How to Handle Sticky Dough

Knead dough to make it easier to work with.
Knead dough to make it easier to work with. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Whether you are making bread, cookies or pizza, the dough will inevitably stick to your hands and the cooking surface. The sticky dough can make it seem impossible to handle, and you may eventually give up and throw the dough away in the trash. Handling the dough properly will help you minimize and even prevent the dough from sticking, which will make you less frustrated in the kitchen.

Things You'll Need

  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Nonstick spray
  • Flour

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Coat your hands with butter, olive oil or nonstick spray. The extra grease prevents the dough from sticking to you and it allows you to spread it out with your hands.

Knead the fresh dough on a floured surface. Kneading the dough involves pushing, squeezing and mashing it. The more you knead the dough, the less it begins to stick to your fingers. The kneaded dough causes gluten to form and it begins to stick together instead of to your skin.

Dust the dough with flour to minimize the stickiness. Coat your hands with the dry flour as well, if it sticks to your skin too.

Tips & Warnings

  • Chill the dough in the refrigerator for one to two hours if you have difficulty with it sticking.
  • Always wash your hands and cooking surface before working with dough to prevent contaminating it with potentially harmful bacteria.


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