Sticky, tacky dough questions
Reinhart's books refer to the condition of dough in the following ways:
"If mixing by hand, combine the soaker and biga.... knead with wet hands until... evenly integrated... It should be soft and slightly sticky."
"Knead by hand.... until the dough feels soft and tacky, but not sticky."
"Resume kneading the dough for 1 minute...... the dough should have strength and pass the windowpane test, yet still feel soft, supple, and very tacky."
I'm still not sure on how to differentiate between "soft and slightly sticky", "soft and tacky, but not sticky" and "soft, supple, and very tacky". Can someone please enlighten me?
Today I have a 100% whole wheat dough (Whole Grain Breads basic formula) that after initial mixing and before kneading was super sticky. If thrown against the wall, well it won't even reach the wall. It would have just stuck to my hands. I'm using this whole wheat flour milled in Turkey which seems to have very poor water absorption compared to an American whole wheat flour I tried last week. So I put in more flour generously and kneaded it in. I didn't track how much I added but it could easily have been 100g. I was only making 1 loaf. I added it gradually.
It eventually reached a condition that I'm not sure should be called slightly sticky or tacky. If I touch the dough lightly, there is a feeling like touching the sticky part of Post-It Notes. But if I hold the dough carefully or knead with a medium stroke, bits of dough would be torn off and stick to my fingers and palm. Later I placed the dough on the table for a few minutes while I went to wash my mixing bowl. When I returned to pick up the dough to put into my bowl for rising, the dough sticks to the table, like so:
So the dough was still sticky and not tacky? I had already kneaded 300 strokes and added copious amounts of flour during kneading. After rising, I got it out of the bowl, pre-shaped it and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then when I rolled it (final shaping), bits of the dough surface stuck to the table.
Another question, in Laurel's book, she said beginners often make the mistake of adding flour to dough during the initial stages of kneading when the beginner finds it too sticky. She assures that after sufficient kneading, the dough will naturally lose its stickiness. In my today's dough, was it a mistake to add flour? If I didn't add, it would have been impossible to knead it as it would have stuck to my hands that I can't even hurl it against the wall.