Help - dough too wet!

Hope someone can help with this one.  We have been making sourdough for a month or so, and have tried a few recipes from books and the net (inc this site). Uniformly they always seem to be too wet, with our dough looking and feeling nothing like the lovely normal -looking and easy to handle dough pictured in the photos.  We always end up chucking lots more flour in to help it come together so it can be kneaded. We never really get a good rise either! Our loaves taste nice though.  We've been scrupulous about proportions and weighing the starter, flour and water carefully so just can't work out why our dough is always so gooey!  Thanks

4 comments

When in doubt, change your flour.  It's probably got too much starch damage and/or too much enzyme activity.  Just a guess, but it's worth a try.  Good luck.


Oh, I didn't see the same thread repeated.


I find that my dough is pretty sticky as well at first mixing.  I don't add extra flour (even though I am very tempted to) and let it sit for about 20 mins.  I then proceed to "knead" it, but not in the usual way as it is so sticky.  I just tip the whole lot onto the bench and need to scrape all the bits out of the bowl, and then use my fingers and kind of pull at the dough ( quite roughly).  I pull handsful from all sides of the mass  and slap it back onto the mass so that all of the dough is worked through.  The dough gets smoother, shinier and more elastic.  Still pretty sticky, but you can actually feel that it is getting better.  I then let it stand just like that on the bench for another 20 mins, then fold it onto itself several times with a scraper.  Then I put it in whichever containers to rise for however long the recipe states (for me this is overnight - then I bake it first thing in the morning).  I was told that sticky dough = moist bread.  Hope this helps 

It is one of several on YouTube (do a search) demonstrating the stretch-and-fold method of developing your dough. Just wet your hands and you'll find the dough won't stick, and will become easier to manage as it develops, even if it is a high hydration dough. Many of the SD tribe prefer this method to conventional kneading or 'air kneading', or other methods, and it really does take the hassle out of handling wet doughs.

Reinhart S&F demo