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Only add a small amount of water at a time. Start with a small amount of water and make a paste in the center of the flour. The paste must be perfect. Once you have a paste, you work the paste. Add the water gradually ONLY TO THE PASTE, NEVER TO THE FLOUR. So, you just gradually get more and more paste, until the whole thing is dough.


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This started as a comment that grew too long... so now it's an answer. How new (or not new) is the bag of flour? And how has it been stored? if it's an old bag or has been stored somewhere where it's exposed to very moist air and/or temperature swings, maybe try again with a fresh bag of flour. Also, as suggested in the comments, try sifting the flour first....


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This question has gone unanswered for a couple of years, but I'll have a go in case it helps anyone else. It almost looks like you didn't have any starter or other yeast in there -- the linked recipe describes making a starter in some detail so I doubt that got missed, but I have to mention it as a possibility. If you have any way of measuring the pH, then ...


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You can make a first-pass estimate of the volume of risen dough by roughly doubling the initial volume -- that's a rule of thumb that's often used for judging whether a dough has proofed enough to bake and/or punch down. Beyond that, there are way too many variables to give a concrete answer here -- the only answer that would be accurate is "it depends&...


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