Sticky Sourdough

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Sticky Sourdough

Postby Snags » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:31 pm

Every time I add a little sour-dough starter (last time was some old dough I had) ,everything gets really sticky.
If I add more flour it doesn't seem to get to a nice rubbery shiny ball of dough that comes away from the hook.
It always eventually bakes into a good product and tastes good.
I tried adding more and more flour one time and ended up with almost a shortcrust pastry(dry and crumbly)
Is it a matter of working it and working it until it stiffens up or is sticky what happens because the glutens in the flour are broken down.
Is it normal or am I doing something wrong?
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Postby wheels » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:08 am

Snags

Can you elaborate more, maybe a recipe? Certainly when you mix water and flour at a 1:1 for a sour-dough, it's initially stiff; it goes far more runny after a while though, almost sloppy. It will often get a liquor on top as well if left a while.

Sour-dough's are generally wet dough's, 70% to 80% hydration is not uncommon - hence the use of loaf shaped baskets or cloths (banneton/brotform or couches) to prove them in.

In my experience they can appear not fully proved, but have a fabulous 'oven spring' that compensates.

I am still playing with sour-dough: not to get a decent loaf - I can do that - I have proved to myself and my family that a loaf made without yeast doesn't have to taste like vinegar; in fact the flavour is superb: it's getting a method that fits in with my timetable and sleeping patterns that eludes me!

I look forward to reading about your experiments.
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Postby Snags » Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:32 am

I used an "old dough " about the size of your fist added to my usual,3 cups flour1 cup water,1/2 sugar,1 tsp salt.
I then start mixing its not totally forming a ball so I add a little more flour and still nothing.
I keep adjusting with flour
Still I end up with a really sticky dough,if I scrape it out and put it on baking paper I get a great tasting loaf but I lose a quarter of the mix left in the bowl or on my hands.
Makes it hard when I want to make a pizza.

If I add 2 tsps of yeast to that and dribble a little extra water as 1 cup is a little under what's needed.
I get a nice shiny tight ball in the mixer that's elastic and falls of the hook.
Its easy to handle and nothing is left on my hand or bowl.
Easy to handle and turn into a pizza.
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Postby wheels » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:07 pm

I have to say that you've got me baffled!

Whilst cups are notorious as an accurate measuring system, your 3 cups of flour should be nominally 450gm and the water 250gm. This would give a fairly low hydration of 55% (250/450 * 100). This should not (in theory) be at all sticky.

However, sour-dough starters that when mixed at 1:1 flour:water are initially quite firm, over time become far sloppier/wetter even though further water isn't added. Perhaps your dough is doing this?

True sour-doughs are sticky mixes - it's a case of learning how to manage them without becoming a sticky mess yourself! Dough scrapers are invaluable: flat metal ones and bendy curved ones (for removing dough from bowls).

My only other thought is that maybe the dough hadn't developed enough gluten due to lack of kneading, or time. You could try adding your starter to the water and half the flour, mixing and leaving it for ½/1 hour before mixing with the rest of the flour and salt. You could also try 'folding' the dough a couple of times at hourly intervals during the rising period - just tip it onto a lightly oiled work surface, lightly shape to an oblong and then fold into three. If you rise your dough in an oiled oblong container you can do this without tipping the dough out.

There are some good videos on you tube that show these processes - they're well worth the time watching.

Let us know how you get on.

Phil
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Postby Snags » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:18 am

tried a different technique today.
got the sour dough in the bowl added flour and mixed
this broke up and combined the mix
Then added water
Removed a piece for next time
Then added a bit more water and salt
Turned out well shiny tight and manageable
It really was a ratio, and mixing problem .
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Postby wheels » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:21 pm

It's good to hear that you've got is sorted.

Phil
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Postby Snags » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:10 pm

I think I made one of my best loafs yet today.
In Australia its called a Vienna if its got the split you see on the side running through the loaf its a split Vienna (dont know if the name exists outside of Australia)
Image

It was sour dough and yeast combo
Very light and fluffy and full of flavour
Usual recipe plus 2 tsps of dry yeast
The flavour and texture was perfect.

I made pasta fazool for lunch and had some with it and then home made chevapchichi for dinner with it
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Postby wheels » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:58 pm

Now, that's what I call a loaf of bread, superb. :D
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Postby saucisson » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:35 pm

So good he said it twice. :D

That looks like what I'd call a Bloomer over here Snags... from its shape that is not its method of production.
Curing is not an exact science... So it's not a sin to bin.

Great hams, from little acorns grow...
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Postby wheels » Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:43 pm

Oops, the double post demon's been at it again. :lol:
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