Flat as a pancake



I know this comes up a lot, but I cannot get my dough to become manageable even after more than 4 hours of folding and proving.

look at this photo, that’s a 75% hydration dough (50% spelt/rye mix and 50% white flour).

its a pancake and I cannot get enough tension to prepare for final proof. Have been baking ‘normal’ bread for years and I have never had these challenges. Any suggestions as to what it might be?


218 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2018 April 15

Hello there,

You don't say what proportion of your mix is rye, but dough with more than minor amounts of rye flour in the mix form a notoriously slack dough and that is why most 'rye' breads are baked in a tin.

Perhaps you could try reducing the amount of rye for a start and/or work at a lower hydration (perhaps go back to 70%).

Good luck with your projects.


Staff 2018 April 16

We shared this question on our Facebook page for feedback: https://www.facebook.com/BakingCommunity/

Here are the responses:


- Carol Franklyn: too wet


- Paul Heinrich: Agree with Carol, with low gluten and high fibre flour add about half the water mix and gradually add more water while mixing until you get the right consistency


- Adam Ponting: look up 2 stage hydration. did as an apprentice


- Margaret Maggie Crabtree: Add some more flour , knead and let it rise


- Kay Dee: You could pinch a bit off, fry it and see if that works. Sometimes, you can't rescue an over hydrated sourdough any other way.

      - Leanne Russ Overly: wet sourdough can make some splendid sour pancakes

      - Emma Barson: Waffles

      - Kay Dee Leanne Russ: Yep, that too. Not a fan, so I forget about pancakes (and waffles). 

      - Kay Dee Emma Barson: Yep. As I said to Leanne, not a fan, so I forget about them.

      - Matt Weinert: Crumpets

      - Kay Dee Matt Weinert: Looks a little too wet for that. But, anything to try and use the dough would be a valiant attempt to not let it go to waste.


- Terry Cruchon: Feed it


- Nicholas Manojlovic: The sharp edges in the wholemeal would be degassing it too


- Paula M Beltra: Bake in a tin!

- Brandice Roberts: Sometimes that happens to me when I forget the salt


- Leslie A Parker: Flat bread? Pita?


- Sally Daffarn: I would add a little more flour and knead again. When final shaping, keep the top side on the top by tucking under with the side of your little fingers to keep the dryer on the outside to hold it together.
If it's still giving way a cake tin or a Dutch oven will shape it. Often a big slice in the top before baking enables more height too. Good luck. Any which way it will be edible if not beautiful.


- Berti Peeters: What I have not yet seen are questions about WHAT DID YOU DO.... Did you deed your starter before making the final dough? If so what hydration. Did it double within 12 hours? And when you made the final dough, what recipe did you use. Adding more flour is not a solution if we don't know what you have been doing. If starter not active enough then dough can go flat also. If recipe is lacking, same story. So please share some more details so we can come up with something hopefully


- Miriam Myrtle Boyce: Over active enzyme. Starter left too long between feed and the enzymes have destroyed the gluten. Won’t be recovered.




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