The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dough woes

DohBoy's picture

Dough woes

I spent much of today in the kitchen baking.  I atempted my grandmother's Cardamom Bread recipe again.  Twice before it turned out beautifully.  This time, the doe was a disaster.  I have no clue as to what went wrong.  It was way too sticky. In the mixer, the dough would not set up properly, it looked more like a lumpy loose pudding.  It was not a pretty dough.  I tried correcting this by adding more flour, but I fearI overmixed the dough.  I made the braids for the finished product, Cardamom Braids.  but the dough was too elastic, and wanted to flatten. 

 Any thoughts or correction tips?

Thanks, DohBoy

spsq's picture

I'm no expert by any means, so take this with a grain of salt.  I remember reading in a bread book - peter reinhart? - that dough can be overmixed in a standup mixer.  It's something like this:  mixing by dough hook heats up the dough (whereas your hands almost never would) and once it passes a certain point, the dough turns slack and sticky.  The gluten strands have been broken, and in fact, the dough is irretreivable at this point.  I noticed in your other post that you recently purchased a stand mixer, so this may have been the problem.  More knowledgable people than me may be able to correct/ammend this advice though.  Good luck!


P.S.   Cardamom bread?  Sounds delicious!!!!!

DohBoy's picture

Thanks, good info to know.  Yet this leaves me wondering; does anyone else use a standup mixer? 

 I was able to make my caramom braids from this dough; I was fighting it all through the shaping phase.  It's a sweet bread, so it tasted sweet and quite good, but not as sweet as my first batch.  One thing I jest thought of, the dough in the first batch was considerably warmer than the second batch.  I wonder if I didn't get the milk heated to the proper temp.

I;ll have to post the cardaom braid recipe later.

sewwhatsports's picture

You are exactly right.  If you overmix the dough in a stand mixer your dough will become overwet as the gluten breaks down.  I have 2 KA mixers and love them.  The trick is knowing that you keep the speed at level 2 always and that mixing for 2-3 minutes in a mixer is close to 10-12 minutes by hand.  You need to adjust the kneading time a little up for whole grain breads but usually not more than 5 minutes total.  I do 3, check my gluten formation and then do more as needed.  I also do an autolyse period always with whole grain doughs.

Hope this information helps. 

Rena in Delaware