Total newbie question: Is there a difference between sticky and tacky dough?
Sticky dough will stick to your hand if you touch it, that is, small pieces of dough will stay on you hand when you pull it away.
Tacky dough will adhere to your hand very slightly, but will not stick. Your hand will remain clean and free of pieces of dough when you pull it away.
Thanks! I appreciate it. Now I can decipher the recipe much better.
Would a wet dough by definition be sticky? No matter what I do with Laurel's Kitchen Basic Whole Wheat, I end up with a dough that sticks to my fingers terribly. As I go, it does less and less. But I'm trying not to add in much flour as I knead.
If you're kneading rather than folding (I tend to knead up to 75% hydration), just accept that it's going to stick to your fingers. Large clumps can be added back to the dough, and it becomes less of a problem as the dough develops. You don't even need flour on your surface, and there probably won't be that much to clean up when you're done.
Bottom line - expect mess, relish it, and it's not really that bad when you're finished.
Permission to get messy! I love it. Thanks for the boost of confidence!