The Fresh Loaf

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Learned something about the 'french fold' through practice

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foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Learned something about the 'french fold' through practice

I only learned about the 'french fold' technique about 2 months ago. I first saw it demonstrated in the Julia Childs Baguette video (link posted elsewhere in these forums).

Said video shows a rather energetic Danielle Forestier lifting dough above her shoulder/head and smashing it down on the work surface before folding it over and repeating (800 times allegedly!).

What I've discovered is that when I use a slightly gentler technique, the dough (gluten) actually develops quicker.  Rather than smashing it down, I lift the dough about 10 inches off the surface and 'lay it out' as if I were laying out a rug or carpet (initial motion forward quickly followed by pulling back).  I then fold as per usual and pick up at the side (essentially giving the dough a quarter turn) and repeat as required.  For me this develops that silky smooth, window-pane-passing dough more swiftly and with less of an armache afterwards!

Anyway, I don't know exactly how or why this works better for me.  I suspect I had previously been tearing gluten strands through over-zealous dough-slapping. 

Hope that helps

Cheers 

FP

 

 

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

FP,
The French Fold that you are referring to is linked here:
http://home.att.net/~carlsfriends/jimpics/index.html
 The slap or slam that Danielle Forester does in that video is beyond all reason. Try this out and I think you will enjoy the process.

Eric

dougal's picture
dougal

quote

The French Fold that you are referring to is linked here:
http://home.att.net/~carlsfriends/jimpics/index.html
The slap or slam that Danielle Forester does in that video is beyond all reason. Try this out and I think you will enjoy the process.

endquote

 

I think the linked video version (which shows the technique evangelised by Richard Bertinet - "Dough", "Crust") is the authentic version and that the "Forestier Slam" simply must have originated from a misunderstanding of a written description of the technique.

Not that I'd care to argue with her in person. If she does that to dough... scare-ee!

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Thanks Eric! 

That's more like it! I think I may have seen that video before but forgotten all about it.  

Cheers

FP

 

 

GrapevineTXoldaccount's picture
GrapevineTXolda...

but what about those days when I need to vent? 

Beating the dickens out of the dough sure beats spending money at the spa, the nail salon, or the shoe store.  Oh...and it's cheaper than reclining on that couch at the doctors office too!

(lol)

ehanner's picture
ehanner

The thought of a baker spending the amount of time required to smack the dough that hard for 800 repetitions is well, entertaining isn't it?  There are so many other good things to learn in that video like the Frishage (sp) technique. Smashing the dry lumps with the heel of your hand then letting it sit for 15-30 minutes will give you a smooth satin like dough.

 I find myself using the French Fold as depicted in the video at the end of every kneading session to establish a nice cloak as they say, a little tension on the surface.

Eric

bshuval's picture
bshuval

This is because of an unfortunate incident where slapping the dough too hard on the table left a little bit of dough in my hand and a big lump of dough on the floor.

I use the Bertinet style FF instead. Much gentler (although with wetter doughs I often end up with bits of dough all over the counter).  

My bread blog: http://foldingpain.blogspot.com