The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Folding and bulk fermentation

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00Eve00's picture
00Eve00

Folding and bulk fermentation

I'm currently making Hamelman's Rustic Bread recipe that was posted on the site.  It calls for two folds during the 2.5 hour bulk fermentation at 50 minute intervals.  I am wondering if after the last fold, am I to be looking for the dough to double volume?  If so, is the dough supposed to be doubled in volume based on the original volume before I started the first fold, or the volume when I finished the last fold?  


I apologize if my question is very confusing.  


Thanks for your help.


Eve :)


I figured I'd edit this post and post some pictures of my finished bread.  I'm a bit disappointed because it's pretty flat (it's supposed to be a boule) because I tried to transfer it to a hot pan without a proper peel and improper shaping. The crumb is not very open which could be due to many factors.  I don't think I over proofed it.  I watched it like a hawk.  It did go through the ringer to get to the oven LOL!


I'm a terrible perfectionist so these things bother me.  


But I guess it tastes good.  So that's a plus. :P



00Eve00's picture
00Eve00

I hope I'm not annoying by replying to my own posts.


I made the same recipe today, but in a larger amount and from my observation (for what that's worth) it seems like the dough volume should double based on the initial volume prior to folding.


For example, after kneading, I had 4 cups of dough.  Each fold really didn't do anything discernible to the volume.  Now I'm nearing the end of my bulk fermentation and I have approximately 8 cups of dough.


I have no idea if I'm correct or if it really matters.

cholla's picture
cholla

Stretch and folding is a techneche used to build strength in the dough by developing the gluten. It has no relationship with volume.


 


Time will give you volume as the yeasts eat the flour and emit CO2.


 


John

00Eve00's picture
00Eve00

Thank you very much for the information John.  I appreciate you taking time to respond to my question. :)


Eve

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Eve,


That crumb looks good.  While it may or may not be what you had hoped for, it does look good.


Stretching and folding is used as a method to help doughs that are higher in hydration hold their shape.  You are stretching the dough,  creating a tight surface that will hold its form during oven spring.  It is not directly related to volume increase during fermentation. The doubling of the size of dough is only a general indicator to a completely fermented dough.  Many doughs will never double and some might triple.


Your somewhat flat loaf could be caused by a number of factors.  Improper handling of the dough such as being too rough and thoroughly deflating the dough after the bulk ferment.  Inadequate shaping such that the dough was unable to hold its form and it likely spread out instead of rising up.  The stretching and folding is related to proper shaping so this too could have been an issue.  Looking at the photo my guess is that you need to handle the dough more gently after the ferment and you might want to read up on proper shaping techniques.


If you read a lot of the posts here you will find that the problem you are having is quite common and is usually a function of handling and shaping.


Jeff

00Eve00's picture
00Eve00

Hi Jeff,


Thank you very much for the complemet.  Slowly, my crumb is getting better.  My shaping is coming along much, much slower. I need to keep telling myself it's not a race and 3 1/2 weeks is not a long time.


I think you are totally right with my improper handling of the dough...as well as improper shaping.  I have never handled a substance where you have to be both firm and gentle.  It's a unique experience.  LOL!  


Your explanation regarding folding makes perfect sense.  I just bought Hamelman yesterday and have  been reading a bit about which doughs, benefit from stretch and fold and which doughs you don't want to implement a stretch and fold.  It's all starting to come together sloowly.


I need to pull myself away from the numbers and quantification, at least in this instance. So no more tracking volume...at least so intensively. ;)


Thanks a bunch!


Eve

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Eve,


I have spent years practicing handling and shaping dough.  I am very good at handling dough and my shaping is good but I always want it to be better.  Enjoy the journey and worry not about the end.


Jeff

00Eve00's picture
00Eve00

"Enjoy the journey and worry not about the end"


I need to keep that in mind.  That's very good advice. I tend to get so caught up in doing something well, that I miss the pleasure in just doing it.


Eve