I thought i'd share my piece of illustration on the Stretch and fold in the bowl technique:
This looks like less effort! I am going to try this method today because I do not have a mixer. The 10- 15 mins of kneading seems daunting for a new baker like me. Thanks.
Indeed, Anjali, and tidier too! make sure your dough has a medium looseness consistency (i.e. somewhat wet and sticky). Dry doughs won't fare well with this technique.
On my 1st fold, the dough was definitly tacky. But the 2 subsequent 1/2 hrly folds have made the dough smoother, shiny and not as sticky as the first folding. So do you think the dough is a little dry?
If you can stretch a piece of your dough and fold it onto itself easily, then i say your dough is of the right consistency.
I read this and then went and inverted my dough :).Never thought of doing that, I think it's a good addition to my S&F routine.Thanks for posting!
Actually, i learned this from a TFL member: Shaio Ping, and Txfarmer. Inverting the dough closes the seams well and traps air into the dough. It also helps develop the structure of the dough throughout fermentation.
Wow, did you draw this yourself, Khalid? What a great effort! Thanks for posting this.
This weekend I worked with the a very wet dough, over 85% hydration with S&F in the bowl. I was surprised how the dough structure changed from pancake like batter to a well-knitted elastic dough, and that gluten gradually developed after each S&F. It's the wonder of wheat that makes bread making so fascinating.
Thanks, Sue! I like to illustrate, and intead of getting my hands all wet trying to photograph the procedure, i thought i'd illustrate it. Wheat is a wonder, and s& F inthe bowl is very efficient at bringing a wet dough together.
...possibly in this section The Fresh Loaf Baker's Handbook » Section II: Bread Basics » Process & Technique
The site's handbook is a terrific resource but I've always thought it would benefit from illustrations & photos - especially of techniques.
Thanks for putting this together. - SF
This method is difficult to describe with words and Khalid has done a great job of illustrating the maneuver. I'll try to include it today.
Added by edit: Done
I went to check out that link (I never knew about that before) and noticed that the illustrations were not included with your addition. Just thought you'd like to know... :-)
next time I want to illustrate a technique. Nicely done Khalid!
That will make a nice addition to methods on TFL.
Well, done Mebake :-)
Thank you Khalid. There are a lot of videos and pictures of the S&F technique done on counters but this is the first diagram I have seen of this method.
I learned of this method from Dan Leopard and then saw it here too in Txfarmer and Shiao Ping blogs. They both describe it well in words and your pictures here bring it all together nicely. Now I know that how I have been doing it is right!
Thank you for also adding how to tell when enough S&F have been done. So many say to repeat 3 or 4 times until dough is ready....I wasn't sure when 'ready' was.....have just kind of guessed. Now I have a marker!
I really appreciate the time you put into doing this!
Thanks Khalid :)
Though I have read about this S&F in the bowl approach on this forum, I'm still a bit less confident about doing it in the bowl. Instead, I always take the dough (carefully) out of the bowl and do S&F on the board (wet the surface of the board so the dough won't stick).
Do you know (anyone?) if there is any difference to the dough developement in terms of S&F in the bowl and S&F on the board?
Wow, What a nice illustration you drew. That is really neat, Khalid. It is well drawn how the dough changed by the S&F. Thank you for taking the time to sharing the method with us.
buy I have just 1 question, how do you get the dough to be in a smooth shape in step 1 What did you do first to make it into a smooth dough before putting it into the bowl? Many thanks. Judy
Thanks, SF! I'am a firm believer in the saying: "a picture is worth a thousand words".
Thank you Eric!
Thanks Larry! Is such a pleasure to be among experienced bakers such as yourself!
Thanks, janetcook! its my pleasure.
Thank you Michelle! I'am glad to be of help. As to your question about the differences between S&F in the Bowl and that on the board, to the best of my knowledge, here it goes:
Though Both S&F methods have a common aim, which is developing the dough strength, without sacrificing its intergrity, bothes methods have their own merits. It ultimately depends on how you want your bread texture outcome to be. I find that S&F in the bowl is a less radical approach, and will develop the dough slowly and trap lots of fermentation bubbles before the dough develops and resists further manipulation. S&F on the board, is more radical at developing the dough, as it tends to stretch the lengthwise portion of a dough and thus causing tiny fermentation bubbles to be lost, and other bubbles to merge forming larger bubbles near the surface. In Conclusion, if you want a crumb full of large holes go for the S&F in the bowl, but if you aim for a more uniform open crumb, and easier to handle dough, go for s&F onthe board!
Thanks, Akiko! i appreciate your encouragement!
I'll try the S&F in the bowl next time! Yes, I do want the crumb full of large holes :)
Thank you , judy!
Typically, S&F in the bowl is more suitable for slacker doughs, ie. higher hydration. Therefore, you'll have to knead a stickier dough. You DON'T want to develop gluten at this stage, Judy.. only moderate mixing, the development of the gluten will take place during s&F in the bowl.
To knead a sticky/wet dough, you'll have to wet/oil your hands, and wet/oil your scraper, and sllightly wet/oil your work surface. There are several ways in which you can mix a wet dough: Richard bertinent's "Slap and fold technique" , french fold technique, and others i may not be aware of. Go to youtube and you'll found several videos illustrating these methods, but remember, you don't want to knead at this stage, you want to form a cohesive dough by pulling a round dough towards you on a slightly floured bench, which stretches the dough's surface and gives you that smooth finish you seek. David has posted a nice thread showing dough tightening: here.
In other words before I start on step 1, I should simply MIX (not knead vigorously) all the wet ingredients to a sticky shaggy mass and then move to a larger oiled bowl to proceed with the s&f.
I've been working with a high fat content and eggy sweet dough recently and I use the RB slap and fold method which works well for me. I am also attending a course given by the local bakers' union and we are told to knead or slap (no folding though) until it reaches windowpane stage and then proof for approx 1 hr. By the time I reach this stage, the dough is fairly soft and no more s/f is necessary so I was just wondering if the s&f in a bowl may work well for doughs with high fat content but not too high hydration or can I can slap and fold a few minutes and then continue with s&f in bowl? My concern is getting the butter evenly distributed in the dough. I took me well over half an hr to get the dough to a windowpane stage and I was quite tired by then. I will certainly give your method a try next time. Judy
Judy, Yes, you may slap and fold for a minute only, or until the dough starts to be a cohesive, yet shaggy mass. Then, you rest for 5 minutes,flour your hands well, and then drag both hands beneath the dough towards you to creat a tight surface on the dough. Flour your hands again, and then swiftly hold the dough and invert it smooth side down into the well oiled bowl.
Thank you so much for the great illustration. Well done.
You are most welcome, kimmy!
Khalid, that's a great effort you've done. Great illustrations. I read all the comments here and what I would add are the following points:
I guess there can be two types of stretch-and-folds discussions: the first is just the technics of S&F's, and the second is how many sets of S&F's a dough needs during its bulk period. If you are dealing with what I think you are, i.e., the former, then I would simply say "If a dough begins to resist stretching, then you are done." But your remarks on the last panel seem to suggest to me that you are trying to deal with the second scenario too. Am I right? What I have found with S&F's is that we cannot give our dough endless S&F's. After a rest period, a dough can always take some more S&F's!! But do you want to? That's another issue. As fermentation is happening, the dough gets more and more delicate, we cannot just give it more S&F's.
Khalid, I think your illustrations are great. Many people find them very useful. I love the drawings you did too.
Thank you Shiao-Ping for the much needed explanation. As regards to your first point, i will change the Illustration to incorporate your Remarks in some panels, instead of mine.
Nice remark on Point 2), in fact ,i was looking forward to that. I shall depict the technique you advised in the updated illustration.
In point 3, true, i should not have specified the number of S& F strokes. It is all contingent on the dough's behavior during fermentation. I'll add that in too.
In point 4, I meant "wobbles" at the end of all S&Fs. I found that a dough, at the end of bulk fermentation (say 3-5 hours), and after many S&F sessions, tends to be delicate (as you rightly said), which indicates that it is full of fermentation bubbles. When transfered to a board for Dividing, the dough wobbles. That is what i meant by "wobbles". Does your dough wobble at the end of fermentation, prior to dividing? or it should not wobble much and have a body to it that resists spreading?
Thank you so much, Shiao Ping for the Inspiration you've given me and all TFL members, and thank you for your helpful tips. Thanks for the encouragement too!
Yes, my dough "wobbles" at the end of fermentation, prior to diving. That is a cute word to describe it.
One more very minor point about oiling your bowl and your hands. When I first learned the stretch-and-folds technique, I always oiled my hands prior to, and my bowl after, one set of stretch-and-folds, but I found the oiling very tedious. Later I found in fact that lightly wetting my hands is enough to prevent the stickiness and that oiling the bowl is entirely not necessary if the starter I used in mixing the dough is healthy enough such that the acidity in the starter is helping the dough gaining strength very quickly - and therefore when I stretch and fold the dough, it easily leaves the side of the bowl! Not sticky at all. Some people like to oil their bowl, they think the thin layer of oil is like a "tonic" for their dough, and I admit it can have that effect. But my argument against that is, if you think your dough needs a "tonic," why not add it as part of your ingredients in the beginning? Anyway, just some musings. It's okay one way or the other, whatever works for you.
I have updated the Illustration.
Thanks for the additional effort, Mebake.
I think the updated drawings do make it even more clear, and would say your added effort will help others even more. Very well done, and I know I speak for many TFL'ers when I say Thank you very much !
Your updated illustrations are wonderful! They were really good before too but now it shows more clearly what is happening inside of the bowl. :-)
Your effort, talent and time are very appreciated as many books do not illustrate this method and I find it a very easy way to work with all doughs - not just high hydration ones.
Thank you, Shiao-Ping for the tips on oil.
I stretch and fold until a window is available, or able to be made. Sometimes it takes 2 sets of stretch and folds and other times 4 or more: a function of flour type, hydration, etc. When the dough is capable of holding a window, I begin the final bulk fermentation without further stretch and folds. Using this technique of stretch and fold, the crumb is almost always open and irregular. To me, the window signifies the extensibility needed to hold the gas produced by fermentation. I look for a moderate window, as one would obtain with a short mix.
Wonderful illustration on stretch and fold! Thanks.
I have enjoyed learning about this so much because kneading can get so tedious - and I love to watch the dough change by itself! I do stretch and fold in the bowl using a rubber spatula (I put a bit of oil on it to keep from any sticking). Love it, love it!
I echo other TFL members above, " Thank you for all your work, Khalid" Your updated illustration is superb! I am going to keep it in my baking folder for sure. I 'd like to see other TFL members who suggest to improve our post or baking skill for a good reason like you and Shiao-Ping. :)
You are most welcome, Ron! My pleasure.
Thanks, Janet! I'am delighted to be of help to a community who has been very helpful in improving my baking skills.
Thank you, Pixilou55!
My pleasure akiko! your e-mail on panned loaf was very helpful to me, too! I thank you.
Your welcome, Khalid! I updated the method here:
I really like your illustration! GREAT!
Your drawings are superb! You explain the steps very clearly.
I have you to thank Shiao-Ping, for your valuable feedback!
I've been looking for a helpful depiction of how to "stretch and fold". This is perfect. You are awesome!
My Pleasure, Zussman!
This is what I used to call * turning the dough * in the beginning of my baking, by now I much perfer the french kneading, it gives me a smoother and more elastic dough, but we all have our own way that works for us:)