Baking Tips, Cooking Techniques, Troubleshooting

Why Is My Dough Sticky And How To Make Dough Less Sticky?

There’s a hidden chef in all of us. We try to make new food items at home like cookies and bread. Trying new dishes requires a lot of patience, and we gather that patience and start the process. But when something doesn’t go according to the recipe, we tend to lose patience.

Suppose you’re making cookies or bread; you’ve gathered all the ingredients. Now you’re making the dough, imagining the tasty cookies. Oops! The dough seems sticky to you, and you can’t roll it to make cookies or bread. You’re stuck with the thoughts. Why is my dough sticky? How to make the dough less sticky? Generally, doughs get sticky when there’s too much moisture present in them, or they’re not at the right temperature.

Why is my cookie dough sticky?

Sticky cookie doughs are a complete mess. They stick to your hands, rolling board, rolling pin, and wherever they get in contact with. So even if you somehow roll it to make cookies, you can expect bad cookies coming out of your oven. But how does the dough get sticky? There might be several reasons for this. So let’s take a look at them.

Large-sized eggs

Sure the recipe says to put this number of eggs in your dough mixture. But people often make the mistake of using large-sized eggs in their recipe. The recipe will never mention the size of eggs you should use to think the bigger, the better. But you’re putting the cookie dough at risk of getting sticky. Large eggs make the dough too wet and make it sticky.

Always use medium-sized or small-sized eggs in your dough mixture. Or you can just whisk the number of eggs mentioned in the recipe in a separate bowl, then add it bit by bit until you get the right dough texture. Dry cookie dough is much better than wet dough.

Too much butter

Using more than enough butter, thinking it will make the dough soft, is a common mistake. Instead, it will make the dough sticky and greasy. When you bake the cookies, the extra butter present will make the cookies spread and give you flat cookies. Always stick to the recipe and not put butter more than the mentioned amount.

Volume measurements instead of weight

The biggest mistake while making cookie dough is using volume instead of weight measurements. Volume never gives the right measurement in a recipe. For example, flour can be pressed to make space for more flour. Unfortunately, this means that the weight will be different in each person’s recipe. The same applies to other ingredients. And when there’s something more than enough in your cookie dough, it ruins it.

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Sticky cookie doughs are a common problem faced by almost everyone and, fortunately, have a solution to it.

How to make cookie dough less sticky?

Sticky cookie dough doesn’t mean you should throw it and make a new one. This means a waste of money and ingredients. Sticky cookie doughs can be fixed with these tricks. These methods can consume a lot of time, but it’s better than wasting ingredients.

Just chill

You can fix your sticky cookie dough by putting it in the freezer to chill for about 30-60 minutes. The timing depends on the quantity of the dough. Doing this will make the dough less sticky.

Butter is very soft at room temperature and stiff at cold temperature. While making dough, the butter must have made the dough sticky and greasy, but when you put the dough inside the freezer, it makes the butter stiff, and thus the dough becomes less sticky.

However, you should not leave the dough in the fridge for too long. Doing this will make the dough firm and difficult to cut or scoop out.

Putting the sticky dough in the fridge will make all the ingredients in the dough come together and give it a better consistency.

Add flour

If chilling the dough doesn’t make it firmer, then you should try adding more flour to it. When the wet ingredients control the dough, it ruins the cookies. The ratio of dry and wet ingredients should make perfect cookies.

To make the cookie dough manageable, try adding more flour to it. This process is much easier than chilling the dough. Just keep adding the flour to the sticky cookie dough until it gets dry and holds it together. Make sure you’re not making the dough too dry, as it will give you tasteless cookies.

Cookie dough is too wet and sticky

When your cookie dough is too wet and sticky, it makes it impossible for you to roll it or hold it together. It sticks everywhere, making it hard for you to make cookies. After putting so much effort and time into it, you might be able to cut out cookies and put them in the oven to bake. But when your cookies come out of the oven, they will not be fluffy, tasty, or soft.

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Baking sticky cookie dough will only give you flat and tasteless cookies. The grease present in the cookies will spread and often burns them. This makes them flat when baked and ruins their taste. The slightly wet dough can give you good cookies, but it will not give you anything when it’s too wet and sticky.

Bread dough too sticky and wet

Reasons for sticky and wet bread dough

  1. Bread dough can become too sticky and wet when you use cold water instead of warm water to knead the dough. Glutens leak out when you use cold water, making the dough sticky.
  2. The most common mistake people make while making bread dough is that they pour all the water at the same time, and this makes their dough sticky. Pour water in small quantities, then mix, then water, then mix. Keep repeating it until you get a soft dough.
  • Another reason your bread dough gets sticky is because you don’t mix it enough. Don’t mix until you hold all the ingredients together. Mix it until the consistency of the dough is as per the recipe.
  • Some people use more water in preparing the dough. It is recommended to use 60% of the amount mentioned in the recipe so that your bread dough doesn’t get sticky.

How to manage sticky bread dough?

Bread dough needs to be raised two times in order to get perfect bread. This is because the bread can get sticky in both stages. So let’s see how you can handle it in both stages.

When you set the bread dough for the first rise in the bowl, it should double the size of the previous dough. If the size is more, then it means that the glutens have stretched and made your dough sticky. After the first rise, you need to gently press the bread dough (it says in all the recipes) but this time, coat your fingers, fist, and the surface with flour. This will help you manage the dough and make it less sticky.

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When your dough is still sticky after the second rise, you won’t be able to press it or knead it, so the best you can do is shape it. This time, coat your fingers and surface with flour, and then start shaping the dough. This will probably make the dough less sticky and still give you tasty bread after baking.

How to prevent bread dough from getting wet or sticky?

You can avoid the bread dough from getting too wet or sticky in the first place. Follow these steps, and your dough will be saved from sticky or wet problems.

The first step to prevent your dough from getting too wet or sticky is weighing the ingredients. When you put ingredients according to their mentioned weight in the recipe, you get all things in the right amount, and thus, it gives you the perfect dough. However, never put the ingredients according to their quantity as some ingredients like flour can be pressed down and gives more space to increase the quantity.

  • Pour a small quantity of water

The biggest and most common mistake people make while making bread dough is that they pour the mentioned quantity of water at the same time in the bowl. Never do this, as it makes your dough sticky. Instead, set aside the mentioned quantity in a jug then pour it in small quantities.


The conclusion arises that sticky dough can be treated when familiar with the tricks. Sticky doughs are not the end of the world, so do not let them ruin your mood. There are a number of reasons that make the dough sticky, and now that you’re familiar with them, you can avoid it next time you make a dough. And if somehow your dough still gets sticky, then there are always ways to solve this problem, and you know them too. So have a good time baking!

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