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Mixing Flour and Water Properly

post #1 of 11
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Whenever I handmix flour and water (and yeast and salt) to make dough, I never seem to be able to incorporate all of the flour, since a thick, hard layer of it coats the side of the bowl.  That's to say, some of the flour gets wet, and then gets oversaturated with flour and becomes hard and flakey.

I end up not using all of the measured flour and some of those hard flakes end up in the dough.

Is there any way to avoid this? I've been using a pyrex bowl to mix...could that be the reason? If so, what material bowl would be best?

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post #2 of 11
Um, I think if you add the liquid first, then incorporate the flour a bit at a time it might fix your issue.  I'm just guessing; I've never experienced that particular problem.

Do you measure your flour by weight or volume?  A few people in this forum have pointed out that 'a cup of flour' can be a drastically different amount from place to place depending on a number of environmental factors.  It could be that you are adding more flour than is necessary for your recipe.  If you can measure by weight it should be more accurate, and more successful.

Hopefully someone with a bit more technical know-how can offer some more helpful advice.
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Private User) View Post

Whenever I handmix flour and water (and yeast and salt) to make dough, I never seem to be able to incorporate all of the flour, since a thick, hard layer of it coats the side of the bowl.  That's to say, some of the flour gets wet, and then gets oversaturated with flour and becomes hard and flakey.

I end up not using all of the measured flour and some of those hard flakes end up in the dough.

Is there any way to avoid this? I've been using a pyrex bowl to mix...could that be the reason? If so, what material bowl would be best?
How about adding more water!!! 
Recipes are not always accurate, flour is an organic substance and is not always the same.  Sometimes it needs more.  I generally put in a little more than called for and then if necessary, add more flour after. 
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #4 of 11
 Like Charron said it might be a measuring problem with the flour. what you can do is fluff up your flour and pour it into the measuring cup to get a more accurate measurement.As siduri mentioned,  the water required for many recipes is never set in stone. sometimes you need more and sometimes you need less. In your case it sounded like you needed more water.  Measuring in weight should be fool proof. 
post #5 of 11
Also might help to get a slightly bigger bowl with more flared sides allowing you to stir from the bottom up into your mix. Otherwise use yer hands, get in there and incorporate that stuff from the bottom while you still have moisture. best of luck.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #6 of 11
Hard layer coating the bowl?
As Charron stated above, start with your liquid, then add your dry.
If you still have the problem of leftover dry, then adjust your ingredients.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by gNnairdA View Post

 Like Charron said it might be a measuring problem with the flour. what you can do is fluff up your flour and pour it into the measuring cup to get a more accurate measurement.As siduri mentioned,  the water required for many recipes is never set in stone. sometimes you need more and sometimes you need less. In your case it sounded like you needed more water.  Measuring in weight should be fool proof. 

No, measuring in weight is not foolproof, because the flour is not always the same.  It's not a chemical product (they;re trying, but fortunately it's still made from plants!) and different batches will need different amounts.  Wheat is affected by the temperature and growing conditions and each year and each area will be slightly different.  Use your eye and hand.  You can see and feel if it's not enough water, so add water.  If it's too dry, it's not enough water.  If it's too wet, it's too much water, add more flour.  Really just trust your instincts more. 
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #8 of 11
Use a large stainless steel bowl if possible. When you add the flour do not stir vigorously , nice and slow starting in center and work out then toss over.Dont use a hand whip use a large slotted spoon or large rubber scraper or yes even your hand. .If you do not let flour or water splash to the sides it wont get hard as you say. And if it is getting this hard, so fast you are taking to long and letting it sit on the sides of bowl.without scrapping down like you would with electric mixer.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #9 of 11
I find that after a period of autolysing, kneading, and several (3) sessions of french folding, all of the flour clinging to the side of the mixing/proofing bowl has been incorporated into the dough.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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post #10 of 11
I've worked both ways---flour into water and water into flour---and have never seen that sort of problem.

In addition to the advice given above you might try mixing the dough as if you were making a sponge. That is, put all the dry ingredients in your bowl. Create a well in the middle. Pour your liquid into that well. Then start mixing by incorporating the flour into the liquid, working from the edge of the well, rather than from the bowl itself.

Once you've incorporated all the flour you'll know whether you need to make liquid or dry additions to create the perfect dough.  
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #11 of 11
Agree with Ed. Invest in a large rubber/silicone spatula (I have dozens,very useful tool) and scrape down the sides (don't forget the bottom) of the bowl frequently.
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