The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My sad dough

Feet1st's picture

My sad dough

Hi there,  I have dreams of baking beautiful breads, twists, rolls and buns... but I have sad dough.  HELP!  I started with putting my yeast (not expired) in a clean bowl with warm water (not too hot, not too cool) for 1/2 hr.  It starts to froth and I add my other ingredients.  I go to kneed and after 5-8 minutes it looks like this?  Where's my spring?  Where's my elastic master piece?  Please help this beginner get her basics right.  This particular recipe was 3 teasp yeast, 1 cup + 2 tblsp water, tblsp sugar, teasp salt, 3 cups of flour.





linder's picture

To me, it looks like the dough needs more water. Try a 1 1/4 cups water and maybe add more if still dry.  If the flour is whole wheat, you will definitely need more water even 1 1/2 cups might not be too much.


yy's picture

Judging from the look of your dough, you need to add more water. However, the recipe should yield a dough that looks wetter than the one in your photo. I would suggest getting a scale and finding a good formula that gives quantities in weights rather than volumes. You'll feel much more in control of your results. Learning about bakers percentages, hydration, and measuring in weights is the start of happy dough!

kkinderen's picture

Actually, that looks to me like the shaggy mass stage after the ingredients are well mixed but before being kneaded. If I were faced with this I believe I would let it rest 10 or 20 minutes and then come back to kneading it adding tiny amounts of water or flour as needed. Can't really tell if it needs more water or flour by the picture but you can tell by the feel.

I'm new at bread baking but a lesson I've learned is to take a rest... it benefits me and the dough. Often. Since taking this approach my bread (white and french so far) has been coming out much better. 

I'll be watching this thread closely for other advice. Good luck!

Feet1st's picture

Great advice so far...   May be a premature, impatient kneeder? With a bit too much stodge (flour).  Must admit I have gone for the cheapest flour on the shelf, thought I should put in the ground work before I spend like a pro.  

point to note...  it did rise ok, so confident it could be something to do with my flour/water mixture??

Making bread is so much fun!!!