I’ve made this recipe 5 times. The first time was a flop. The 2nd and 3rd time, came out with beautiful perfect loaves. My 4th and 5th time, following

I’ve made this recipe 5 times. The first time was a flop. The 2nd and 3rd time, came out with beautiful perfect loaves. My 4th and 5th time, following the same process, I’m back to it being a flop! It seemed to rise fine over night, left out for 13 hours on the counter. But when I tip the dough out for the 2nd stretch and fold, the dough is so sticky and wet, it can barely stretch and sticks to the parchment paper, my dough scraper, and my hands. I’ve tried adding more stretch and folds with resting in between and more flour, but after baking, it comes out like a flat disc. Where did I go wrong? How did I make 2 perfect loaves before and all the sudden cannot anymore? The texture of the dough has even been very different. The times where it came out well, the dough was easy to stretch and fold and didn’t stick too much. It was firmer and stretchier. Help!

Chelsea Sansano
No-Knead Sourdough Bread
Recipe question for: No-Knead Sourdough Bread


Stephanie B. June 13, 2020
Can you recall if it was cooler in your kitchen the times this bread worked?
Chelsea S. June 13, 2020
Hi Stephanie,
Yes I believe it was too! The weather where I live has been going into high 80’s for a couple days, then to mid 70’s for a couple days, so I can’t recall exactly if I made it successfully on the cooler days but I do know for sure the 2 recent times it came out poorly, those were on warmer days!
Stephanie B. June 13, 2020
Sounds to me like your dough over proved on those warmer days, especially if letting ferment for 13 hours. I bet your microbes reached their peak growth well before 13 hours, and after eating up all the sugar they could get to, moved on to munching on the gluten! You also mentioned your starter: you definitely want a fresh starter for an 8-10h ferment.

If you want to continue a no-knead method, try using a little less starter, a shorter fermentation (8 hours instead of 10+), and leave your dough in a cooler spot, or some combo of all those things if it's warmer when you start your dough.
Chelsea S. June 13, 2020
Thank you! That’s very helpful!
Nan June 12, 2020
I would love to know as well, I am having the same problem but only made one loaf.
Chelsea S. June 13, 2020
Hi Nan,
I tried this again last night and I currently have my dough on its 2nd proof. My dough was much better this morning, like it was in the times I had successful loaves. What I did differently: I made sure my starter was at its peak after feeding. Before I was going based on time, 5-6 hours after feeding. Yesterday I kept an eye on it, and when it bubbled to the top of my glass jar, almost 4 hours after feeding, I then made my dough. I think this made the starter thicker and therefore made my dough less wet and sticky. I hope that helps you!
Nan June 25, 2020
Thank you and it does help ! I'm having fun learning.
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