The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

my starter and my dough are way too thick

optics's picture
optics

my starter and my dough are way too thick

hi, Peter Reinhart's starter turns thick in 5 days with thick strands of gluten although i follow his instructions. today i attempted "jason's ciabatta" which starts with 500g flour and 425g water + salt + yeast. this mixture also becomes thick and gooey but it's supposed to be a wet dough. my flour is stone ground bread flour with max 14% water content. do you think it's absorbing too much liquid and can i add as much liquid as i want to make batter consistency? tks

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

it will help it ferment faster.  Too thick will work it just takes longer.  

Something bothers me.  As fermenting progresses the dough or batter gets thinner.  It just happens that way.  So... if you find your starter getting thicker, something is going on that needs correcting.  Like cover it to prevent evaporation or drying out and let the starter stand alone without adding more flour until if shows positive signs of fermentation.

The Ciabatta weighs in with 85% hydration, normal for a ciabatta dough.

optics's picture
optics

coolio - tks Mini. i'm watching my ciabatta dough like a hawk and even if it takes till midnight to triple, so be it. i WILL be baking today :-)))))) i'll try adding more water to the starter and also maybe begin a new one just to be on the safe side. it's chilly here so i can afford to leave things plodding along slowly. appreciate the advice.