The Fresh Loaf

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dough super wet

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christinepi's picture
christinepi

dough super wet

My 5 sourdough productions so far have ranged from edible to only chicken feed worthy. Most recently I used this recipe: http://artistta.blogspot.com/2011/11/easiest-sourdough-bread-recipe-i-know.html, and it's in the quite edible category. But I think almost everything went wrong and I just kind of salvaged it.

In the evening, I divided all the ingredients in half, and I know I made no mistake there. For the requested 244g (487g : 2) of flour I used 200g of bread flour and 44g KA white whole wheat. I added to that the 150g sourdough starter (fed in the morning, and again at 1pm, at a ratio of 1:2.2:2.2). The immediate result was a super wet dough, beyond sticky. After an hour, at 10pm, after thinking this over, I added 25g of bread flour. That seemed to help some. I let it sit in out at between 65 and 70 over night. At 8am the next day it had risen quite nicely, if not doubled. I decided to let it sit some more since I needed to walk the dog anyway. I came back at 9, and did a stretch and fold (not asked for in the recipe, but I figured it might help get the dough more "together". I did another 25 minutes later, and then another, and then let it rest for 30 minutes. After the first stretch and fold some nice bubbles developed, and they were also there after I stretched and folded again, but by the time I s+t'd again, they were gone and never came back. During the last rest the dough barely rose at all. During all those s+t's the dough was at a 76 temperature. I couldn't do the poke test, because the dough just stuck to my finger when I tried to pull my finger out.

The outcome (baked at 500 in a dutch oven, and it turns out I baked it too long, too, since it had an internal temp of 220) was remarkably un-desastrous, but still far from what I had wanted. Question: does this recipe require more flour to begin with? If so, how much? If not, what else could have I have done differently to get a better result?

 

 

BobS's picture
BobS

The formula is pretty wet - upwards of 80% hydration -  but that is probably because the original author uses 100% whole wheat flour, which needs more water than white flour. So it makes sense that it is pretty gloopy. Something in the 70% or so hydration range will be a lot easier to handle and have a decent crumb.

Baker's math is the 'right' way to analyze a formula, but to answer your question you need reduce the water/flour ration by either adding more flour or reducing the water. Or both, together.

We can tweak the formula to get the hydration at around 70%. The proportion of starter is pretty high, so I'd include it in the calculation.

You don't say, but it's likely you used 206 grams of water. You could keep the flour @ 244 g and drop the water to, say, 150g. Or you could leave the water @ 206 and bump up the flour to 326 g or so. I think those would get you in the ball park.

 

isand66's picture
isand66

I agree with Bob above that this is a very wet dough especially if you are using less Whole Wheat flour.  I would also question how long you are leaving the dough to rise as it seems a long time.  If you are still new to SD baking this recipe does not seem to be the best one to use.  I suggest you get a copy of Peter Reinhart's Artisan Bread Every Day which I use as a basic method with some modifications for most of my breads.  You can search my blog on this site or on my other one at www.mookielovesbread.wordpress.com.  I have some simple breads and some complicated ones but you can peruse them and see if any strikes your fancy. If you send me a private message I will give you the basic formula for a simple Sourdough and the method.

christinepi's picture
christinepi

what I don't get is that the recipe I used uses the same amount of flour whether it's white or whole wheat. That puzzled me from the beginning, but then I'm a beginner.

isand66's picture
isand66

Whole wheat flour absorbs more water so when you switch to a white style flour it will absorb less water so the dough will feel much different.  Once you get a better feel for baking and an understanding of flour you can experiment like I do using different styles of flours in your starter and main dough.

chris319's picture
chris319

Once you get the hydration right, try a much shorter proofing time, say around 8 hours. There may be some proteolysis going on which makes bread dough gooey.