The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Intervals between Stretch and Folds

  • Pin It
Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Intervals between Stretch and Folds

Hope someone can enlighten me here because I haven't been able to figure this one out on my own yet...


When I first used the S&F technique it was with a recipe from The Handmade Loaf.  (He uses the knead in the bowl method.)  For his Basic Leaven Loaf and his Barley Rye Loaf the S&F are timed at 10 min. intervals for the first 3.  Then it goes to 30 minutes and after a couple of those it jumps to an hour.  


I have been baking more of the loaves I have found on this site that also use S&F's.  All seem to have some variation similar to his.


I have surmised that most have a 2-3 hour bulk fermentation time that is broken up with S&Fs before they are either shaped into loaves and then proofed or put into the refrigerator for a longer fermentation time.


Via observation I have concluded that a dough is ready to be S&Fed when it has relaxed somewhat from the previous S&F session.


I am wanting to WATCH MY DOUGH rather that the clock so I would like to know if there is any significance in letting a particular dough go longer before a S&F.


Hence, my question of why is there such a variance amongst certain recipes????


Only real conclusion I have come to on my own is that each person simply has adjusted their S&F schedules to what works best for them based on time and temperature and life schedule (Life schedule = what someone does when not baking bread LOL)


Thanks for any insights!

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

I  base my stretch and folds on feel, but usually for sourdough, I stretch and fold every 40- 60 minutes for 3-4 hours until I can feel the dough spinging back. There is leway here because every batch of dough varies a little.


The same is true for yeasted breads, but because they rise so much faster the intervals are shorter - every 15-20 minutes for an hour or so. I then shape and, in my case, put into loaf pans for the final proof.

jd's picture
jd

I just did a batch where I did the S&F at 20 minutes and 40 minutes but then I did the rest of the bulk fermentation overnight in the referigerator. I was pretty pleased with the final result.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Janet.


I think you can answer the question for yourself, if you understand the purposes of S&F. The following guidelines should help.


The stretch and fold procedure has 3 purposes:


1. To help develop gluten and organize the gluten network.


2. To de-gas the dough.


3. To even out the temperature in the dough mass.


So, how many times you S&F depends on how much strengthening your dough needs and how long your bulk fermentation will be.


The minimum interval is long enough so the gluten has been able to relax, as Larry says. This is generally 10 to 20 minutes. It may be up to 30 minutes, though.


The maximum interval is determined by purpose #2 and #3. Hamelman says it is 60 minutes.


So, if you have mixed your dough to the window pane level, very few S&F's are needed to strengthen the dough further. If you have done a short mix, you need more S&F's to strengthen the dough. In procedures that call for S&F in the bowl rather than machine mixing, this is the principal method of developing gluten and organizing it. You might S&F every 20-30 minutes for a couple hours, then do additional S&F's every 40-60 minutes until the dough is fully fermented and ready to divide and shape.


David

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Thanks for the 'missing' piece.  


I had know about purpose #1 and #3....but was missing #2....Now I have a fuller picture and will know now why I am doing what I am doing when I am doing it....not just because a piece of paper and a timer tell me to do something...


With doughs already in the refrigerator I have taken them out and done a S&Fs on a few occasions when they have risen more than expected.  Knew I was doing it to degas and redistribute the cold but I always thought I was doing something wrong because I knew that by degassing I was also redistributing fresh food for the yeast...kinda working against myself in a way.


I now know my list was faulty for it had a 4th element to it which yours doesn't. The fourth = redistributing food fresh food supply but I guess that isn't one of the reasons for doing a S&F after all so my S&F while in the refrig. has been okay all along.  :-).


Thank you to ALL contributors for your responses....my question for the day has been well addressed!


Janet

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Well, I suppose you are redistributing the yeast food when you fold the dough. That's because, where the dough is cooler, metabolism has slowed down. Less sugar is being fermented, and less gas is being produced.


I believe Hamelman recommends hourly folds even for retarded dough, but I assume he is referring to retardation at 50ºF, not refrigerator temperatures. I usually do not fold refrigerated dough, although it does make sense to me to do one fold after the first hour, since the dough is still actively fermenting until it cools down to about 45ºF, as I recall.


David

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I don't always fold once refrigerated.  Depends on the dough.  Some being more active than others.  The active ones get 1 or 2 folds about an hour or two apart. Less active are left to their own devices. :-)


Thanks for your help here and for sharing your dutch oven findings in another older thread.  I am now happily and confidently placing my dough into cold DOs and getting wonderful results without the accompanying old fear of burned digits while trying to place cold dough into hot DOs...  :-)


Janet

Anjali's picture
Anjali

Sorry to be barging in like this but I have had problems judging when the dough is ready to be divided and shaped.


Thanks


 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Anjali -Thanks for barging in :-)


I like your question and Khalid's answer is great.  This is something I have just felt my way through and hadn't put words to what was happening....


One of the interesting things I have been learning while I have been baking since so much of this is new to me is HOW I learn - or rather how my brain learns.


I am finding that a lot of what I do is by the feel of the dough. It tells me what to do but I am unable to put words to it until someone here says something that clicks for me and then, all of a sudden, things just sort of come together in a cohesive piece and my understanding jumps twofold.


By putting words to what I am doing I am better able to figure out what I am doing wrong too.  Before I would have been helplessly lost.  Now it is like I have a good compass and it is getting better everyday.


So barge away because you have asked a question my brain hadn't though of before and you have saved me time because I am sure, at some point, I would have had to start a new thread asking your question.  


You have saved me time by asking the question and Khalid has supplied the answer!  Thank you :-)


Khalid - Thank you for your clearly stated answer to Anjali's question. And thank you for your description of CBS.  I now know what has taken over my life and glad it has a name :-)

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Anjali: If it is a sourdough then at the end of 2.5hr - 4.5hr bulk fermentation you should observe an increase in dough volume at least 50%. The dough should have enough body to hold its own (due to sourdough effect on gluten development) and will wobble when shaked (denoting that fermentation bubbles are trapped inside). It should bounce back when poked. It will smell slightly acidic.

Anjali's picture
Anjali

Khalid,


So after the dough starts resisting stretching and folding (like you have illustrated elsewhere) it should be left undisturbed till it wobbles when shaken. Then do the poke test....is that so?


Thanks for clarifying.


Janetcook,


Thanks for your reassurance because sometimes I feel unsure where a query should be posted. Many times doubts are cleared as I read stuff posted on this site and sometimes new ones pop up. Folks here, have been so encouraging with prompt replies. That really push me on to try baking better bread.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Anjali,


I am pretty new here too and feel unsure how and where to ask questions.  Like you I have found people are very helpful and there aren't a lot of 'strict' rules about where to ask a question.


It was good to have your question here because it does go along with mine and has now expanded the information given for 1 question....it is like dough....a question begins to take on a life of it's own and we just follow along and hope to learn something useful :-)


If you are ever in doubt you can always just send someone a private message. To do that you just click on the person's name and a new window will open up with information about them.  At the bottom it will ask if you want to send the person a private message.  I will send you one now so you know how it works :-)


Janet

Pioneer Foodie's picture
Pioneer Foodie

I work at a bakery that does some artisan breads.  Our standard procedure for any levain doughs is to mix to make a gluten window, then S&F after one and two hours, then divide and rest, then shape and proof.  Most of these are then retarded overnight.


I have issues with how much they like us to degas during folding (they like a thorough degassing), but the end product is often quite nice.  Ciabatta is treated a little more gently. 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi Anjali,


Bear in mind that fermentation starts from the time you mix a levain with the final dough mixture. watch the time as you ferment ,stretch/ fold, rest..etc. At the end of your last stretch and fold you should rest your dough with seams down to seal them (at this stage, your dough may or may not wobble like a jelly, as hydration differs from a recipe to the other - Higher hydration dough s tend to wobble even after stretch/fold.)


Resting period for sourdoughs  - given that they received ample bulk fermentation time - should be between 5-15minutes depending on dough temp, and room temperature. Then, your dough is pre-shaped, rested for a similar period, and then shaped. It is after shaping that you'll notice a wobbling, yet coherent dough. At this stage you'll notice when poking the surface of the dough, it will bounce back. Towards the end of proofing, the dough will have swelled, becomes more delicate, poking will make a slowly receding dent, and it will wobble when shaken.


Hope this helps.


Khalid

Anjali's picture
Anjali

Khalid,


I think the picture is getting clearer. To really understand the dough I plan to keep making Susan's Simple sourdough over and over again. This will minimise the variables.


Another limitation I have is that I have access to AP and WW atta flours only. Should I knead more initially before bulk fermentation?


Thanks and regards,


Anjali

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I just wanted to mention that when using whole wheat flour in place of bread flour you might have to increase the amount of liquid you use in your recipe.  


Whole wheat flour needs more water and takes longer to absorb it too so let it rest after you added some.  The recommended amount is 1-2 teaspoons of additional water for every ounce of bread flour you replace with whole wheat flour.


 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Not at all, Anjali.. Knead as you would for bread flour.. Only Wholewheat needs some additional kneading time, due to the fine bran flecks. With AP you'd shoot for a smooth, silky dough consistency. It may not rise vertically in the oven as with  Bread Flour, but you'll be pleased with the soft crumb that AP lend to a bread.


Khalid

rolls's picture
rolls

Thanks for your help here and for sharing your dutch oven findings in another older thread.  I am now happily and confidently placing my dough into cold DOs and getting wonderful results without the accompanying old fear of burned digits while trying to place cold dough into hot DOs...  :-)


Janet


 


so does this mean you also bake it from a cool oven, or just preheat and bake in the pot, and lid on?


thanks i know its off topic :)

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Your question is about bread and baking so I don't think it is off topic :-) . I just see it that my topic is expanding like bread dough....taking on a life of it's own!


I still preheat my oven as usual and then put the pot in with the lid in place.   I remove the lid for the last 10 minutes or so of the bake and I have read that you can take your loaf out of the pot and let it do the final 10 minutes on your stone. I haven't tried this yet.


You can proof in a basket or you can proof right in the pot.  I use parchment paper so nothing gets stuck and the paper can be reused if it remains strong.  Clean up is a cinch.


There are some threads here where people do put loaves in when the oven is cold. I have tried it with loaf pans but not with the dutch oven yet.


Good Luck :-)