The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Working with sticky dough?

hamletcat's picture

Working with sticky dough?

Sometimes when I use flours other than wheat, my dough is really sticky.  Usually I mix these doughs with my bread maker so it doesn't stick to my hands before full gluten development.  If I wanted to knead the bread myself, are there any tips for to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.  I've tried the slap and fold technique but it doesn't really work very well for flours other than wheat.  One example that comes to mind is low fat soy.  

clazar123's picture

Handling sticky dough is an art. First of all, try to handle it with fingertips only. Then, try damp (but NOT wet) hands. If you are constantly making your hands wet, you are adding a lot of water to the dough. A damp bench/dough scraper ( I have a nice nylon one), helps lift the edge to grab with fingers to fold over. You can even use a bit of water on the counter. Lastly, some people like to use oil rather than water. All personal preference.

Ford's picture

The answers given by clazar123 will work.  Another method is to lightly dust, with flour, the surface of the dough, your hands, and the working surface.  It is indeed a matter of preference.  If it works, it is right!


Ford's picture



PetraR's picture

I handle wet dough with 2 dough scrapers and work fast.

I lightly flour the dough scrapers every so often, but only verly lightly as I want to avoid to get to much extra flour in to the dough.

It works for me.

Antilope's picture

The Stretch and Fold Technique from Peter Reinhart (wet, sticky dough)

Shaping a Boule from Peter Reinhart (wet, sticky dough)

Working with High Hydration Doughs