The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Automated stretching - folding ?

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Lucifer's picture
Lucifer

Automated stretching - folding ?

Trying to figure out how to automate stretching-folding as it takes too much labour if done by hand.


This video shows a common design - a sheet of dough is put thru rollers to thin it out and then folded in 1/2. The process is repeated as many times as needed. Quick and simple.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wv24YPH2584


If I do it by actually stretching the dough from a ball into a sheet it retains a lot more air and structure compared to rolling it.


Is rolling a common way to stretch-fold it in production?


Is it inferior to stretching by hand?


 


 

suave's picture
suave

It has nothing to do with stretch and fold, i's a dough sheeter.  It's main use, as the name suggests, it to roll out sheets, for example, when making laminated dough.  I would think that the absolute majority of places that own one have never heard of stretch and fold and achieve requred degree of dough development by using very big spiral mixers.

Lucifer's picture
Lucifer

Yes, u r right. I missed the point in the video.


Are you saying that no one in production does stretching-folding of dough after some initial rise?

suave's picture
suave

Certainly not at places like Sara Lee.

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Quote:
...no one in production does stretching-folding of dough after some initial rise?

Not sure what you mean by "production"...


If you're talking about any commercial bakery, then "yes" they almost certainly don't use the stretch-and-fold technique at all.


If on the other hand you're talking about an in-the-barn operation to produce a hundred or so loaves for a farmers' market, then "no", as some such operations do indeed use the manual stretch-and-fold technique.


It is possible to turn several tens of pounds of dough out of the bulk rising container onto a work surface, "stretch" and "fold" the large mass, pick it back up draped over forearms, and put the whole thing back in the bulk rising container with the smooth side still up. Even though what's happening to the dough is the same thing a home baker would do for a much smaller quantity, it looks quite different (and takes a significantly different amount of time).

mcs's picture
mcs

The dough is left in the mixing bowl and the dough hook or spiral arms do the stretching and folding. 


-Mark


http://TheBackHomeBakery.com

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Mark,


When I first joined TFL I'd never heard of the S&F, and your video of the technique was the very first demo I'd ever seen of it. Is this something you still do, or has that changed since the video was made? Or was it a demo aimed at the noncommercial baker to show how it's done, and not a procedure you normally use during your daily production run at The Back Home? Just curious.


Franko

mcs's picture
mcs

I still use the S&F (like I do on the videos) for my daily breads.  Because my schedule has developed gradually over time, I've kind of worked my way around this technique since I like how it works.  When I made the videos, the technique was new to me (I think I had been using it for a year or so), but I thought people would like to see how someone else did it, for better or for worse.


However, when working with large batches of dough (now) instead of putting the dough on the table for S&F, I let the mixer do the S&F.  Knowing what the dough would feel like after doing it by hand, I replicate similar gluten development by watching the dough hook work the dough.  For instance, it takes my Hobart (3) revolutions to accomplish what I would do with a stretch and fold on the table.  After it's done, I scrape the bowl and hook down, cover the whole thing with a plastic bag, then do it again in 45 minutes.  Of course the main drawback to this is it occupies your mixing bowl for the whole process (but if the dough will be retarded in the fridge then this may not be an issue).
This is the way Calvel and others (Anis Bouabsa) did it with autolyse and S&F in large batches.
Machine folding also works well with smaller quantities such as the amount you'd be using in a KitchenAid or small mixer.  As long as you're aware of the gluten development you're looking for, you should be able to watch your mixer and stop it when it matches the development you'd achieve with a hand S&F.


-Mark


http://TheBackHomeBakery.com

Franko's picture
Franko

Thanks for getting back to me Mark,


Good method for getting the most out of your mixer but still treating the dough in the best way possible for commercial production volumes. I'm assuming that the 3 revolutions are done in 1st, but in what size bowl, and what size mix. Just trying to get an idea of what you find is the most efficient ratio for doing this. I've no intention of doing this at home, but might try it out at the shop on one of our smaller mixes.


Franko

mcs's picture
mcs

Franko,
You are correct; the 3 revolutions are done on speed 1.  This goes for a 12 pound batch of dough in a 20 quart mixer or a 20-25 pound patch in a 60 quart mixer.  Although it doesn't appear that much can be accomplished in just 3 revolutions, through the time of rest between the machine folding and the short and gentle action, the dough develops a very nice sheen, strength, and texture, just like a hand S&F.
If the dough appears to be 'too strong', then I reduce the initial mix time the next time I make the dough.


-Mark


 

Franko's picture
Franko

Great info Mark!


Thanks for taking the time to get back to me. I'll give it a try and let you know how it worked out.


ATB,


Franko

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

I worked at a small artisan bakery . we used a spiral mixer to mix batches of dough from say 30# to 250#.  Once mixing was complete the dough would be scaled into 10, 12, 14 or 16# bins - depending on type dough - and allowed to bulk ferment for for an hour or so - again based on dough type - and then we would take the dough from the bin and place on the table and do a scretch and fold and put it back in the bin for a second rise and then after another 1 to 1.5 hours scretch and fold a second time then back in the bin for at least 1 hour then the dough would be ready to divide. 


Very time consuming and labor intensive, but some small bakeries do this.  I worked at a much larger bakery in Ann Arbor and there they mixed, bulk fermented, and went straint to portioning the large amount of dough for the divider and directly from the divider to shaping.  Good bread but not as good as the smaller bakery.


As stated large commercial bakeries can not afford to do any of this hand work ...


Ben


 

Syd's picture
Syd

This is the way they do it at the Milawa factory. The dough is silky smooth.  It is mesmerizing to watch.  Enjoy!

Lucifer's picture
Lucifer

Syd, thanx.


Found a few good videos under the same ArtisanBaker account.


I guess I need to stop asking silly questions here and just watch lots of videos on YouTube. It's all there in bits and pieces :)