Do high hydration breads require high gluten?
This might be an easy "yes" but I have no idea. I was wondering if high hydration doughs need more strength than just all purpose flour. The reason I'm asking is I tried to make a no-knead bread (that I've made several times before) and it was just soupy today. It has been a very long time since I last made it. It was a sticky/soupy mess. I used half all purpose and half bread flour. I wet my hands and that seemed to make it soupy, so I did a few stretch and folds in a cup of all purpose flour and that seemed okay so I let it rest. Then when I tried to do another fold later it turned into a big sticky mess again. More flour and another stretch and fold. I swear I didn't have this much trouble last time. Last time I made this I only did 2 stretch and folds with flour dusted on the top and it was good. This is just a bleepin mess.
Here is the recipe I was following:
- 4 oz All purpose Flour
- 4oz Bread flour
- 1-1/3 cup of warm water
- 1 teaspoon of yeast
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Mix all and let sit until doubled, then put in the refrigerator overnight (8+ hours). I attempted one stretch and fold (or bucket fold, it was just soup) before putting it in the refrigerator. About 24 hours later I pulled it out and dusted the top with flour and poured the blob out of the container onto a heavily floured surface. I tried handling it with wet fingers, but that didn't work so I floured the top and that worked better. I was able to get it into a loose oval shape after a few stretch and folds. It jiggled, like Jello. I let it rest for 10 minutes and tried to do another fold, but I gave up and just cut the darn thing with my dough scraper and plopped the sticky masses onto the pan. It's in the oven.
This is just frustrating. I wanted to work with a slack dough because last time I did this I could feel the dough get stronger better and I really want to learn to work with the dough by feel. I'm a hands on person, so I can read about a subject for a lifetime and still have no clue what the bread is supposed to "feel" like.