The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

trying to correct my dough for kneading,,,

LLM777's picture

trying to correct my dough for kneading,,,

I am frustrated because I can't seem to figure out: Do I add flour or water to get the dough the way it's supposed to be? I hear the terms tacky and sticky but I can't seem to correct my dough. I am making the PR pizza nepoltana. I am putting the ingredients in the mixer, after weighing, and letting it mix where the dough sticks to the bottom but not the sides just like he says. BUT when I take it out to knead it a bit more (because it sticks to the dough hook) I end up with it all on my hands, whether I use flour or water or both. It's one big mess all over my hands. So I end up getting frustrated and putting it in a bowl in the frig.  This happens with all my breads by hand (I also make PR's master formula whole grain bread). I get to the point where I, after using the machine for initial kneading, take it out to knead by hand, it seems just perfect until about 3-5 minutes later after adding water to my hands to keep it from sticking to them, it gets super tacky and I can't seem to correct it, even by adding flour at that point. It almost becomes like a paste and trying to knead it more just makes it worse. Am I adding too much water but how do I keep my hands from sticking to the dough while kneading? What am I doing wrong?

Thank you and forgive my frustration.

GabrielLeung1's picture

I would recommend flouring your hands, rather then wetting them. While wetting your hands will lubricate them to the dough, by kneading with wet hands, you're also adding water to the dough, and that will make it stickier. 

Alternatively, flouring your hands will keep the dough from sticking to your hands, and it may be that you need more flour in your dough if its too sticky. 

Another option is the post-mixing rest period (not necessarily an autolyse, but that probably wouldn't hurt either). The dough should firm up as the gluten develops and flour gets hydrated. 

Yet another option is folding the dough with flour as you would a ciabatta to develop that gluten and decrease the stickiness of the dough. 

Adding water will always make the dough more sticky, whereas adding flour will always make the dough drier (and therefore less sticky). 

Hope this helps. 


Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

If making this style of pizza, less is more, and anything more than less gets messy real quick. Pamela just posted this link for this video, and I think you might get a better idea of what needs to happen for this type of dough:

Hope it gets you back on track for what you want to achieve. This is pizza specific info.

- Keith

audra36274's picture

   it always helps me to see someone do something I'm having difficulty with. Thanks Keith and Pamela for posting the linc.

Pain Partout's picture
Pain Partout

You can turn your wet dough into a wide plastic mixing bowl,  rest for 15-20 minuites...add a tiny bit of flour over the top, and scrape, fold, & turn it with a plastic dough scraper.  Or turn the dough out onto a Silpat mat, or bread mat (silicone mat), rest,  and use the scraper.  Sprinkle a very small amount of flour onto the mat, and fold with the scraper.  Dough scrapers come in different shapes, and I prefer the rectangular models over the "half circle" designs.  A good plastic scraper will handle sticky dough quickly, and clean up will be easier.