The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough always sticks to board

Superbaker24's picture
Superbaker24

Sourdough always sticks to board

I've watched videos where even the first placing of dough sticks to their board much less than mine.

Every time I have to scrape away hard with my Scraper .... then the dough just sticks to that ... and my hands.

And this never gets better, even when I patiently continue.

I can improve this by generously flouring my board, but doing this MANY times over is drastically changing the recipe, and results in solid bread.

What am I doing wrong ?

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Here are a few things that I discovered:

1. When you are doing the first or bulk ferment, let the dough go until it is jiggly, has lots of smallish bubbles that you can see through the wall of the container and has some bubbles on the top or sides of the dough where it meets the wall of the container. When the dough is at that point, it comes away cleanly from the wall of the container. I used to let my dough go much longer and it stuck to everything. It no longer does that. <--- This tip was key for me to prevent sticky dough.

2. Put the dough on a bare counter. Then put flour on top of the dough. If you need to weigh it, flour the surface of your scale or whatever you are going to put the dough on, and then flip the dough so that the floured side meets the floured surface of the scale. That way, you are only adding flour to one side of the dough. Once you have weighed it, flip the portion again so that the bare part is back in contact with the bare counter. Then use your scraper to round the dough. Since the outside surface is floured, the scrape generally is in contact with that rather than the underneath sticky portion. Use quick movements so the scraper doesn't have a change to stick.

3. After a rest, flour lightly the surface of the dough and a spot on your counter. Flip the dough flour side to floured counter and keep your fingers under the dough where it is floured when shaping. Once you have shaped it, roll it so the seam is down and place on a bare spot on the counter. Do your tension pulls there. I also spin the dough like a top at the end to make sure my boules is nice and tight. Let it sit for a minute or two so that the seam is well sealed under and then place it in your bannetons which every way you want. I place mine seam side down because I bake seam side up (I don't score my loaves, I let them split naturally). 

I hope this helps.

RedEng's picture
RedEng

i had similar problems and my first solution was to change the flour I was using which I never would have considered without this site :) I learned that amylase and ascorbic acid are added to a lot of flours (almost all here in Canada) but can really affect lean breads. If your flour has these, I’d suggest finding ones that don’t, it makes a huge difference. 

After changing flours my sourdough was good for a while, then started being crazy, unshapably sticky again in the summer, and that turned out to be the ambient temp. If I put my dough in the basement, which is much cooler in my house, it greatly improved, so if it’s really warm wherever your resting your dough, that might be another culprit.

hope you’re able to figure out the cause, I know it can be really frustrating....

 

 

 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

I normally use Rogers No Additives Unbleached flour but ran out and didn’t feel like running to Safeway to get a bag so I just grabbed a bag of No Name Unbleached flour where I was. I made my usual 12 loaves last week and actually didn’t notice any difference in terms of rise, handling or stickiness. I was quite surprised as I really did expect the amylase and absorbic acid to affect the feel of the dough in someway. Mind you, the dough was also 50% home milled grains. I am using a much higher % of Unbleached flour today so we will see and I’ll report back. 

RedEng's picture
RedEng

Rogers No Additive is my go-to flour as well, but I use home milled whole wheat and rye (haven’t ventured into milling other grains yet - any suggestions?) 

I’ve used “regular”flour for other breads with good results, such as French, but whenever I used it for “artisan” breads (e.g. FWSY recipes) I had blobs of dough that were almost impossible to shape. I’m glad to hear you were able to make your bread without trouble :) Can I ask what type(s) of bread you made with the No Name?

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/57535/9-grain-harvest-sourdough-or-123-lots-grains

And I am in the middle of making an Olive Feta Kamut loosely based on this recipe:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/57499/caramelized-onion-sourdough-4-cheeses

On the one I am working on now, the dough seems a bit stiff but it could be the inclusion of the Kamut.