The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Kneading methods

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dwfender's picture

Kneading methods

I recently came across the slap stretch and fold method of kneading dough. I have used this method to make several batches of Italian bread loaves and it has proved to be quite successful. Generally, I work with doughs with high hydration and I find it difficult to knead them in the conventional sense of the word. I've also begun to increase my dough size which also makes it hard to knead by hand. Bsically what I am trying to get to is that I have found the slap and fold technique useful and I am curious if there is a specific reason as to why I would not want to use it. Basically a when is it appropriate or not explanation. Thanks guys.


fminparis's picture

Never argue with success.  If you have success by dropping the dough off the roof and it gives you great bread, do it. No rules.  Many, many different way of mixing, kneading, folding, shaping, slashing, baking.  That's part of the fun of baking bread.  Personally, as soon as I get a really good bread, I try to figure out how to make it better.  Sometimes I do, sometimes it's worse, just like my golf game.

wassisname's picture

I second the previous post and would add:  if your kneading method is not appropriate to the dough the dough will, in most cases, let you know.  I don't mean in a subtle way either, I mean it simply won't work.  I'm thinking of a stiff dough, like bagels, where it just isn't going to stretch enough by slapping, or a dough with a lot of rye that would probably tear and fall apart if you tried to fling it around.  In either case you would know right off that the slap and fold wasn't getting you anywhere, in the same way that you realized traditional kneading didn't work well for your wet dough.  So, happy slapping!  I've got some dough I need to go throw off the roof.  =)


dwfender's picture

Common sense once again prevails in methods of cooking. 


Thanks for both of your witty replies, they were exactly what I was looking for.