The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


jerryf01's picture

Sticky Doughs

September 16, 2008 - 5:47pm -- jerryf01

      I recently bought a new mixer, Electrolux Assistent and while learning to use it went to my friends house where we did two batches of the same dough, using bread flour on one and AP on the other. The forumla was Pain Italien from Benard Clayton's New complete Book of Breads. Using bread flour we acheived a sticky dough that was hard to move to an oiled bowl, where the AP batch was like a baby's hind end, smooth and satiny, no stickiness what so ever. Both breads turned out well and I'm told that all's well that ends well. Both batches where weighed and used the same scale.

vegicuisine's picture

sourdough woes

July 20, 2008 - 12:04pm -- vegicuisine

In January I started my first batch of sourdough starter.  The taste evolves weekly and is delicious.  Within the last month I've noticed that after kneeding, the bread seems to get very sticky and rises so fast I can't keep up with it.  I've tried adding more flour before and after the kneed, but it seems to suck in the moisture from the air or something and just gets stickier.  It rises so fast that I punch down and let it rise about 3 times, which actually seems to develop the flavor more but also makes it difficult to manage.  My last problem is that it doesn't seem to rise in the oven.

tamraclove's picture

The Chocolate Cranberry loaf was my first 100% sourdough loaf. I won't say too much about it here, because I posted questions about it in another forum. Here is a link to that conversation.

This loaf was made using my yeasted starter. My wild starter still isn't ready yet, although today's observation (day 6) shows that it increased by about 50% - the most so far!


Today I'm trying Mike's 100% WW Sandwich Bread. It looked pretty basic, and I'd like a basic recipe to use every week to hone my skills on.

My dough is in its first rise right now. It's been sitting, oiled and covered, in a sunny window (cool kitchen) for 1 1/2 hrs. It still hasn't doubled yet. This is the same starter I used yesterday in the Chocolate loaf, and it has been fed twice since then, and I waited until it doubled before stirring it down and measuring it.

The recipe calls for finely milled WW. Here in Greenock, I think I only have 1 option for WW. I need to check at the store again. As of now, I'm using the store brand Strong 100% Stoneground WW. The bran flakes are huge - the same size as in the bag of wheat bran that I bought. I have been reading that the gluten in coarsely-ground flour is not 'available' resulting in shorter gluten strands. This might also account for the hard time I had in kneading. I ended up adding just over 1C of additional flour (oh - I doubled the recipe) and it was still quite sticky.

I'm defining sticky like this - wet enough to leave strings of dough attached to my hands, will clean the countertop, but if I leave it sit long enough to clean my hands off, I have to use a scraper to pick up the ball again.

So... if the gluten is shorter, the dough is stickier, wetter, heavier, harder to rise? Hmm... we'll have to see. With the Chocolate loaf, it didn't quite double on the first rising, bit it 'nearly' doubled on the second rise, and then I got very nice oven spring. The conditions were the same - sunny windowsill. But, the chocolate loaf was made with white flour (WW starter) and this bread is 100% WW - much heavier bread. I did get it to pass the windowpane test finally (it took almost 30 min. of kneading).

More comments will be posted as the day's baking progresses.



After 2 hours, i decided that the dough had nearly doubled. I punched it down gently, turned it over, and reshaped the ball 'inside out'. The dough is somewhat stiffer after the 2 hour rest, and didn't stick to me - yea! As I stretched the dough (the side that was the bottom) the dough did not tear, but made very small (1/8-1/4") blisters on the surface. The dough is very smooth, other than that.


The dough nearly doubled again - after about 1.25 hrs. I punched it down, divided it in half (double batch) and made 2 loafs. It was still too sticky to put on the counter without a dusting of flour. I spread the dough out - almost using Mike's 'teasing' technique, like for stretch and fold. I rolled the dough up, brushing flour off and pinching the seam as I went. I sealed the ends, turned them under, and placed them into 2 greaed and floured PC stoneware bread pans (I can't get Baker's Joy here) The pans are about 1/2 full of dough - I don't think they'll rise above the surface...


I was right - they only filled the pans about 3/4 of the way.  I did get them to slash nicely - one long slash down the middle.  Baked for 45 min at 350, then upped the temp to 400 for the last 10 to get them brown(I had the pans too low in the oven).   Because I had greased AND floured my pans, they popped out nicely.  I took them out when the temp was at 205. 

The bread was, again, too moist.  But not as bad as last time.  They were completely risen inside - no thick spots, or pockets of dough.  The flavor is nice - just a bit sour. But that might be because of the extra moisture.  You can't taste the honey (I didn't really want to) so it's a nice any-time bread.  I will definately use this bread next time, and compare notes - using more flour until I'm happy with the texture.  Also, since a double batch wasn't enough for my 2 loaf pans, I think I will make a 3x batch next time.  That makes 1.5 batch in each pan.  I think that would just about do it.

1st try at Mike's WW


Crumb still a bit too moist 


JuneHawk's picture


May 17, 2008 - 4:25pm -- JuneHawk



I did a search for this but didn't find relevant information.  I am making pugliese for the first time, following The Bread Bible's recipe called Brianna's Pugliese.  The Kitchenaid is kneading right now but the dough seems very wet. It's not coming off the sides of the bowl at all and I'm wondering if this is normal.  The recipe says the dough will be very sticky but I'm not sure if it's supposed to be THIS sticky.  Any info would be greatly appreciated!



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