The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sticky Dough

Kevin_T82's picture

Sticky Dough

Hello all;

I recently baked my first loaf of white bread. I've baked this recipe about 5 times. The first attempt ended up great start to finish, the other 4...not so much. The final product was always consistently great in all attempts, the problem is in the’s very sticky but only the past four times.

What would cause that? The only things I think of are; too much water or not enough flour. I changed nothing from the first time I made the bread to the fifth time.

Another variable could have been the flour was rather old. I kept it in the refrigerator for long term storage. Could the flour have been extra dry from the refrigerator?


Chuck's picture

Can you post the recipe you used?

"Sticky" dough doesn't necessarily indicate something's wrong; more than a few recipes purposely produce dough that's so sticky it can only be worked with FrenchFolds (not any traditional sort of kneading). Purposeful very high hydration leads to better texture (and different rises)  ...but it can be a real bear to work with, especially at first.

It's pretty common to incorporate a great deal of additional flour from the work surface, so much that it throws the recipe way off. Maybe that's what happened with your first loaf. Please tell us a little more about what 's been satisfactory about all five loaves: mainly the flavor, or mainly the texture, or both? (I wouldn't be surprised to hear they all had about the same flavor, but the first loaf had significantly smaller holes:-)

Kevin_T82's picture


Followed this recipe to a 'T' all 5 times. Also, I did not knead the dough by hand at all in any attempt. Dont get me wrong all the bread turned out excellent and consistent.  However, the first attempt the dough pulled away from the sides of my stand mixing bowl while it was being kneaded. The other times it stuck madly to the bowl. I will still remain making this bread, its a great sandwich bread for us.

Let me just say I feel that the 'look and feel' of the first dough was how it was suppose to be. Just wondering the differance.





7g active dry yeast

20g white sugar

1¼ cups water (120-130F)

20g butter (melted, cooled)

9g Kosher Salt

445g AP Flour


In bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment combine: flour, yeast, sugar, and kosher salt for 30 seconds until well blended. Add water and melted and cooled butter. Mix on low, with paddle, until loosely combined. Then, switch to the dough hook attachment and knead dough on medium for 5 minutes.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled in volume.

Punch dough down. Turn out on lightly floured surface. Lightly roll out dough, roughly 9x13”. Lightly grease a 9x5x3 heavy loaf pan place rolled dough in said loaf pan.

Place loaf pan, with dough, on to the middle rack of a cold oven and cover with damp paper towel. On bottom rack place an empty vessel. Carefully pour boiling water into empty vessel and close oven door and let dough proof for 40 minutes until double in volume.

Remove both loaf pan and vessel of water. Preheat oven to 425. Once oven has preheated put loaf pan back into oven then drop temperature to 375.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until center of dough tested with an instant read thermometer reads 190-205.