The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Slack dough

obrien1984's picture

Slack dough

Recently, it seems like my dough goes slack half way through the kneading process. It's really strange, because it comes on so suddenly. It goes from a tight, strong, resilient ball of dough one minute, to a slack, sticky, unworkable mess the next. It's like the gluten just disappeared.

The only change I have made recently is to the brand of flour I'm using. Previously, I had used King Arthur flours. With rising food costs, though, I decided to cut back and get the less expensive "Gold Medal" brand of whole wheat flour. Has anyone else experiences this same problem?

Just for reference, I use a stiff whole-wheat starter and no yeast.


staff of life's picture
staff of life

Although it's very difficult to do by hand, it sounds like you may be over-kneading it.  It might be that your new brand of flour has less tolerance than the KA had (possibly a lower gluten content).  Knead it a little less, and increase dough strength through stretch and folds. 


Richard L Walker's picture
Richard L Walker

As an experiment you might try using the "kinda - sorta" no-knead method where you fold the dough (1/3 in from the right; 1/3 in from the left; 1/3 in from the top;  1/3 in from the bottom) place upside down in the rising container; let rise until double in bulk.

Repeat about 2-3 times.

Shape, rise, bake.


Wild-Yeast's picture

I think it's the flour you're using.  As mentioned the protein content is important to hand made breads.  I've never over worked a dough (knock, knock on head for safety purposes) although I use a mixer followed by hand kneading to insure that the "feel" is right before proofing.  Sourdough bread has become very important in our diet and it's something that we do not cut corners on.  Less meat yes, less bread no....,