The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy


I think I've overkneaded my dough for what was supposed to be a whole grain meteil. I added altus, which I think increased my hydration or something, so the dough just wouldn't come together right. Either that, or there is more rye in this than formula states. (PR's formula with whole wheat starter, rye soaker). PR leaves a lot of room for decisions-"add either rye or whole wheat as needed" and somehow things just weren't looking right.

I continued to mix in the mixer, adding flour (WWW) and it still looked like playdough, no gluten whatsoever. Finally, after I have no idea how much mixing and probably 1.5 cups of additonal flour the dough came together in a tight ball. REALLY tight! Like so strong I can't even begin to try to stretch this without breaking.

Is there anything I can do now? It's just starting bulk fermentation. Add a little water?

SourFlour's picture

It sounds like it might be a bit dry.  Adding water definitely will help the workability of it.  Also, give it time to relax and soak in the water.  Letting it sit for an hour or two will let it loosen and allow further gluten development later.

I mix all my dough by hand, but usually do it over the course of 6 or more hours. A bit intensive in the beginning to get consistency, but then just let time develop the dough.  

The added rye flour definitely will affect how the dough feels as well.  I'm just beginning to use more rye, and definitely notice it absorbs water way differently.  Good luck with your experiments.

Take care,
Danny Paz Gabriner
Sour Flour

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Well, the bread turned out wonderful. Lovely, slightly dense like a heavier rye. The flavor was unbelieavable!

The onions, fennel seeds, caroway seeds plus the altus did something magical and I've never had such an amazing bread!

This was using PR's whole grain rye meteil. I think the rye percent probably turned into a seigle but since I added as I was going along to change the dough I haven't figured out the percent.