The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Stretch & Fold

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Matt Edy's picture
Matt Edy

Stretch & Fold

I understand the aspect of the stretch and fold method, but been wondering wether lower hydration doughs (64% which I use for sandwich loaves) will benefit from this method? and maybe less stretchs are required? any feedback would be apprecitave.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

to make stretch and fold on a lower hydratation dough. It's already difficult applying the technique  on a wet dough when it has begun to raise, let alone on a firm dough. Yes, maybe the dough would benefit from it, but...

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Nico is right, you can't stretch and fold a lower hydration dough, it would most likely tear. If your dough is too dry, you, also, risk retaining "hard spots = dry areas" in your bread (I'm speaking from experience).

If I do S & F, I aim for a dough that is more sticky than tacky at the end of the initial kneading. I do the stretches and folds with wet hands to prevent sticking.

Karin

Matt Edy's picture
Matt Edy

well I actually managed two S&F's on a 64% hyrdation dough last night, so it must be possible? the outcome of the loaf was fine

So you would recomend a lower hyrdation dough to just double in size then be 'knocked back'?

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

is not too low, bread flour makes a firmer dough at 64% hydration.  Type of flour was not mentioned.

"...to just double in size then be 'knocked back'?"     Knocked back or deflated and shaped -- pressed out flat, rolled up tucking/pinching seams and corners under depending on the desired shape.  

If the dough feels lose and out of control, S&F will give it more body and you more control over the shape.  Anytime the dough feels like it will tear or rip, it is good to just cover, let the dough sit and relax (10 to 15 minutes) the gluten strands before doing anything else with it.  

Matt Edy's picture
Matt Edy

im using organic white bread flour (type 4), and ive successfully managed two s&f's, the second being quite tight....

so knock back is referred to as, letting the dough rise a 2nd time before dividing and shaping?

 

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Knock back was your term.    Another word for degassing in my book.

Two rises is normal, one bulk, and one after degassing and shaping, final proof.   If the dough is tight because of the S&F you can stop anytime and let the dough relax for a few minutes so that you can finish shaping the dough without tearing it.  

I wouldn't call this rest a rise because rising is not the intention, relaxing the gluten is, it just happens to be that when it rises a little, it relaxes.   

Kudos for the S&F with bread flour.  One round might be enough.  :)  The only time I've heard of using it with the lower hydration doughs would be with no knead bread where the mixing of the dough was minimal.