Stiff dough


I'm relatively new to using a levain, but not new to bread baking. I used to use a bread machine for kneading (I have wonky wrists), but recently started using a stand mixer.  I searched using the word "stiff", but couldn't find an answer. I successfully used Ed Wood's starter with his recipe for World Bread. Today I wanted to try the French Bread recipe, because that's more like what I want, but my dough came out too stiff.  I'm using a stand mixer, and I'm wondering if perhaps I put the flour in too quickly? He says to put it in 1 C at a time, but I didn't allow it to completely knead in each cup before adding the second. I'm trying to rescue the dough by kneading in a little water then letting it rest. I thought I'd pop in and see if there were any other ideas in between kneadings.


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farinam's picture
farinam 2012 September 23

Hello sheriw1223,

Adding water a little at a time and kneading it in should work out just fine.  Can be a bit on the messy side but you get there eventually.

In fact, bakers often hold back some of the water from a recipe as it is better to add water than to add flour.  Adding flour to a developing dough runs the risk of having unfinished flour left and also the flour takes time to absorb water and it is much easier to over-add flour.

Hopefully, you have it sorted by this but let us know how you go.


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