One of the things that’s discussed a lot on this blog is hydration. That’s because it’s so important, in more ways than one, for the quality of a full range of products. If done correctly, it can save you a lot of time and money, while substantially improving product quality. The focus for this month: bran and grain hydration.

Rapidojet instantly hydrates bran at 300%. No more soaking bran for hours!

Making sure these ingredients have enough water from the beginning can have a big impact on your bottom line—like if you’re sprouting grains.

Yet even if you are not sprouting, proper hydration really does matter for your products when you are baking with whole grains, whole wheat flour, sprouted products—anything that uses the whole wheat kernel.

Why is it different with whole wheat?

When all of the parts of the wheat kernel are used, this includes the bran portion. It makes up the outer husk of the kernel and is mainly fiber. It’s very thirsty. This part is left out when white flour is milled.

A biga made with 70% hydrated whole wheat flour.

A biga made with 70% hydrated whole wheat flour.

When the bran in grain is included in flours, the extra fiber and structure influences your products. If it is not properly hydrated, bread will become dense, dry, dark, crumbly, low—you get the picture. This is primarily because bran is so thirsty. It loves water! The normal process is to soak bran for 2-3 hours in order to achieve a hydration level of less than 100%. But, that’s not enough. So, it will “steal” water from your products during proofing and after baking. Dry bran also cuts through gluten in dough during mixing. This leads to poor loaf volumes.

So what’s the best way to deal with bran in your dough? You must make sure that it and the grain are fully hydrated. Our tests with the Rapidojet technology on pre- and instant hydration is a radical and disruptive new way to achieve this.

bread loaf volume comparison

Difference in loaf volume when using hydrated bran from Rapidojet (left) vs. dry bran added to the mixer (right).

Research with this innovative technology shows bran being instantly hydrated at 300% and about 5,000 Kg/hr! In the case of Vital Wheat Gluten, 400% hydration and starch can be instantly hydrated at a 4% liquid solution. All with one machine. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

A new look at hydration of whole grains

Rapidojet is a new way to think about hydrating a wide range of products.  The goal with hydration should be to satisfy the thirst (hydroscopic nature) of any product. If a grain is intact, this means creating a way for water migration through the tough outer layer—aka water barrier—and accelerating it. This is exactly what the Rapidojet technology does–for example, 50% hydration after 9 hours of soaking with an additional 10% hydration after grinding. Then to the mixer. Compare this to 9 hours of soaking and 40% hydration without the rapidojet.

How does this work? High pressure liquid exposure is the secret. In the case of flour, when introduced to a high pressure stream of water, it instantly develops gluten structure and fully absorbs the water. Because of this, the mixing time in an existing mixer is reduced by up to 65%. The need for Ice, glycol, yeast and dough conditioners is also reduced. In the end, that means higher quality products with less time and money consumed! So don’t let bran hurt your products, make it happy and fully hydrate it!

Find out more about the time and money-saving Rapidojet!