Why is my Pizza Dough always too sticky to knead?

  • I have tried to make pizza dough by hand a couple of times now but every time after mixing the ingredients the dough is far too sticky to knead, it is more like a batter than dough. I have watched videos on youtube of people making it and it is nothing like how mine turns out.

    The ingredients I am using are:

    • 225g Bread Flour
    • 140ml Water
    • 1 tsp Dried Active Yeast
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1 tbsp olive oil

    I have tried just mixing everything together at once, and I have also tried mixing the water, yeast and sugar together first then adding.

    Can anyone see anything wrong with the quantities I am using in this recipe or is there something else that I should be doing to actually get dough that I can knead? As I said, it is so sticky that it will just stick to everything it touches unless I constantly add flour (on my hands and board).

    I find it helpful to flour my hands and the surfaces I'll be working on as well. But if the dough is too tacky to start with, this can be a lost cause

    Working with heavily hydrated dough was always very frustrating for me as well.

    Have you tried a different brand of flour? There are types of dough where this can happen, but at the ratio posted here (140*100/225=62, so in baker's lingo "62% hydration") this shouldn't be happening, especially with bread flour. Or do you live somewhere so humid that the flour is practically sucking humidity out of the air?

    Its more like *batter*?! As @rumtscho says, that's 62% hydration, and getting bread flour like batter would be far higher than that—closer to 100%. Assuming you're not storing your flour in the sauna, you either (a) have cake or pastry flour, not bread flour; (b) are measuring wrong. (b) may be caused by faulty equipment, of course; are you sure your scale works? Does your 140mL water weigh 140g? Are you sure you've mixed in all the flour—there isn't a bunch of dry flour still needing to soak some water up?

    The flour I am using is http://www.allinsonflour.co.uk/products/strong-white-bread-flour.html and I live in Scotland, so not exactly a humid climate.

  • Kumar

    Kumar Correct answer

    9 years ago

    I am an Indian and we make dough for everyday bread at home. It's easy to knead dough; you just have to take care while adding water. Do not add all the water you have, and add water slowly and steadily. For pizza dough I follow these steps:

    • Mix yeast in warm water, add sugar to this water. Observe this mixture - as soon as you see bubbles, it is ready to be used for kneading dough.
    • Add oil and salt to flour along with the yeast you have prepared.
    • I use a spoon to keep mixing the flour and add spoonfuls of water, I keep some flour handy in case I have accidentally added too much water.

    I keep kneading the dough gently and add water or flour as needed. This does require some practice.

    Thanks for that, I guess I am too much of an engineer, I expect to be able to just take a recipe and add the exact amounts specified and it will work every time. I guess I'll hold off on some of the water next time.

    Dave, am a code monkey, and "cooking good food is a scientific art", don't google the quote, I made it myself

    You don't need to add all the water slowly. You should be able to add 1/2 to 3/4 right away, and then add the remainder more slowly.

    At 62% hydration, you should just be able to add all the water. Mixing may be a little worse, and it'll be a tacky when hand-kneading, but doable. And, @DaveJohnston: if your flour is stored in fairly consistent humidity, that should work.

    how do find that hydration is 62%?

    @Kumar: 140g water/225g flour = 0.622222

    Thanks, I added the water gradually and didn't use it all, so I ended up with the perfect dough. :D

    Bad, you can't share your pizza on internet, I am not sure if you can use reddit to send me a pizza :P

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM