The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

"Sticky" vs "Tacky"

SulaBlue's picture

"Sticky" vs "Tacky"

Where is the line between "sticky" and "tacky." I really haven't found this yet. I thought I had, but apparently not so much. I'm working with KAF's White Whole Wheat for the first time and using Reinhart's instructions for whole wheat pizza dough. He said that it should be "tacky." What I got was, in my mind, way more than tacky, but I also didn't want to add flour for adjustment in the pre-dough. This stuff was like fighting the blob! I know I didn't get my hand wet enough, but goodness! It wasn't quite sticking to the bowl, but it was quickly trying to make a dough-glove out of my hand and, when I would push down and then lift up with each knead, it would pull back with my hand. Obviously still "sticky" and not "tacky." But what is really the defining line between the two - when it would rather stay with itself rather than your hand but still has a bit of cling rather than being silky to the touch like white bread dough?

suave's picture

Tacky dough will adhere to you finger, but will release it without leaving much of a trace. Sticky dough will leave a residue on your hand.

merrybaker's picture

Tacky is like a Post-It note.

BNLeuck's picture

I think that's the best two-word description of tacky dough ever. I never even thought of a post-it note, but you're so right.

SulaBlue's picture

Not just tacky, not "bordering on sticky" as Reinhart suggests, but outright -sticky-. Every time I added a bit of flour and kneaded it went right back to sticking to my hands like clay slurry within a couple of turns. Possibly due to the fact we had a HUGE rainstorm here today.

The pizza turned out AWESOME though!

100% whole wheat crust, deli-sliced pepperoni, genoa salami, canadian bacon, fresh mozzarella and homemade pizza sauce made with tomato sauce, garlic, home-grown basil, oregano and thyme, cracked Tellicherry peppercorns, fennel seed and sea salt.

louiscohen's picture

I usually think of whole grain breads for their superior nurtitional qualities (all the vitamin and minerals without supplements, plus the fiber).  Of course, when you top it with pepperoni, salami, bacon, and mozzarella you still get the nutrients and the fiber, and a very tasty large amount of saturated fat as well.  It's sort of like ordering a double burger, large fries, and a diet coke.  

But I bet it tastes great.

SulaBlue's picture

I'm diabetic and 100% whole wheat has less of a 'hit' to my blood sugars than refined white flour :) Canadian bacon, unlike sliced bacon, is actually fairly healthy. The package lists a 2oz portion as being 70 calories with only 3 grams of fat. I'd have to agree with the pepperoni, salami and mozzarella though ;) Thus why I used very, very little of each! Buying pepperoni at the deli you can get it sliced on a '1', which is paper thin. You can manage to "cover" a personal-sized pizza like this with only three sheet-thin slices. In hopes of keeping the pizza from getting TOO overloaded with 'wet' ingredients I took the mozzerella and sliced each 80-calorie disc into 2-3 pieces. The added advantage to having all your toppings so thin is also that toppings and crust manage to cook at the same time.