I severly overkneaded my dough (I left it in the standmixer for over 45 minutes by accident).

What can I do with this? Can I use it for starter? Any other use-cases?

  • 2
    What does it look like now?
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 5:40
  • 1
    Goo, sticky goo Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 6:11
  • @FuzzyChef Something like a medicine ball, I expect, lol!
    – J...
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 18:42

5 Answers 5


In addition to @rumtscho's answer, there is another option:

Dough that has active yeast in it can be used as a starter culture for future doughs. This is the method by which bakers used to propagate their yeasts before the advent of readily available dried or pure fresh yeast cultures. It goes under various names, such as poolish, biga and pate fermentee, though technically the poolish is higher hydration than the other two, so yours is more like a biga or pate fermentee.

Given that you are just at the kneading stage you would need to ferment ("rise" - though yours won't; it'll just go bubbly) the dough.

Then you can simply take some of the dough and add it to a fresh batch of ingredients. The amounts to add vary depending on what you actually want to do with the new bread and how fast you want it to rise.

You can also take this and divide it up into smallish amounts; 15 -- 30 ml (0.5 -- 1 oz) works well and freeze, then thaw for usage when needed. Silicone muffin/cupcake trays work well for this, as you can drop the mix in, freeze, then pop-out for storage in a bag.

There's some nice instructions here for how to use from fresh. For frozen the process is similar, just make sure that the "dough" is thawed and warm.

You will most likely have to play with the amount you use, but given the poor nature of the gluten in your current batch, I wouldn't go over about 25% of the total future bake.


I would say nothing. It will never again behave like the original dough, and for me, any rescue attempts will involve putting in way too much effort for getting a badly tasting result. I would throw it away.

If you really insist on saving it, I wouldn't try turning the batch into anything baked or bread-like. You can try adding more water, then use it as the base for something from the pancake/crepe family.

  • 6
    bake it, for science
    – CobaltHex
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 8:41
  • 3
    i mean i would not say those are the same. the dough has been made, gluten has probably been destroyed, I'd personally be curious what the result would be
    – CobaltHex
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 8:53
  • 6
    "I wouldn't try making anything baked or bread-like again" – seems a bit harsh for one mistake 😉
    – dbmag9
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 8:57
  • 4
    @dbmag9 Oops! Thank you for noticing the bad phrasing, edited.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 8:59
  • 3
    @CobaltHex The "experiment" has been done millions of times before, by mistake, and the results are known. The three extreme points of the possible result space will be: 1) a wet mass that hasn't baked through, 2) a crumbly mass falling apart, a bit like old birdfeed, 3) n aunbitably hard puck. The actual result will be one of these, or some combination of them, depending on exact circumstances.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 9:02

Try baking it and see what happens. Make several shapes and cook, then see how they turn out

  • A really thin pizza base, later make a pizza on top
  • Line a muffin/cupcake tray, and fill like a pie/quiche
  • Small cubes, for use as croutons

If any of them fail badly, simply blend them into crumbs and dry, for later use as a breadcrumb substitute.

Your original plan for the dough is unrecoverable - make a fresh batch.

Also check your mixer's instructions and see if it has a timer mode, or consider one of those plug-in timers on the switch, or just set a count-down timer when you start the mixer.

  • If nothing works at all, it'll make a great bird-food.
    – Criggie
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 21:01
  • 2
    bread isn't good for birds.
    – Kat
    Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 15:45
  • @kat fair point - its kinda not bread any more.
    – Criggie
    Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 20:28

It is unclear to me whether you are talking about bread, cake or other dough. Disregard if you are not asking about bread.

Personally, I bake sourdough bread, both wheat and rye, and there the kneading is very important to give it structure (there are very interesting biomechanical processes going on specifically with wheat-majority doughs).

I used to worry a lot in the initial stages of my "career" as a baking hobbyist. But now I just bake the bread, no matter what. Worst case it will be more like a flat cake/chabati than a real bread. There are other reasons except over-kneading for this to happen as well - wrong water/flour ratio, unhappy temperatures (mainly too hot, in my experience), bad time logistics, low-quality flour etc. The bread usually tastes more or less the same, and certainly is not unhealthy. The mouth texture will be different, but I am not trying to win contests with every single loaf of bread, and sometimes some variation is welcome as well.

If I had a lot of dough that I really cannot use, I would possibly not be able to use it as an optimum starter because at that stage it has salt in it, which inhibits the microorganisms (if I had somehow lost my actual permanent sourdough culture I would certainly try to get something going with the salted dough, anyways).

But what you can always do is to use it as "old dough" (in German: "alter Teig" - an actual term amongst bakers) in the later stages of your next bread. I.e., make a little less regular bread dough next time, and add a portion of your over-kneaded dough together with the salt. This can, in fact, give great tasting bread, and is even done intentionally in some recipes. The historic roots are exactly what one you might imagine - when that stuff was not cheap, or people were very hungry, nobody would throw dough away just because it was not fluffy enough; and they would just throw it in together with tomorrows batch.


Birdlime: if it is really sticky and looks yummy to birds, maybe you can catch birds with it!

Not that I suggest you do so!

  • Welcome to the site. Please take a tour and visit the help center to see what makes a good answer. The SE format values answers with some knowledge or references behind them; what evidence do you have that bread dough could be made into birdlime? Note that birdlime is illegal in large parts of the world.
    – bob1
    Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 11:08

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