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How to Work with Sticky Dough

Learn how to work with sticky dough in this bread making video from Howcast.


What happens when your dough is too sticky? Well, I love sticky dough. I think that that's the best dough and so I don't normally try to do anything when my dough is too sticky. Generally, sticky dough is when a bread is fermented, the gluten starts to break down and the dough starts to get stickier, so it's a sign of fermentation. Then it generally also means that there's more water in the dough, and I think that more water in the dough makes for a softer crust and a nicer mouth feel, and so for those reasons I like sticky dough.

But what happens when you've been making a recipe for a long time and you get really sticky dough, and you know that it's not supposed to be that sticky? What do you do? Well, the first thing I do is I weigh what dough I have, and so if I'm making a recipe and my recipe calls for 1000 grams of dough, and I weigh it on the scale and I find that I only have 950 grams, then I'm probably short 50 grams of flour and I'll just add the flour in.

So that's my quick trick on fixing sticky doughs is first, weigh your dough, see what the total weight is supposed to be and then add in a little bit of flour. If you don't know what the weight is supposed to be, but you know that it's a little bit wrong, I would still just add like a tablespoon. If it's a small batch that you're doing at home just add a tablespoon of flour in at a time. Sort of mix that in and sort of see if the dough starts to come together, so that it's a familiar consistency to you.

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