Is Your Pizza Dough Too Sticky? – Everything You Need to Know

By Robert Parsons May 8, 2023

Learning to make pizza dough can be challenging, especially when the dough is too sticky and sticks to your hands, pan or countertop.

This can be frustrating, but don’t be discouraged. There is a reason why your dough is sticky, and there are ways to fix it.

Read on to learn how to resolve this issue.

What Makes Pizza Dough Sticky?

Creating a flawless batch of pizza dough can be challenging, particularly for someone new to the process. Becoming skilled in dough-making requires ample time, patience, and a great deal of practice. Various factors can impact the dough’s texture, and understanding how to manage these elements is crucial to producing exceptional pizza dough. If the pizza dough is sticky, it could be due to any of the following reasons:

You’re Not Using the Correct Water/Flour Ratio  

To begin, it’s important to consider the type of flour you’re using in a recipe. Many recipes don’t specify the type of flour, but this information is important because it impacts how much water the dough will need. For example, a strong flour like Italian 00 has a high gluten content and can absorb more water. It’s recommended to always use 60% of the water required in the recipe, but if the dough is too rough, you can gradually add more water in small increments.

Solution: When adding water to your recipe, it’s better to add it slowly regardless of the type of flour you’re using. You should avoid adding the full amount of water specified in the recipe, particularly if it doesn’t mention the type of flour to be used.

Too Much Water is Being Used 

The amount of water in the dough depends on the type of flour used. Dough hydration is the ratio of water to flour. The stickiness of dough increases with higher hydration. It’s suggested to keep the hydration level between 60-75%. If the hydration level is greater than 75%, the dough will become excessively sticky, and more flour will be needed.

Solution: If your dough is too wet and sticky, it might be because you added too much liquid. To fix it, add more flour until the consistency is right. 

The Temperature of the Water is Too Cold

It’s important to use warm water in every pizza recipe because it helps hydrate the yeast properly and releases glutens, which hold all the ingredients together. If you use cold water, the gluten will leak and the dough will become soft and sticky, which cannot be reversed. That’s why warm water is a must.

Solution: If the water you used is too cold, we cannot offer a solution. You will need to begin the process again.

You’re Not Kneading the Dough Long Enough 

For a fluffy crust, it’s crucial to thoroughly knead your dough. Inadequate mixing can result in a gummy or sticky texture. So, take your time when kneading and adjust the water/flour as needed. Refer to this guide for the proper pizza dough kneading technique.

Solution: To fix the dough that hasn’t been mixed well, you can put it back into a bowl and knead it until it becomes smooth, spongy, and not sticky anymore. This is an easy process.

How to Prevent Pizza Dough from Becoming Sticky  

To prevent pizza dough from becoming sticky, it’s best to ensure it doesn’t become sticky during the preparation phase. Begin by mixing the ingredients thoroughly with warm water and only using around 60% of the water specified in the recipe. Add more water as necessary.

To avoid tearing the dough, use rolling, pressing, and stretching techniques instead of excessive force while kneading. The kneading process can significantly affect the final outcome. Ensure thorough kneading and adjust the water and flour if you add too much of either. Achieving the right balance may take practice, but it will become easier over time. 

Final Thoughts

You will find it easy to avoid stickiness in pizza dough with this information. Good luck! Don’t forget to check out our website for tips, tricks, the best pizza products available, and more.