The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Stretch and Fold Question

BeekeeperJ's picture

Stretch and Fold Question

Peter Reinhart in his Bread Bakers Apprentice talks about the stages of baking bread. From mise en place to baking. Does the stretch and fold technique interrupt the primary fermentation step by degassingand working the dough during the process?

ehanner's picture

As soon as yeast is combined with liquid, fermentation begins. The stretch and fold actually helps to provide the yeasts with new food supply and will improve activity in the dough. When BBA was written, the Stretch and Fold method wasn't as widely known for the ability to strengthen and develop gluten as it is here today. S&F is a good way to develop and strengthen your dough and help you to understand the condition.


stevel's picture

I think there is some degassing, but it is offset by the stimulation of the yeast. I am going to do a side by side test to see for myself. I use the s and f method twice for my brioche that I leave on the table for 1.5 hours before an overnight bulk retardation.  Outstanding results! I use it for almost all bread doughs but for this particular type I have seen the most dramatic increase in volume and lightness of the finished loaf.

yankeedave's picture

If I remember correctly, he also recommends the stretch and fold relatively early in the process, so there's still plenty of fermentation left to go, especially since, as pointed out, it has the effect of giving the yeast additional food to feast upon.