How To Stop Your Sourdough Sticking To Everything

Sourdough bread is a type of bread that has been traditionally made using natural leavening agents such as yeast and bacteria. The process involves mixing flour, water, salt, and other ingredients together to create a dough that is left to ferment for several hours before being baked.

Sourdough is an ancient method of making bread that dates back thousands of years. It was originally used by nomadic tribes who would travel around the world carrying their sourdough starter with them.

Today, sourdough bread is becoming increasingly popular because of its unique taste and texture. It is also considered to be healthier than regular bread due to the fact that it contains less refined sugars and preservatives.

Sourdough bread is delicious, but if you’re anything like me, you’ve had problems with your sourdough sticking to everything. It’s frustrating because you want to enjoy your bread, but it seems like there’s always something stuck to it.

I’ve tried several different methods to try and get rid of my sourdough sticking problem, but nothing has worked. So I decided to write this guide to help you out.

In this guide, I’ll explain how to stop your sourdough from sticking and give you some ideas on how to prevent it in the future.

Why Is Sourdough So Sticky?

The main reason why people have trouble getting rid of their sticky sourdoughs is that they don’t know what causes it. There are many factors that can contribute to this issue including:

Why is my sourdough so sticky? | Alexandra's Kitchen

– Too much moisture – If your sourdough is too wet then it will stick to whatever surface you put it on. This includes things like pans or bowls. You should only add enough liquid so that when mixed into the dry ingredients, it forms a softball rather than a stiff paste.

– Not kneading properly – When you mix up your sourdough, make sure you use both hands to work the mixture until it becomes smooth and elastic. Don’t just throw it all in one go!

– Using old starters – Old starters tend to produce more sticky dough which makes sense since they contain lots of live organisms. However, even new starters can become sticky over time. Try not to store your sourdough longer than two weeks at most.

– Adding too much sugar – Sugar helps keep the fermentation going during baking, but adding too much can cause the dough to start rising faster than normal. As a result, it may begin to rise above the rim of the bowl and form bubbles. These bubbles can trap air inside causing the dough to expand further and eventually burst.

– Overworking the dough – Some recipes call for working the dough for 10 minutes straight without stopping. While this might seem like a lot of effort, it actually works best when done slowly. Otherwise, the gluten strands won’t develop correctly and the resulting loaf will end up tough instead of light and fluffy.

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If any of these issues sound familiar, then read through our guide below to find out how to fix them.

What Causes My Sourdough To Stick?

There are three main reasons why your sourdough could be sticking to surfaces. They include:

1) The Dough Hasn’t Fully Fermented

2) The Starter Isn’t Active Enough

3) The Ingredients Are Wrong For Making Bread

Let’s take a look at each of these individually.

Reason 1 – The Dough Hasn‘t Fully Fermented

When making bread, we need to let the yeast do its job by fermenting the flour and water together before mixing in other ingredients such as salt and oil. During this process, the yeast releases carbon dioxide gas which gives us the bubbly texture associated with good bread. Without this step, the dough would simply fall apart after being mixed.

Unfortunately, sometimes the yeast doesn’t fully activate itself and therefore isn’t able to perform its role. In order to solve this problem, you must first check whether or not the starter contains active yeast cells. If it does, then you can proceed with the next steps. If however, there aren’t any living yeast cells present, then you’ll need to wait until the next day to see if the situation improves.

You can also try using an alternative method called autolysis where you leave the starter alone overnight and allow it to naturally break down. Once again though, you shouldn’t expect anything from this approach unless you’ve been storing your starter for several months.

Reason 2 – The Starter Isn‘t Active Enough

The second reason that causes your sourdough to stick is that the starter hasn’t developed enough enzymes to help digest the starches found within the flour. This means that the dough has no way of breaking down those starch molecules into simple sugars so that the yeast can convert them into alcohol and CO₂.

To remedy this issue, you should increase the amount of time spent feeding your starter. You can either add more flour or use less flour. Whichever option you choose, make sure that you’re doing it gradually over a period of two weeks. By increasing the number of feedings, you give the yeast plenty of time to produce sufficient amounts of digestive enzymes.

In addition, you should ensure that all of the ingredients used have high levels of protein content. Protein helps create strong cell walls around the yeasts’ cells which allows them to survive longer during fermentation. It also prevents the growth of bacteria on top of the surface.

Finally, don’t forget about the temperature! Yeast needs warm temperatures to thrive properly. However, too much heat may kill off some of the yeast cells. Therefore, keep your kitchen well ventilated and avoid placing your starters near radiators or ovens.

Reason 3 – The Ingredients Aren‘t Right For Making Bread

If none of the above methods work, then perhaps the recipe you’re following isn’t right for creating great quality bread.

There are many different types of recipes out there but they usually contain one common ingredient – wheat flour. Unfortunately, most people think that because their bread tastes fine when made with white flour, they won’t get anywhere else. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Wheat flour is actually quite acidic compared to other flours like rice, corn, rye, etc. As a result, it’s very difficult for the yeast to metabolize these acids and turn them into alcohol and CO2. So even if you manage to successfully raise your starter, you still might end up with flatbread rather than loaf bread.

Therefore, instead of trying to find another type of flour, you should focus on improving how you mix your dough.

How Can You Make Sourdough Less Sticky?

As mentioned earlier, the main cause behind sticky dough is the presence of gluten in the flour. Gluten is what gives bread structure and elasticity. When making bread, you want to minimize the amount of gluten as possible since it will affect both texture and flavor.

However, you cannot completely eliminate gluten from your baking process. Instead, you should learn how to control it by adding extra water at certain stages of mixing.

Lowering The Hydration

When working with any kind of dough, you need to start with an appropriate hydration level. If you go below 50%, then the dough will become dry and crumbly. On the flip side, going above 70% will leave the dough overly wet and heavy.

So before starting to knead your dough, always check its consistency first. Then adjust the amount of liquid accordingly until you reach the desired hydration level. This way, you’ll prevent yourself from having to deal with sticky dough later down the line. A dough with low hydration is often referred to as "spongy" while a higher-hydrated version is called "elastic".

Maximizing Gluten Development

The next way would be to maximize gluten development. In order to do so, you must use enough strength when kneading your dough. By doing so, you can stretch the proteins within the dough and allow more air bubbles to form. These two factors together help develop stronger gluten strands which result in a better overall texture.

To achieve maximum gluten development, you should add plenty of salt and oil. Salt helps strengthen the protein bonds between the individual molecules. Meanwhile, oil prevents the formation of large pockets where gases could accumulate during fermentation.

In addition, you should also make sure that all ingredients have been mixed thoroughly prior to beginning the kneading process. Otherwise, the dough will remain stuck to itself due to the uneven distribution of moisture throughout the mixture.

The gluten strands are spread throughout the dough after the gluten is fully formed and the dough is molded, making them less prone to cling. The goal is to maximize gluten formation so that the dough can rise correctly while being non-sticky. This can be accomplished by plenty of physical kneading, time, or a combination of both physical kneading and time.

How To Stop Sourdough Sticking To Banneton

If you’re using bannetons, try not to overwork the dough too much. Overworking causes the dough to lose some of its ability to expand properly. It may look nice but won’t taste good either.

How To Stop Your Sourdough Sticking To Everything – Food To Impress

Instead, gently press out the sides of the dough without stretching it too thin. Once this has happened, fold the edges inward towards the center. Repeat this step several times until you get the right thickness. Once done, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rest for about 20 minutes. Afterward, remove the lid and continue folding the dough again. You don’t want to overdo it because otherwise, the dough might stick to the surface.

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Afterward, place the dough back into the covered container and refrigerate overnight. Before proceeding further, take off the plastic wrap and rewrap the dough loosely. Let sit on the countertop for another 30 minutes before shaping.

To keep your sourdough from sticking to the banneton, make sure it’s been well seasoned. This seasoning is a flour coating that helps keep the dough from sticking together. Your sourdough won’t stick if you season it well and use enough flour. If you find that your dough still sticks despite these measures, then there’s something wrong with your recipe. Try adjusting one of the above methods instead.

Banneton needs to be in good condition as well. Make sure that the cloth isn’t dirty or wet. Also, clean any residue left behind from previous batches. A dry banneton makes for easier handling and baking.

How To Stop Sourdough Sticking To Cloth/Tea Towel?

You’ll need to start with a very strong starter. Then, once the yeast starts growing, you’ll need to feed it regularly. Finally, you’ll need to wait at least 24 hours before attempting to bake bread made with your starter.

How To Stop Your Sourdough Sticking To Everything – Food To Impress

When feeding your starter, remember to only give it half of what you normally feed other starters. For example, if you usually feed 1 cup of water per day, then only feed ½ cup of water each day. Don’t forget to add extra nutrients like molasses, honey, etc., when needed.

Once you’ve waited long enough, begin preparing your loaf. First, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, grease two 9×5 inch pans with butter. Now, cut your dough into 2 equal pieces. Place one piece inside each pan. Cover the loaves with aluminum foil and set them aside for 15 minutes.

How To Stop Sourdough Sticking To Your Dutch Oven?

If you want to prevent the sourdough from sticking to the dutch oven then firstly ensure that the pot is thoroughly cleaned. Secondly, do not fill up more than halfway full. Lastly, always have an airtight seal around the top of the pot.

This will help stop the dough from rising excessively. When cooking sourdough recipes, you should never open the door during the process. Doing so could cause the temperature to drop which would result in undercooked bread. Instead, leave the door closed and check every few minutes.

To prevent sourdough from adhering to your dutch oven, cover it with parchment paper, lightly spray it with oil, or put a generous amount of semolina in it before baking it. All three ways produce a strong barrier between the dough and the dutch oven.


Sourdough can be tricky but following some simple steps will allow you to enjoy delicious homemade bread. The key is patience! I hope this post helped you with everything that you were looking for.

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