The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

No knead dough in tropical climate

Nawee's picture

No knead dough in tropical climate

I live in Thailand, where it's very hot and humid right now. I have been trying several no knead dough recipes with varying degrees of success. Everything always looks great, exactly the same as the pictures on the websites or the video clip s up until after the first rise. And it always goes downhill from there.

The biggest problem I have is I  haven't been able to develop enough tension and the skin to keep my dough in some sort of shape. I have tried the quick fermentation recipes (2-4 hours) and the overnight one (12-18 hours). I have tried the stretch and fold technique during the first rise, which did give me a better texture. I have always ended up overworking the dough during shaping and ended up with a blob.

I have searched and searched for answers, tips, and techniques all over the Internet, but I haven't found anything that works for me. Please help. 

Peter Verduin's picture
Peter Verduin

I live in Indonesia and think I had the same issue, problem was the quality of the flour. My bread was OK but not good enough for me. Last week I found the right flour for me by accident. Not sure about Thailand but here very difficult to find high quality products. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

the dough needs more developing.  More kneading.  Or longer bulking in the fridge.  Try making a dough using just a pinch of yeast for 500g flour and then chilling after the initial mixing.  Give it a day or two chilled.  I've kept this slow poolish for up to 5 days in the fridge.  Then use part of this dough as half of the next dough recipe with 1% yeast.  It is amazing how much flavour can be pulled from the flour.  Make sure your fridge temps are low, 4°C is good. 

Another appoach for a low protein flour dough, a fresh egg white to be included as part of the liquids.  I dont reccomend for long fermentations going over a day.  Try one chicken egg white (45 - 55g) per 500g flour and see if that gives improvement.  What the egg white is doing is adding a variety of proteins to help protein bonds.

Another approach is to reduce the amount of yeast in a standard recipe. Tropical climate tends to push fermentation too fast.  If you are also dealing with high humidity, reduce the dough hydration  by a few percentage points.  Low gluten dough rises better with less yeast as fast rises tend to rip weak gluten bonds. 

Now you have a few things to try with your flour.

semolina_man's picture

Blob means not enough strength.   Not enough strength means not enough kneading, or too much fermentation and proofing.  Given your climate, I would bulk ferment and proof in the fridge and increase kneading.