The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Daughter Does French Slap and Folds for Her Poolish Thanksgiving Rolls

dabrownman's picture

Daughter Does French Slap and Folds for Her Poolish Thanksgiving Rolls

My Daughter’s summer kitchen apprenticeship with my other apprentice seems to have stuck.  She recently made Thai Green Curry Chicken for her boyfriend, - from memory and she quickly impressed Ole Dad with her remembering how to do French slap and folds and stretch and folds on her Thanksgiving rolls that she is always in charge of making for dinner.   


She also is in charge of the gravy since she is the Gravy Queen and this year’s was the best yet and she decided to not put a splash of cognac in to start the de-glazing – no wine either!  Who knew gravy could be so good without either?

Look at those yellow specks from Toady Tom's Toasted Tidbits !


We made up this recipe as we went along.  After we scraped the small polish plastic tub down thoroughly to make the last bread for the stuffing, we put some more flour and water in the tub hoping the leftovers would be enough to start a new batch of polish.   24 hours of counter fermenting later, it was bubbling and ready to go.


We decided to make 8 rolls of 100 g each and wanted the polish to be 15% of the final dough.  We used 5 g of Toady Tom’s, Tasty, Toasted Tidbits for some extra flavor and brown speckles, 25 g of WWW flour, 25 g of butter, 2% salt and 72.2% hydration.


The final exam Bakers percentage test question was:  If the butter was 20% water and using equal parts of cream and water for the liquid, how much AP and Bread flour were required if the AP flour was 3 times as much ad the bread flour and how much cream and water were used?

Yep the mini put some blisters on these rolls.


We hear that professional bread baking instructors use questions like this for their students even though they aren't allowed to beat them for answering incorrectly like the old days and private instructor’s still can today…..  The trick follow up question was, if we would have remembered to put milk in for the water portion of the liquid, added 10g of potato flakes,  1 egg and 10g of honey in to make them more soft roll like, instead of french bread like,  how many grams of extra milk or flour would you have to add to keep the hydration the same?

Very nice french bread but not really the soft rolls we usually enjoy.  Great with butter and jam though . My wife said they would make fine croutons or bread crumbs and my daughter said she is making biscuits next holiday in a month or so :-)

Daughter's French slap and fold tutorial....hard to believe it became that beautiful dough ball.



We didn't have time for an autolyse because the turkey, that my furrier apprentice was in charge of, was going to be done in 5 hours - so time was as short as her legs.   After mixing everything together, my daughter got right into a good rhythm of French slap and folds for 10 minutes. 

Next thing you know the dough was resting in a plastic covered bowl for 30 minutes before a set of S&F’s were done and it was back in the bowl for 1 1/2 hours of fermenting after once again impressing with her boule shaping and skin tightening techniques. 

The dough was divided into 8 pieces.  6 of the dough balls were divided again into two pieces.  The remaining 2 large 100g pieces were folded and then free formed into rolls on parchment and the other, smaller pieces were used to make 6 rolls in a muffin tin - 2 to a tin opening.  Then they were to proof for a couple of hours and be ready to bake.

Sadly, the increasingly de-focused appearing apprentice somehow managed to get the really big chicken done 1 1/2 hours early.  This was probably through faulty calculations that did not require the actual calculus poorly used - if not totally incorrectly applied.

The other college educated apprentice’s fine rolls were no where near proofed and would not be ready for the mini oven’s blistering heat until after the Thanksgiving dinner dishes were done.

They were eventually baked at 350 F in the mini oven for 8 minutes with steam and the baked for another 15 minutes at 350 F, convection this time.  We rotated the rolls every 5 minutes to make sure that they baked up evenly brown.  They sure puffed themselves up well once they hit the steam 

Thankfully, we have Thanksgiving Dinner all over again the next day, usually a Friday for some reason, as a bizarre, if totally fulfilling, as well as, filling, tradition started by my Great, Great, Great, Granny C now deceased neigh on 150 years.

The Ozark Mountains have never been the same since Granny C died and was buried at Dooley’s but Uncle Jed, Ellie Mea and Jethro were all better for her lording over and caring for them and the rest of us wouldn't even be here without her either.  So the rolls will be half polished off tonight in the Thanksgiving Dinner After.

When I went to freeze half the rolls last night, I noticed that 1 was missing and it is hard to freeze half of 7 without making a mess of one of them.   I suspected the badly calculating, if cute, apprentice managed to sneak a taste of the missing when I saw her licking her chops and sticking her tongue out at me in her ‘that was delicious’ grin.

So we won’t be able to take a look at the inside or have a taste till later tonight but I’m guessing they are pretty good from the look on Lucy’s face.

Happy Thanksgiving to all Fresh Lofian’s everywhere. 



gmabaking's picture

is the best recipe ever, no matter the ingredients! You and your biped assistant are living proof of that old saying--(?, okay, I just made it up) but true nevertheless. Sounds like you all enjoyed your baking day and will continue to have fun today with more food and family.

My rescue of the Danish dough made into Mini-Cheese Danish worked fine, tasters pronounced them as better than the bakery. Since we have only chain store bakeries left in our small town, that may be faint praise. Now the issue is what to do with a pint of cheese filling leftover. It has farmer's cheese, sugar, nonfat dry milk, egg and bread flour. Any ideas?  There are several furry barn apprentices living outside who would be only too happy to dispose of it but it would spoil them mightily and they may never go back to work again.

dabrownman's picture

tempted to make one of two fine Sunday Brunch Favorites with zillions of combinations, now that Saturday Brunch is over, one of two .  It would start with a Frittata or a Quiche base and use these left overs, what both of these dishes were invented for, as part of the filling along with any leftover spinach, kale, Swiss chard, asparagus, zucchini, green beans, caramelized onions mushrooms, hot or not peppers; of the red, green, orange, or  yellow colors, scallions parsley for garnish and a frosting of Parm and Pecorino for either.  You will probably have to add some eggs and other cheeses to fill them up and other bits too but it sounds pretty yummy already.

My daughter already said she is making biscuits for the next set of Holidays coming up.  These weren't your normal dinner rolls and were more bready in texture and taste - since they lacked some sugar, eggs, milk (instead of the half water) and potato flakes.  They also didn't get a chance to rise as much as they should have too.  Other than that, they were great with butter.  My wife said they will make some fine croutons or bread crumbs for some mac and cheese :-)

We love your newish old saying very much,  find it true enough and 'right as rain', which is an old saying even if sometimes very wrong :-)

Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving Holiday.

Janetcook's picture

Mr. D,

Well, looks like your daughter is all set to launch into a bread baking career with these very nice rolls.  She has learned well - especially with the French slapping technique.  Bet she can impress her friends with that one :-)  Big thanks to her dad who has patiently taught her almost all he knows about the world of bread :-)  Well - maybe a fraction of what he knows now...

My daughter helped with the crescent rolls we had.  She was too busy catching up on sleep to help with the dough prep so she stepped in during the shaping of the rolls which is the fun part anyway.  She also stepped in for the eating part where she had fierce competition from her dad and her brother...she did manage to get the last one remaining in the bowl.  We are not allowed to tell her dance instructor who advised all her dancers to refrain from overindulgence.....who does she think she is talking too?  Certainly not a room full of college freshman whose biggest challenge in college thus far is surviving on dorm food that is not available round the clock and lacks a certain something that they find in their homes.

Thanks for sharing these here for all to see.

Take Care,


dabrownman's picture

at U of A , they didn't have mess halls for Freshman and other Dormer's to eat at like we did at Silo Tech.  They had to eat out every meal and the food was way worse health wise than even dorm food was for us.  She decided to go Greek as a Chi O so she could eat at the sorority house where the food was better health wise and way cheaper for the pocketbook too.  When she moved into the house her sophomore year it was way cheaper than dorm and the bill for eating out too - so we were pleased.

It is so nice to cook with kids when they are young and old.  You get to teach and they get to learn - if they want to eat :-)  It is good to pass on what we know as we get older and actually know something - no matter what it is we have learned so our own lives are not wasted.  If those that come later do not have what we know as their base to start, then we have truly failed.  I see so much of myself and my wife in our young bipedal apprentice that it is frightening .....and I do feel very sorry for her   :-)

I need your crescent roll recipe or I will have to eat biscuits for Hanukkah and Christmas and they are best served warm for breakfast with hot sausage country gravy :-) 

Janetcook's picture

I am surprised that U of A doesn't have a cafeteria.  I assumed one was standard in all colleges.  (U of A was my daughter's 3rd choice of schools....My oldest sister went there for her undergraduate degree 40 years ago.  I will have to ask her if they had a cafeteria back then...)  I am glad she found a nice place to live and is being fed now too :-)

My crescent recipe isn't anything special.  It is one I found in a  whole grain cook book years ago before I discovered 'real' bread baking but it was a hit with the kids and quickly became a holiday tradition.  It was written in standard form - volume measurements etc. but once I learned baker's math here I converted it and know now it is a simply an enriched dough, similar to a sandwich loaf, shaped into rolls.  

I didn't stop with my tweaking with baker's math.  I converted the recipe into Peter Reinhart's method for baking with whole grains by using a biga and a soaker.  I had to really restrain myself from any more tweaks - like tweaking it into a sd with yw formula  or else there might have been a revolt at the table....tradition IS tradition.  Funny, these kids can change things all the time like having the latest in electronics etc but if I try something like messing with a favorite recipe - well, that is forbidden!

So here it is:

Total Flour:  500g  (All freshly ground whole grains so if you try this in your house adjust the water down a bit)

Total Water:  314g   (63%HL)


25%     125g    Kamut flour

21%      105g    hard white whole wheat flour

23%      115g     water

10%         50g    egg

.22%        1.1g    instant yeast


46%         230g    hard white whole wheat flour

40%         200g   water

5%              25g   powdered non fat milk

.8%                4g   salt


8.8%           44g   hard white whole wheat flour

1.1%            5.5g   salt

1.2%              6g    instant yeast

6.2%            31g   almond meal

9%               45g   agave nectar or honey

6.2%            31g    butter


*  Mix biga and soaker  the night before.

*  Combine biga and soaker with final ingredients in the morning and knead until you get a strong windowpane - or use S&F -        whatever method suits your fancy...

*   Bulk ferment until doubled.

*   Shape, proof and bake.   ( Use temps that work in your oven for rolls.  Mine is convection so temps are different than they are for your mini oven.)

I scale mine to about 85g each and shape according to how txfarmer shapes her croissants.  Nice triangles all rolled into a nice crescent shaped roll.

So that is it.

Tomorrow my daughter heads back to Wichita.  I imagine yours goes back too.  These weekends are too fleeting but I find solace knowing she will be home for Christmas in just a few weeks time and that will be an entire month!  To fill up the empty space she leaves in her room I move my oven, ironing board and mill back into that void as she rolls out of the driveway.  I have her permission :-).  

Take Care,




dabrownman's picture

I will make them soon but am afraid, like you said they are more bread than rolls like our Thanksgiving attempt here.  They do sound delicious though and I do have a biga going for tomorrow but, that is for Eric Hanner's Chacon using his SD rye for the base and this biga is for the Multi-grain Challah 6 strand on top of the Rye to complete Eric's Chacon.  Then we are going to make one of Eric's pastrami's to go with it ;-)

My daughter just took off for college and Tucson, only 90 minutes away, a few minutes ago.  I'm not allowed in her room except to clean it but my wife does who knows what in there  :-)

Happy Holiday Baking Janet !


jkandell's picture

"I am surprised that U of A doesn't have a cafeteria.  I assumed one was standard in all colleges.  (U of A was my daughter's 3rd choice of schools....My oldest sister went there for her undergraduate degree 40 years ago.  I will have to ask her if they had a cafeteria back then..."

i went to Ua in the 80s and work there now. While there is no cafeteria per se, there is a bunch of restaurants in the union that are the same thing. You buy a meal pass, and lots of them even use those cafeteria trays. 


dabrownman's picture

is a real plus. Her freshman year she ate at the 'food court' and we got her a meal card for that.  We also got her a 'Cat Card' that we could put money in for her other stuff she hat to have.  The food court food was way better than any cafeteria at any college I have seen and the variety of foods you could get was way better too- Maybe not the healthiest but when you are 19 years old healthy food is way down on the list:-)

She lived in her sorority  the next two years where they had a pretty god cook who made - high level cafeteria food and then she lived in an apartment her senior year.  She still ate the sorority house her senior year.  My daughter loves the U of A and if your daughter goes there, she probably will too.

Happy Baking