Sticky & wet bread dough

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by sarahconstw, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. sarahconstw

    sarahconstw

    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Hi, may I know why my bread dough is always so sticky? Unlike what is shown in the pictures or described in the recipes... I've tried both these recipes 

    http://www.browneyedbaker.com/cinnamon-babka-recipe/#.VpCnFDGgpww.pinterest

    http://www.turntablekitchen.com/rec...mom-and-almond-paste-plus-a-swedish-playlist/

    where they described as being smooth, elastic and able to be folded over and even twisted. But somehow when I tried these recipes out the dough was so sticky and wet, even after I had added a few extra tbsp of flour. I was too afraid to add anymore flour cause I didn't want the bread to turn out too dense. The result was a really really soft bread but I felt that it was very damp. As if the delicate texture could be ruined by merely exposing it to the water vapour in the air...
     
  2. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,698
    Likes Received:
    365
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    Basically what you've got here is a Brioche type of dough with all that butter incorporated into it.

    This kind of dough is best worked with cold. 

    When you say that the dough is sticky, do you mean when you first make the dough or when you go to work with it after both risings?

    If the dough is sticky when you first make it, next time try leaving the butter cool when you incorporate it into the dough.

    If it's sticky after both risings it could be because you allowed the dough to warm up. In this case it's okay to use a little more flour to keep it drier.
     
  3. kylew

    kylew

    Messages:
    1,635
    Likes Received:
    156
    Exp:
    Home Chef
    Hi Sarah ,

    Are you new to bread baking?

    Kyle
     
  4. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

    Messages:
    4,333
    Likes Received:
    81
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    If sticky, allow your dough to proof uncovered.  That way a "dry" skin will form on the surface making the dough easier to work with.  And with that "dry" surface, you'll get a better, more pronounced ear.
     
  5. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

    Messages:
    963
    Likes Received:
    85
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    Inelastic and sticky? Soft, damp loaf.  Maybe too low protein content in the flour?

    @kokopuffs--What do you think of that as a possibility? As the most ace breadbaker here?
     
  6. brianshaw

    brianshaw

    Messages:
    2,990
    Likes Received:
    290
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    Two things to think about:

    Humidity. The amount of flour required is somewhat affected by humidity so a "feel" for the dough is important and may required adapting the quantity of flour specified by the recipe.

    Internal temperature. Moist crumb may be an indication of slightly under baked bread. Measuring the internal temp of the bread might be a useful way to understand the bake time/temp relationship.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  7. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

    Messages:
    4,333
    Likes Received:
    81
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    The hydration could be lowered.
     
  8. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,698
    Likes Received:
    365
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    NEVER, uncover a dough high in egg and butter. You do not want a skin to develop. When that happens, and you punch the dough down to work it, the "crust" mixes in the dough and the resulting product will be dry tasting and affect the consistency of the final product.
     
  9. fablesable

    fablesable

    Messages:
    535
    Likes Received:
    87
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    You NEED to get a book or two on the Science of Baking. It is going to go a long way in helping you understand how method and ingredients play a massive part in the baker's world. You have many posts on here of late that you are struggling with and I KNOW getting a good read into the science of it all will help steer you in the right direction.

    The Cook's Illustrated Baking Book or an old version of Understanding Baking: The Art and Science of Baking by Joseph Amendola are two that I would recommend of the top of my head for a home baker without getting too science-y.

    If you live in a relatively humid environment and you have flour that has sat on the grocery shelves and then at your home in its paper bag it usually comes in and not an airtight container; the flour will gain up to 5% of its weight in water after several months in a humid environment. This GREATLY affects the outcome of anything you now do with that flour. It must be stored in an airtight container as soon as you get it home. 

    So now we actually know what is going on, we can adjust accordingly. First, get that oven thermometer we have talked about. Second, get an airtight container for all your flour, starches and sugars you use in your kitchen as these ingredients do NOT DO WELL in humid environments. Third, you must weigh out all your ingredients in a recipe, as in your environment, it is imperative to get the right measurements to work the recipe the right way. This means that any recipe with the US cups and tsp/Tbsp measurements must be weighted out first. For example: If your recipe calls for 2 cups of flour then you must place a bowl on a digital scale, tare it, then spoon your flour into the measuring cup (do not scoop it as it packs in the flour), then pour the flour into the bowl you have on the scale. Note the measurement in grams on your recipe card beside ingredient so you now know how to PROPERLY bake using weighted measurements. Do this for ALL THE INGREDIENTS in your recipe. Anything that is in the tsp range I tend to just use the tsp measurements however the TBSP measurements will register on a weighted scale so I still weigh this to get an accurate recipe. Here is the chart to help you get the idea but DO NOT copy it verbatim as it does not reflect the individual ingredient's proper weight. For example: 1 cup of flour does not weigh the same as 1 cup of granulated sugar which does not weigh the same as 1 cup of brown sugar.........you get my point.

    http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/equiv.htm

    In a bakers world it is all about accuracy and feel (instinct) mixed with knowledge and experience. Good luck and hope this helps you more!
     
    flipflopgirl likes this.
  10. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

    Messages:
    4,436
    Likes Received:
    398
    Exp:
    Retired Hospitality
    I think OP mentioned she lives on an island?

    Great recall @Fablesable.

    FWIW it is not a great idea to store flour nor baking powder/soda in the fridge/freezer (in cartons and bags) as this will exacerbate the problem as well.

    A good way to dry out flours is to spread on a sheet pan (I shouldn't have to say this but don't use any fat...the flour will not stick) and allow to dehydrate in a barely warm oven.

    A gas oven with an eternal flame pilot light is perfect for this as this keeps the oven always slightly warm but with an electric oven you will need an OVEN THERMOMETER (this has been mentioned many times...I will gladly send you a few from Amazon.com if it is impossible for you to source one on this island of yours, @sarahconstw  just PM me your addy).

    Keep the temp as low as you can go...stirring often and keep an eye on it.

    You just want to remove moisture not toast.

    About attempting to reformulate a recipe into weighed measures..... since @sarahconstw  has so many other issues with her baked items maybe she should seek out ONE very highly recommended recipe (written in weights) and work on it until it comes out as desired @Fablesable  ?

    Just my IMO.

    mimi
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
    fablesable likes this.
  11. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

    Messages:
    4,333
    Likes Received:
    81
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    I'm referring to nonfat doughs.
     
  12. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

    Messages:
    4,436
    Likes Received:
    398
    Exp:
    Retired Hospitality
    We know you are koko.

    Check out her links....egg and butter enriched sweet breads.

    mimi
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  13. kylew

    kylew

    Messages:
    1,635
    Likes Received:
    156
    Exp:
    Home Chef
    It would be helpful if the OP would check in. We haven't heard from her since the original question.
     
  14. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

    Messages:
    4,333
    Likes Received:
    81
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    My bad!   /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif
     
  15. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

    Messages:
    4,436
    Likes Received:
    398
    Exp:
    Retired Hospitality
    Twenty lashes...

    m.