The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Stretch and Fold

  • Pin It
Boulanger's picture

Stretch and Fold

Hi everyone,

I need your input about folding techniques. I use a the simple stretch and fold method, 3 times at 30 minutes intervale, for very wet dough but can I use the same technique for dough with less hydratation, like french bread? My wrists are very week because of arthritis and it will be less painfull for me to do 3 stretch and fold vs 10 minutes of kheanding . 


flournwater's picture

The only limitations that I'm aware of for using stretch and fold is the stiffness of the dough.  If the dough won't stretch without tearing it's not a good idea to try stretch and fold.  But if it'll stretch without tearing I don't' see why  you couldn't use it universally.  If it's painful to stretch the dough because of it's lower level of hydration, try slamming it down on the counter while holding on to one edge a couple of times between folds.  Inertia is a beautiful thing ...

dsoleil's picture

I've been doing quite a bit of experimentation with stretching and folding.  It all depends on what you want to achieve.  If you want to S&F instead of knead your bread, try 3-4 S&Fs at 10 minute intervals instead of kneading.  If you want to maintain strength and build volume, try S&F at 30 min intervals prior to shaping.

Hope that helps.  It's a delicate balancing act...