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Sourdough like taffy and sticky

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debdp's picture
debdp

Sourdough like taffy and sticky

What are some things that could cause sourdough to be like taffy but so sticky it's like touch the dough it just sticks to your hand in chunks along with everything else the dough touches.  The dough comes out like this right after the autolyse and I can tell when I'm scraping it out of the bowl that I have 'nightmare' dough.  So, somewhere between building the starter for using in the recipe and the autolyse it goes wrong.  And I use the same recipe every time for a small boule.  263g flour, 176g starter, 154g water, 6g salt.  It doesn't happen every time I make it.  I made 2 loaves the day before yesterday and they came out great.  And while I normally do stretch and fold, just as a trial I put the dough in my bread machine to knead for four minutes and it came out awesome...a beautiful window pane.  But 4-5 days ago I had this same issue with 'nightmare' dough.  I baked the bread but the texture was very rubbery maybe gummy.  Any ideas?

cranbo's picture
cranbo

What hydration is your starter? Looks like the straight dough w/o starter is 59% hydration. 

If your starter is 100% hydration (equal parts flour + water by weight) this would put your dough at 75% hydration which is pretty stick as is. If your starter is even more watery, then certainly it will be very sticky to handle. Most doughs made with AP flour that are over 70% hydration tend to get sticky. 

It could also be the enzymatic activity in the starter. Doughs made with sourdough starter tend to get stickier and wetter as they ferment.

 

 

placebo's picture
placebo

I think you used 236 g instead of 263 g for the amount of flour in your calculation.

debdp's picture
debdp

The starter is fed 50/50...100g flour, 100g water.   The stickiness is formed during the autolyse which is within 30 to 40 minutes after mixing the flour and water to make the dough.  Also, I'm experimenting with the difference between using bread flour and all AP flour for the final dough because I find bread flour to give a chewier texture than AP and I'm looking for something in between.  So, last night's mix one batch had 50/50 AP and Bread and the other batch had 100% AP.  They both had the same sticky, stringy dough. 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I don't know if it is the case, but if you used different bags of AP and had different results in the feel of the dough, it may be that one flour is behaving differently, for whatever reason.  Protein content, water absorbency, etc.  Could also be the result of different dough temperatures during the bulk fermentation.

It helps to note the water/dough temperatures at various times throughout the process. That way, when you can determine whether the temperature and proofing times may be causing the problem.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

is fed 100g flour (and 100g water)?  The differences might be in the inoculation amount.  Temperatures of water, flour and room will influence the starter as well.  

In Summer, you may find that using a smaller starter amount, for example just one rounded teaspoon. is enough to make a vigorous starter overnight.  You can also try using less starter in the dough formula and simply use more flour and water to get the same size dough.  

debdp's picture
debdp

Mini Oven, yes it is fed equal parts water and flour.  Maybe on mixing the starter I should do like a 1:5:5 as I've been reading others do, rather than smaller multiple feeds.  Is 1:5:5 the norm?    David, thank you.  I have not noted the temperatures so I will do that.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I was just wondering what that routine is for building your starter.  It the fermenting times are long, and there is a large portion of starter, then an autolyse isn't really needed.   You may be over-fermenting the dough in doing so.

debdp's picture
debdp

I had some starter fermenting for new test loaves last night, and went online to do some research.  I found a PDF file where this guy had done a test on autolysing on three loaves.  One no autolyse, one with a 30 minute autolyse and one with a 2 hour autolyse.  So this morning I mixed up three batches of dough, but not all the same.  One is AP Flour, one has wheat and AP flour, and the other AP flour but will add milk, butter and sugar after the autolyse for a sandwich loaf.  I set them all up for a 2 hour autolyse.  The second change was temperature.  This is Dallas, Texas and room temperature has different meaning unless you have extra money to give to the electric company.  The dough was reading 80 degrees F at room temperature.  I have a refrigerator in the garage that runs about 65 degrees.  I placed all three bowls into the refrigerator to autolyse at 65 degrees for two hours.  I just finished working the dough and it was a very welcome change.  The doughs were sightly tacky but I could handle them.  Stretchy and workable.  Not like before where if I touched the dough, half of it would stick to my hand and couldn't even be scraped off, but needed to be scrubbed off under water.  I added in the salt, and for the sandwich loaf milk, lard and sugar and put them back in the same refrigerator for bulk fermentation.  I normally just leave the dough alone to bulk ferment, but I think this time I'll do a couple stretch and folds during this time.  I normally bulk ferment over 12 hours.   BTW I love using lard in some of my breads.  I only do organic and I buy pork leaf fat from a local ranch where I get raw goat milk, fresh eggs and their meats.  I make the lard from the leaf fat so it has no odor and is very, very white.  So please don't think of Crisco when I say lard.  They are totally different.  :)  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

slowing down the fermenting was the big improvement.  Congratulations!  Got extra "wet time" on the dough and improved handling.  

If you do have to autolyse in warm weather, keep it short, say 40 min,  Whole wheat will speed up the fermenting slightly so that's the one to perhaps soak the wheat flour earlier and use the salt with it.  (Yes, there are exceptions when using bran.)  Did anyone mention using ice water or cold milk to lower the dough temp?  :)

debdp's picture
debdp

No, I hadn't seen anyone mention using ice or cold milk.  Last night I used a cooler with one blue ice pak in it and it kept the temperature at 71 degrees the whole night (8 hours +/-).  The bread in a loaf pan that I placed in there proofed perfectly and so I popped it into the oven to bake. This loaf bulk fermented in the 60 degree refrigerator for 10 hours and then 8 more at 37 degrees (I didn't have time to work on it so I put it in there).  Then it proofed for 8 or so hours at 71 degrees.  For that time it developed a wonderful sourness and still had a decent rise. It was a different recipe using raw milk and butter, so I just need to see how long to bulk ferment the other recipes that are just flour, water and salt.  I guess I now have a third option.  The regular refrigerator at 37 degrees, the outside refrigerator at 60 degrees and the cooler with an ice pak at 71.  I'm wondering if the raw milk added to the sourness of the bread as opposed to the ferment time.  I don't think I'll be doing much at room temp for now.  Even my starter is doubling really quickly before putting it back in the fridge, so I'm setting it in the other refrigerator to feed itself before moving it to a colder environment. 

Thanks for all the pointers! :)