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I'm trying out a recipe for a type of dinner roll. After kneading it on my mixer for 15 minutes, I put it in a slightly warmed oven to rise. I noticed that the dough was very wet, though. There is no way I'm going to be able to shape this into rolls. How to deal with this?

  1. Should I have added some flour during kneading? (The next time I make this, perhaps I can just reduce the liquids: 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, 5 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp oil).
  2. Can I add flour after it rises? Basically, punch down the dough, incorporate flour and keep kneading until the dough is "shapable", then shape them into rolls and bake.
  3. Something else?
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'd do one or more of a few things:

  1. Treat it like the dough in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, in which you sprinkle flour on top, then pull off a portion you need, then shape quickly into a ball, developing the outer skin, keeping the freshly floured side out.
  2. Chill down the dough, so it's firmer and easier to work with. (and then do #1 while it's still a bit cold)
  3. Put it into muffin pans or similar for baking, so you don't have to worry about it holding up on its own or even attempting to shape it. (if you can shape it a little bit, you can then put it into a pan with enough of a lip to give them some support as they rise; they might spread into each other, but you can typically break them apart after they're baked)

In general, I find that kneading dough in a mixer (unless specifically called for in a recipes) always needs more flour. Basically, when you're kneading normally, you might work in 1/2 cup or so of extra flour. And there are the issues with knowing what the proper way to measure flour for a given recipe if the measurements are given in volume (cups) and not by weight, which will easily throw off any bread recipe.

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Wet doughs taste better after being baked. You don't give us the hydration (the ratio of liquid to flour by weight r), but there are many recipes which a baker accustomed to standard breads in the 60% range (AP flour) will find hard to shape. Nevertheless, I have been able to shape a brioche at 89% after enough kneading. So my first suggestion.would be to knead more, maybe 10 to 12 minutes hand-kneading, preferably stretch-and-fold. But you should also calculate your hydration. If it is above 75% for AP flour and above 80% for bread flour, you can consider kneading in flour despite it being so late in the process. You might want to retard the second rising somewhat (give it some time at 15 to 20 degrees at first, if you have the opportunity) to allow the new flour to hydrate properly. I wouldnt put dough for a second rising in the fridge, even if it Chas had flour added.

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