The Fresh Loaf

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Help! What in the world is wrong with this dough?

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moxiemolly's picture
moxiemolly

Help! What in the world is wrong with this dough?

I kneaded it for at least ten minutes and it never became any smoother than this, always tearing. I'm sure it's something simple... Any suggestions?


 


LindyD's picture
LindyD

What's in it?  Any autolyse?  Hand knead or machine?  Volume or scale measurements?

ehanner's picture
ehanner

You haven't given us much to work with as far as understanding how you got to this point.


In general, you might want to add a couple more Tablespoons of water to allow the flour to get totally hydrated and then after an initial mix, let it sit for 30-60 minutes to stabilize. Then begin kneading and complete mixing. I think people want to rush the process from mix to knead.


If you post your recipe and the timing you used to get to this point, we can be of more help>


Eric

moxiemolly's picture
moxiemolly

I did rush things a little. I allowed time for rest in the middle of my kneading.


I used a poolish made of 1 C water and 1 C flour, waaaait a second. Just typing that helped me realize that I added an extra cup of flour along the way. Is there any way to add enough water to recover at this point? It's been resting for about an hour now.


I added the poolish to:


5 C flour (should have been 4)


1 C water


1 TBS salt and


2 tsp more yeast. Yikes! 

BettyR's picture
BettyR

I have had dough turn out too dry for one reason or another and I just make hole in the middle of the dough and add some water to the hole and close it up very carefully to trap the water. Then slowly and gently start kneading the dough to distribute the water...the dough will absorb the water but you have to be patient and work slowly. You can keep doing this until the dough reaches the right texture/moisture level. 

moxiemolly's picture
moxiemolly

Before I read that last comment I put it in the cuisinart with 1/2 cup water and let it spin. I kneaded a little more and now I will wait and see... I just hope I didn't murder the yeast. Thanks for the suggestions, now I know what dry dough looks/feels like. It was like kneading a football! 


 


SimonLove's picture
SimonLove

Let's hope it works out.  I'm sure you have full support from your lovely family!

SimonLove's picture
SimonLove

Thanks family :)

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Is to wet your hands as you knead, and keep wetting them until the dough is hydrated to your liking.  That way you don't douse it with too much water.


 

SimonLove's picture
SimonLove

That's a great idea! Thanks

SimonLove's picture
SimonLove

Actually posted by Moxiemolly, my husband signed on to be supportive and left the computer in his name :)


Hopefully I can repeat that mistake because it turned out very well! Thanks for all the help :)



And the yummy, chewy crumb:



Thank you to TFL!

the apprentice's picture
the apprentice

that people post their mistakes so that I can see how to fix them when I run into them myself! I made some dough the other day that I had to add water to. I didn't know how it would work out, but the bread came out ok. Now I know what the dough looks like if it is too dry (actually I'm learning that WWF needs more water, otherwise it looks like your picture above). It's good to see that your bread came out looking great!

moxiemolly's picture
moxiemolly

The tragic posts always draw my attention because I know it could easily happen to me :) 

JoeV's picture
JoeV

you may want to consider doing what I do to save yourself from this sort of situation. I have been experimenting with sourdough preferments lately, using my existing bread recipes. I start by printing out a copy of the recipe, then I make notes as to the changes (this is the anal engineer in me). It looks something like this...


PREFERMENT:


8 oz Sourdough starter (100% hydration)  (Deduct 4 oz flour and 4 oz water from original recipe)


Add 4 oz flour (deduct from original recipe)


Add 4 oz water (deduct from original recipe)


Mix to combine well then cover and let sit on counter for 8 hours or overnight.


Total deduct from original recipe is 8 oz flour and 8 oz water.


I then make the deductions for each item on the recipe by striking through the original weight of the ingredient and writing the new weight next to it IN RED, and I do this BEFORE I handle any ingredients to make my preferment. This is the planning stage which I find critical when creating new recipes. When I go to mix the dough the following morning, the balance of the ingredients are already calculated and noted, so there is no confusion about ingredient weights. If the recipe turns out well, I can then write a new recipe from my notes and put in the computer and the recipe binder.


Hope this helps you and others in planning for variations on your existing recipes. Just remember, you can't take enough notes of what you are doing, especially when you become MY age. LOL