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Old 06-16-2016, 04:24 PM   #1
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Sticky dough

I am having a recurring problem at the moment with sticky dough. It's so sticky most of it sticks to my hand when kneading, meaning it doesn't get kneaded. It's so sticky that I cannot roll it when I'm done kneading (sticks to my hands). These two make it looks so easy to shape:

Spelt bread:


Sourdough:


Surely I'm not just adding too much water? Is there anything I could do better to make my dough less sticky and easier to handle?

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Old 06-16-2016, 04:53 PM   #2
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Add more flour or use less water.

I butter my hands when I work with a sticky dough.

Also a bench scraper, similar to this one, helps to lift the dough off of the board. You can find them for a couple of dollars on up to thirty or forty dollars, buy an inexpensive one.

Steel Dough Scraper - 5-1/4" X 4-1/4" - LionsDeal
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Old 06-16-2016, 05:01 PM   #3
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"Add more flour" sounded far too simple, but if that is genuinely what may be going wrong, I'll just try and stick to that!
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Old 06-16-2016, 05:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthseaxa View Post
"Add more flour" sounded far too simple, but if that is genuinely what may be going wrong, I'll just try and stick to that!
It takes a little practice especially when using whole grains. The bran in the whole grains absorbs water more slowly than regular all purpose flour.

When I make bread I usually do not add the final cup of flour called for in the recipe until I see how the dough is coming together, sometimes you need it and sometimes you don't. Add the additional flour a little at a time as you work the dough, you may not need the whole amount called for in the recipe and sometimes you may need a little more than the recipe calls for. Check out the King Arthur website, they have many, many TNT bread recipes and tips for the beginning baker.

King Arthur Flour - Try it Once, Trust it Always

Good luck!
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
Add more flour or use less water.

I butter my hands when I work with a sticky dough.

Also a bench scraper, similar to this one, helps to lift the dough off of the board. You can find them for a couple of dollars on up to thirty or forty dollars, buy an inexpensive one.

Steel Dough Scraper - 5-1/4" X 4-1/4" - LionsDeal
I have one and what I love about it, is that it is not a one chore only piece of equipment. When I am dicing, I use it to scoop up the diced items. And it is great for scraping the countertop. I run my hand over the countertop and can feel little pieces that are stuck. For me, a bench scraper is an absolute piece of equipment. And they can cost less that $2.00. I wouldn't be without one. I consider my bench scraper as valuable as my KA mixer.
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Old 06-17-2016, 12:28 AM   #6
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It could also be the humidity on that day.
I like to leave my doughs "sit" for awhile to
allow the liquid to be absorbed, kinda like
the no-knead recipes or pie crusts, pasta dough, etc.
They need to rest.
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Old 06-20-2016, 02:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaneohegirlinaz View Post
It could also be the humidity on that day.
I like to leave my doughs "sit" for awhile to
allow the liquid to be absorbed, kinda like
the no-knead recipes or pie crusts, pasta dough, etc.
They need to rest.
That's in part what the autolyse does. You just mix the basic ingredients (except the salt) until they just come together, then let it rest for 30 minutes so the flour can absorb all of the liquid and the yeast can begin to work.

Then add salt and mix for a few minutes more until the dough gets doughy. After than I start my kneading process.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:16 PM   #8
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Sometimes, you just need really sticky dough. You could add flour until it's no longer sticky, but it's not the same bread. A good baguette needs sticky dough. A good ciabatta needs dough so sticky that it's like meconium.

So use silicone mats, bench scrapers, and just enough flour to keep yourself safe. If you can't get the damn thing off the silicone mat, throw the whole thing in the oven: the silicone can take it.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outRIAAge View Post
Sometimes, you just need really sticky dough. You could add flour until it's no longer sticky, but it's not the same bread. A good baguette needs sticky dough. A good ciabatta needs dough so sticky that it's like meconium.

So use silicone mats, bench scrapers, and just enough flour to keep yourself safe. If you can't get the damn thing off the silicone mat, throw the whole thing in the oven: the silicone can take it.
Forget the mat! When I try to do anything with a sticky dough, I can't get it off my hands!
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:49 PM   #10
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Getting it off your hands is indeed a problem. I use a standard dinner knife to scrape it off my fingers and pat it into place on the loaf. Dump the whole mess and the silicone mat in the oven, and when it comes out, you'll understand the bother.
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