The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

working with wet dough

ActiveSparkles's picture

working with wet dough

Hi guys, been a while since I last posted on these forums! Hope you are all well.

I have been trying to work with a wetter dough the past few days, but for the life of me I just can't handle it. Now when I say wet, it is what the recipe suggest. (its a very basic 500g flour/ 300ml water combo)

I use the term wet, because I have deliberately been adding more of the water than I usually would, I tend to go with slightly less so I can work with the dough more easily. But I have been reading some bread books and it seems the general feeling is that "wetter is better". The thing is that I just can not shape it into a loaf that will hold structure while proofing. It just spreads out, not up.

I assume it is probably something to do with my technique along the way somewhere, either in kneading or shaping. Just wondering if you lovely people could throw some wisdom my way? I am determined to get comfortable with the wetter mix.


Thanks a million, and happy new year all!

nicodvb's picture

and fold as many times as necessary to develop elasticity. Repeat every time the shape is lost.

wetter is not generally better, on the contrary it will create a lot of troubles both during fermentation and during baking. It's hard to say when a wet dough is perfectlt baked, infact many times the crumb softens and becomes  leathery.

MostlySD's picture

I am working towards obtaining a good Oat Bran Sourdough. I'm not there yet. It seems that success for this kind of dough depends a lot on a high hydration. I have no choice. I am currently at 78 percent hydration and the dough barely keeps its shape in the final stage of dough preparation (post bulk rise & after three sets of stretch & fold at 40 minutes interval). I dare not do more. I've read that one shouldn't overwork a dough containing oat.

So there you have it: wet dough & limitation in the amount of S & F that I can do. My solution for now is to bake in a clay pot. The dough is set to proof in it. There is no dough manipulation between that stage & baking.