The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

If stretch and fold is not an option

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basbr's picture
basbr

If stretch and fold is not an option

A lot of experienced bakers on this forum sing the praise of stretch and folds for gluten development, workable wet dough and open crumb. I understand the concept, and I think it's pretty darn smart. Problem is, I cannot do it because of my handicap.


I have this brand new KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer that easily kneads a high hydration dough for a long time, without heating up. I followed the discussions in the forum, but most focus on S&Fs as an alternative to extensive mixing.


My question is: Can the KitchenAid be a viable alternative to S&Fs for great French bread or baguettes?


Can I get a workable wet dough and open crumb by only kneading in the stand mixer? How long would you recommend? I began noticing a real difference in Peter Reinhart's focaccia dough from BBA when I mixed it for 20 minutes. I didn't S&F it afterwards and it came out pretty good; light and fluffy, like eating a piece of cloud! 


But how would French bread do under the extensive handling by the stand mixer? Thanks!

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

I have seen references in the past to simulating the strech and fold with a couple of turns of the dough hook in the mixing bowl. You might want to try that.


wayne

mcs's picture
mcs

I just sent you a baguette recipe for use in a KitchenAid.  Please keep it private.


-Mark

MickiColl's picture
MickiColl

and just what is so secret about a baguette recipe using the Kitchen Aid ?

basbr's picture
basbr

You guys are amazing... Thanks a lot.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

basbr,


I experimented with using my DLX and also a Kitchen Aid mixer to do the stretch and fold a while back. I found that if you use the paddle to combine the ingredients well and cover the bowl. Wait for about an hour and  install the hook,. Then mix with the hook for about 3-4 minutes on 1st speed and stop and rest for an hour (covered). One more time with the hook for just a few seconds and make a decision on how the gluten is developing. If it is smooth and elastic you can stop and wait for the dough to double.


If you need to mix with the hook from the beginning, it will work but will take longer to incorporate. That's how the pro bakers like Mark at Back Home Bakery do it. Good luck and let us know how it goes.


Eric

basbr's picture
basbr

Thanks... I will definitely give this a try!


Why is this more effective for an open crumb than beating the living daylights out of the dough for half an hour?

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

That does have the living daylights beaten out of it and the bubbles that make up the foam are almost microscopic.  However, at the beginning of the process, before very much beating has occurred, the bubbles are rather large.


Similarly with bread dough.  With more mechanical action (whether by hand or by machine) on the dough, the "foam" (crumb) becomes more finely and uniformly textured. With less mechanical action, the bubbles in the crumb remain larger and less uniform.


There are other factors as well, but I think that addresses your question.


Paul

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

thanks -- wayne

basbr's picture
basbr

Thanks, that is a wonderful explanation!

mcs's picture
mcs

There's a trade-off between enough gluten development and flavor loss in bread.  The longer a dough is kneaded, or as you eloquently put it, 'beat the living daylights out of', the more oxygen is incorporated into the dough.  The more oxygen in the dough, the more the carotenoid compounds in the dough are destroyed.  Those compounds are a very important part of the flavor in bread, and also give the crumb a creme (as opposed to white) color. 


So generally we try to incorporate the ingredients well enough to develop the gluten for our needs without overdoing it.  Every recipe is different as is every mixer and different shapes (baguettes, boules, batards, loaves in pans, rolls) might have different needs.


Something like that anyway.


-Mark


edit:  That PMCool is always one step ahead of me...