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Having been given a copy of "Inside the Jewish Bakery", by Ginsberg and Berg, I set out to reproduce a treat of my childhood: salt sticks.

Basic outline: make a slightly enriched dough ('medium vienna + one egg'). Ferment, make logs, cut triangles, rest.

Now comes the fun part: the dough is fairly soft and sticky. Instructions are: stretch out triangles to six inches wide, then roll down with heel of one hand while stretching out tip of triangle with the other. If this seems a bit less that perfectly clear, well, that's part of my problem.

I find that the dough is far too sticky to cooperate with being rolled up with the heel of my hand on a 'lightly floured board'.

Any ideas? I am carefully weighing the ingredients, so I don't think it's a measuring problem.

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The rolling up is your basic croissant method: make a triangle of dough and roll it up, starting at a flat side and going toward the opposite point. I think the instructions are just their way of trying to get you to really roll it tightly, stretching the dough as you go. (Why you would want it rolled tightly, I couldn't tell you, but then I've never had salt sticks.) –  Marti Jul 10 '13 at 18:40
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Water absorption by flour varies by variety, brand, and even batch within brand. For example, I have an American bread book where I quite often have to use far more water than the recipe suggests to achieve the consistency stated. This is down to my British flour apparently absorbing more water.

Therefore, it's a good idea to simply use enough flour to get the desired consistency rather than worry too much about being precise. Having said that, when it comes to bread, wetter is better, so only add enough so that you can just work it comfortably.

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Isn't that a bit inappropriate from a copyright standpoint? I'll try a bit more flour and see what I get next time. –  bmargulies Jul 10 '13 at 15:57
    
It's fairly commonplace here to share a recipe in order to analyse potential problems, so I don't think there's a major issue. But it's up to you of course. –  ElendilTheTall Jul 10 '13 at 17:56
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