I decided to make a 2.5kg sourdough to make bread and pizza out of it. I used the following formula: 76% hydration, 2% salt, 20% of starter (100%).

I mixed the flour and water and let it autolyse for about 2 hours. After that, I purred in the starter and salt dissolved in water. I mixed by hand until the gluten was formed.

After that I left it to bulk ferment over night. I left it covered in the oven with the oven light on.

In the morning it grew a lot, I think it doubled. However when I took it out on the bench it seemed liquidy. It was very very hard to handle. I left it outside in the cold for about 30 min then I tried to shape it. It was still pretty liquidy, it lost structure.

Can I still bake with this dough? I put it in the fridge because I had to go to work.

Should I simply bake and see what happens?

Kind thanks!


So the pizzas were a disaster and the bread didn't spring too much but the taste was good.

  • 3
    Just go for it. From what I understand, 76% hydration is quite a lot. Sep 28, 2018 at 8:10
  • 3
    My hunch is that you have not formed enough gluten. It could be from the flour you used, or from not working the dough long enough.
    – Pubby
    Sep 28, 2018 at 9:34

3 Answers 3


You have no structure to the dough. There is not a strong enough network to support the weight and, from your description, it sounds like you only gave it one "turn". All the food for the yeast has been eaten up. If you bake it, you might get some minor spring but I wouldn't count on it.


I don't know how it would work for a loaf of bread, but there's a good chance that it could be used to make flat breads.

If the dough is too difficult to work with, you can chill it down (and you said it's already in the fridge, so this is just for anyone else), and then sprinkle some flour across the top. Reach in, grab a handful of dough, get it well coated in the flour, and then shape it. Griddle on both sides, and you're good.

If you have a lot of dough to use up, I'll often griddle it over higher heat to get both sides set (and maybe a touch of char), then slide them into the oven to finish cooking through.


No. Your dough is dead. Timing is very important in bread making, but don't just use a clock. The way to tell when bread dough is ready is to feel it. Wet a finger and press in slightly every so often while proofing. In the beginning the finger indentation will pop back out. When it stops doing that, its time to form loaves/pizza. I recommend any book by Jeffrey Hamelman to help understand the complex web of life you are trying to create.

  • I disagree. First, it is clear from the OPs description, and the answers, that not enough gluten was formed. So, I would first recommend stretch and folds, and/or further refinement of gluten development. Even then, if the dough was over proofed, it can certainly be rescued and used. See: modernistcuisine.com/2018/11/dough-cpr
    – moscafj
    Feb 27, 2020 at 18:27
  • Yes, well that was just my opinion after 40 years of baking bread.To really evaluate dough, one need to see, touch, smell and taste it. I just don't think its work the time or energy to 'rescue' dough.
    – BlueMax
    Feb 28, 2020 at 13:06

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