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Oct 10, 2012 11:32 PM

Why is my pizza dough too sticky?

I used sourdough starter to make pizza crust. The dough is so sticky and wet that it's almost impossible to shape. The crust is not bad texture wise, but it's too tangy. My starter was created just 2 weeks ago, so maybe it's the reason for the tangy crust. But I don't know why the dough is so sticky. I followed the recipe on King Arthur Flour to the letter.

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  1. flour amounts needed can be variable, so just keep adding enough til it's the consistency you need. add small bits at a time.

    the room temperature, the humidity, the moisture content of the flour, etc. can all affect how much flour you need, so don't feel constricted by the recipe.

    1. If you're serious about home pizza, ask this question on one of the boards at They are THE source.

      1. really old starters having some magic flavor and properties are and old wive's (baker's?) tale, two weeks is fine.

        to get a less tangy crust, use starter that was just refreshed.

        too sticky means too much water. I've had the best luck w/ John Thorne's pizza crust recipe that is 8oz of water and 4.5 oz of flour (quite dry by most 'artisan' baking book standards) forget adding lil bits at a time and getting things "silky" or like a baby's bottom (why do writer's compare food to asses?), just measure by weight. so much easier. not just for bread and pizza but pie crust, pasta etc

        1. What is you process for making this dough?
          What is your hydration percentage?
          Are you measuring the ingredients by weight or volume?
          Cold/Room temp fermentation? How long?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Novelli

            I followed the recipe from King Arthur Flour and used weight.
            The temperature is 30C and a little bit humid, so that's probably the reason.

            1. re: pearlyriver

              "too sticky" is completely relative. Pizza dough recipes vary in hydration from below 60% to above 80%. They all produce something that can be handled, shaped and called pizza crust. I can't tell from the recipe you linked what the hydration of the sourdough starter is to know the hydration of the final dough, but generally speaking, lower hydration doughs are easier to work with, particularly for a novice.
              I've done thousands of pounds of pizza dough with both new and experienced bakers and if I had to guess, I would say you just need more practice with dough construction and handling. Pizza dough seems simple, but it's actually one of the most difficult doughs to do really well. OTOH, if you just want to get something in the oven, add more flour to start with, and as you become more adept at construction and handling, gradually reduce the flour/increase the hydration of your formula.
              There are some great YouTube videos on working with pizza dough.

              The advice upthread about using a more recently refreshed starter for a less sour product is spot on.

          2. SImple fix is to just add a little more flour