Hey, I've been making bread now for years and have finally got round to making my own sourdough starter.  I'm still amazed at how easy it is!  I did bagels with it the other day and have made a roll for lunch as well but I think I'm missing something: kneading the dough is really tough!  Am I missing something or am I just weak from all the time spent using dry yeast mixes?  :-)  I get the initial dough feeling soft and sticky but after 10 mins of kneading it's still pretty solid and I can't figure it out.  Any ideas as I'm drawing a total blank.  



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farinam's picture
farinam 2014 May 27

Hi Glittercaz,

It would be handy to know the sort of recipe that you are using so that we can assess the hydration and so forth.  But in no way, I would think, should you be able to describe the dough as 'solid'.

I assume that you have read SourDom's Beginners Blog on this site.  It gives a very good primer on all aspects of making a simple loaf of bread.  His Pane francesa recipe is a very good one to practice and learn the basics on.

The idea of kneading is to develop the strength of the gluten in the dough although there is a potential trade off between time and the amount of energy required.  So, a few minutes in a mixer can get to the same point as 10 minutes by hand or over several hours using the stretch and fold technique.  The general thing is that the dough should become elastic and resist stretching and want to spring back into the shape it was.  The other assessment that is used is called the window test where a small piece of the dough can be stretched out into a thin translucent sheet without tearing.

Good luck with your projects.



Glittercaz 2014 May 27

Hi, I've just had a look at it, thanks.  I think I must be using the wrong proportions.  I'll take note this evening when I make more again and hopefully will get better results using the proportions suggested.  

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