The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Troubleshooting: dough is very difficult to roll out/stretch and has lots of small air bubbles at edges

khobz's picture

Troubleshooting: dough is very difficult to roll out/stretch and has lots of small air bubbles at edges

I've been trying to make this recipe for a couple of days now, but I've had trouble with three different attempts:
Turkish Pide Bread - The Orgasmic Chef

I have two problems.

Firstly my dough is very difficult to roll or stretch out flat. It forms into a nice ball OK, but when I pat it down or attempt to roll it out, it springs back immediately to its ball shape. I have tried making it wetter and tried letting it rest 30+ minutes as a ball before I roll it but it still snaps back way too much. I'm not even using high-gluten flour and I don't think I'm over-mixing it (5 mins in a mixer on slow).

Secondly my dough, when I roll or stretch it out, looks really shaggy and has tons of small air pockets and bubbles underneath the surface, and around the edges. When I use a rolling pin I can hear all the air bubbles breaking and escaping at the edges, and as a result I can't get a nice smooth round shape, just a shaggy mess.

I thought I had over-proofed it at first but I let it rise for just 15 minutes before rolling and it still did this!

It looks kind of like this (but worse):

When I want it to look more like this:

This has been a challenge because I thought I knew the basics of good bread making (i.e. don't over-work/over-proof, let it rest, etc.) but it seems I'm still a newbie.

Any advice really appreciated.

EDIT: As a bonus third question, I can never get any of my bread dough looking "white and smooth" like the last picture above. It just doesn't happen! Even in my successful loaves, my dough always looks shaggy and off-white, like I can see the strands of gluten all over it even if I shape it nice and tight. Am I just cursed when it comes to dough?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

ran across this posting this morning, wondering if it could be useful...

isand66's picture

The recipe seems quite basic for the most part.  I'm going to try doing a SD version in the near future as it sounds like it's worth a try.

I think you need to knead the dough more and develop it much better.  You should have a smooth and silky dough when you are done kneading.  You also don't want to end up degassing the dough too much or you will end up with a pizza which is not what you want.  If the dough is developed better you will have a smoother dough and it will be easier to shape correctly.

Hope this helps.

semolina_man's picture

The recipe does not call for rolling or stretching.   Is there a reason you do this?  


Snap back means the dough is not relaxed.  Give more time in the bulk ferment and use more water. 


Bubbles are neither good nor bad.  When the dough is thinly rolled or stretched, as you appear to be doing, the bubbles (CO2) need to go somewhere. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

which can be quite high for some AP flours so add the last of the water slowly and sparingly especially the last 50 ml.  You may not need all of it.  After getting the flour and liquids (put them together) barely mixed together into a shaggy mass with no large pockets of dry flour, let it sit 20 to 30 min covered.  Then knead it well.  Dough will not stretch or press flat every time the dough is recently worked as this action tightens gluten strands and works against what you seem to be doing.  You want a good kneading developing the dough then the dough should be handled less after that and only to tighten gluten.  

Let the yeast stretch and loosen the gluten before you attempt to flatten the dough.  If your room temps are warm, above 80°F, use less yeast in the dough for longer handling time.  The mixed dough needs time to relax.  Let it rise a bit and relax without folding or kneading and just flip out the dough smooth side down onto your lightly dusted work bench before rolling out.  

See if that works for you.