The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

my dough needs help

MickiColl's picture

my dough needs help

I've been baking bread all my life and have just run into a problem. the past 3 loaves I made .. the dough does not look like or feel like bread dough. it is mostly like a thick batter. I use KA bread or AP flour, and make only yeast breads .. no sourdough. I recently changed brands of yeast, from Red Star or Fleischmans to Kroger house brand (initially had awesome results with it)  .. and also   wonder if I am over kneading ? I use a Kitchenaide stand mixer, and use it for initial kneading, (speed 2 to 4 for 5 - 10 minutes)  then a few stretch and folds before forming. my dough rises .. but very little. the KA flour I'm using is a new bag I just bought about 3 weeks ago .. do I have a yeast problem ? flour ?  over kneading ? or a combination of these and/or something else ? help, please .. I'm getting tired of seeing all my work go down the disposal ..

mrfrost's picture

Have you checked the expiration date on the yeast. In some stores(including Kroger) the jars of yeast seem to move somewhat slowly, or people like me really pick through them for the freshest date. I have seen expired jars, right next to those with a year or more to go.

The Kroger brand itself is fine. I noticed no significant difference between it and the SAF instant I now buy, merely because it is 1/4 the price of even the Kroger brand.

Are you sure the water(or liquid) is not too warm and killing the yeast. Or maybe somehow moisture got to your yeast and ruined it. Either way, yeast issues would hardly make the dough too wet.

It really sounds like you may be just making the dough too wet. Maybe, inconsistent measuring; probably with the flour? Do you weigh your flour, or use cup measures?

Otherwise, just try adjusting the amount of flour(or liquid) until you get the dough consistency called for.

Good luck.

MickiColl's picture

first thing I did was check the date on the yeast (I do that anyway, every time I bake) bought new, anyway .. twice. (my yeast is in the packets .. not the bottle)  I have tried measuring and weighing, both .. frankly I'm inclined to think it's the flour .. my dough's aren't nearly as wet as what most destructions call for, here .. especially the ciabatta and no knead. it's just that they look and feel like batter. not dough.

proth5's picture

calling the KA Flour Company (if you still have the bag itself) to see if they can enlighten you about the flour.  Their stock in trade is the consistency of their flour and certainly if there was a "lot" of it that was bad, they would want to know.

I would also triple check my measuring of all ingredients.  That would have to be some bad flour to produce batter instead of bread, especially if you measure by weight.

If you have baked bread all your life, something has changed.  Be alert for any changes.

But I do recommend contacting KA.

caraway's picture

Do you proof your yeast before mixing?  And was it as active as you're used to seeing it?  It sounds like the yeast has something to do with it.  Even if you're hydration is too high you should see plenty of rise.

Good luck!