flour. After mixing and kneading, let rise several hours in mixer bowl.
Then after giving a few folds with the spatula, pour the dough onto floured
parchment and push it into rough loaf shape without the normal folding. I kept
the portions small at 12 to 16 ounces. Flour the tops. Used dish towels under
parchment to minimize spread. Then baked on 500F Stone after 1.5 to 2 hours
second rise. Else it would lose its pizazz like the one in the photo.


mick hartley

Jul 29, 2003, 4:16:10 PM7/29/03
smoke...@aol.comnojunk (Ed Bechtel) wrote in message news:<20030729091834...@mb-m15.aol.com>...

Thanks for that, Ed. There's obviously no point in continuing to use a
banneton. I was thinking of pouring the dough onto the baking sheet in
strips like ciabatta but I might well try your method as well.

Best wishes,


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