The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

french kneading/stretch and fold problems.. taut dough

BKSinAZ's picture

french kneading/stretch and fold problems.. taut dough

I've attempted  to use this stretch and fold technique many times

with this baguette recipe

But my dough is always to taut... (stretches very little). I even added more water to the recipe; little with the first loaf attempts, but today I added almost a 1/4 cup extra water.. I let the dough relax for a while and the dough then stretches one time and goes taut again. Can someone give me some insight to why?

I use KA flour, however I buy the flour from our local grocery store in bulk (5 or 6 five pound bags at a time) when it is on sale. Sometimes the all purpose is on sale and sometimes the bread flour is on sale. I then dump all the bags into a 5 gallon bucket with a screw on lid. So, the flour is a mixture of KA all purpose and bread. Could this be the issue? Could the recipe itself be the issue?

FlourChild's picture

I see two issues with your baguette dough:  first, your flour is too strong.  KAF bread flour has too much protein for baguettes and will give you a drier, firmer dough with a tight crumb. Consider keeping your AP and Bread flour separate.

Second, your baguette dough only has 67% hydration, it is not the right match for the Bertinet slap and fold technique. That technique is useful for doughs that are as wet and sticky as the dough in the video. Traditional kneading or a series of stretch and folds would be the recommended technique for your less sticky baguette dough.

BKSinAZ's picture

yea... since I posted that a couple of hours ago I have been doing some reading. AP is recommended for baguettes/artisan breads. I will use AP from now on for this type of bread.

You stated my recipe has a 67 percent hydration rate, so what percentage of water would be needed for the stretch and fold like in the video? By the way... I thought that video was an excellent tutorial.

So.... what types of breads would my 25 pounds of KAF bread flour be good for? I have to use it up....

Is this a bad/beginner baguette recipe or would increasing the water correct the recipe? If not, got a recommendation for another?

Antilope's picture

all-purpose flour vs bread flour.
Gold Medal all-purpose is 10.5% vs King Arthur all-purpose which is 11.7%.
Bread flour starts at about 12%.


-Martha White Bleached All-Purpose Flour, 9%
-White Lily Bleached All-Purpose Flour, 8 to 9%
-Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour, 10.5%
-Hodgson Mill All Purpose Unbleached White Flour 10%
-Hudson Cream Flour Short Patent Flour 10%
-Pillsbury Best All-Purpose Flour, 10 to 11.5%
-Pioneer All-Purpose Flour, 10%
-White Wings All-Purpose Flour, 10%
-Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour 11.7%
-Five Roses All Purpose Flour, 13.0%
-Heckers and Ceresota All-Purpose Flour, 11.5 to 11.9 %
-King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, 11.7%
-Robin Hood Original All Purpose Flour 13%
-Rogers All-Purpose Flour, 13.0%
-Wheat Montana Natural White All-Purpose Flour 13%

-Gold Medal Better For Bread, 12%
-Hodgson Mill Best For Bread Flour 13%
-Hudson Cream Bread Flour 13%
-King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, 12.7%
-Pillsbury Best Bread Flour, 12.9%
-Robin Hood Best For Bread Homestyle White Flour 13%
-White Lily Unbleached Bread Flour, 11.7%

FlourChild's picture

To use up your stronger flour, you could make recipes that traditionally use it, like bagels, pretzels and enriched breads. Bread flour is also excellent for mixing with whole grain flours or for breads with a lot of add-ins, like seeds, nuts and dried fruit.

You could use it for artisan breads and increase the water until you get a wetter, softer dough consistency.  How much will depend on a lot of other factors, but go by stickiness/consistency and that should help.  A wetter dough will likely  need more folds/kneading to come together.

Finally, you could try adding tenderizers such as roux or butter/oil, etc.  These won't be appropriate for bageuttes or open crumb textures, but willbe great for rolls, sandwich bread, brioche, etc.