The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Kneading french method?

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paul0130's picture
paul0130

Kneading french method?

I remember when I was a kid, my grandmother would make the worlds greatest sweet bread. When I learned how to make bread myself and learned how to knead the traditional method (some 20 years later), I remember thinking to myself "I seem to recall my grandmother slamming the dough on the table". I had memories of my tiny little 5' tall (maybe) Hispanic grandmother slamming this giant dough on the table. And then trays of rising dough all over the house. Followed by the most delicious smell and the BEST bread ever. Anyway, I stumbled upon this video one day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvdtUR-XTG0

This is it!! This must be what she was doing. Don't know how this method made it's way to the Amazon area of South America, but this must be it. Does anyone use this method? I really stink at kneading. It seems I can never quite pass the window test, and I knead for a good 10 minutes straight, or longer. Sometimes I'll give this a try for a minute or two, but the stretching of the dough makes the dough sticky again pretty quick. Sorry for rambling, just wondering if anyone uses this method. I'm thinking about saying heck with it and buying a bread machine just for kneading!

sirrith's picture
sirrith

I used this method today, for the 2nd time ever, and it worked well.  Very tiring though, and more time consuming than using the mixer.  I'll have to try the same recipe using the mixer to see if there's any difference in the results, and if not, I'll relegate the slap & fold to when I'm feeling particularly stressed out. 

PetraR's picture
PetraR

There is no need to do a continous french kneading for 20 minutes or so.

Just give it 6 Slaps and folds and then let it benchrest for about 5-8 minutes.

Do this about 4-5 times and you are done and have a great soft and elastic dough.

I do it this way all the time and NEVER got such a great Window pane test before.

PetraR's picture
PetraR

I do this all the time, my fav. way of kneading.

I do not knead all the time though, I do the french kneading about 6 times in a row followed by a 5 minute bench rest.

I do this about 5 times and have the softest dough, very elastic too.

Fantastic if you work with wet dough and the fact that the wet dough sticks to your work surface is great as you can stretch the dough upwards very well.

Never be tempted to add flour , you will see, it will all come together in next to no time. 

Just did the french kneading for my Onion Sourdough Bread:)

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

Part way through kneading, I pick up the dough and slam it down on the counter a few times.  It really does help a lot, but it isn't the same as the so-called French knead.

paul0130's picture
paul0130

Thanks for the feedback all. I never thought of this until now, but perhaps she was using both methods combined. Makes sense. Petra, when you say you do the french method about 6 times in a row, is that in addition to the traditional method I assume? Do maybe 10 minutes regular kneading, and round it off with about 6 slap and fold? Speaking of wet dough, this method is probably great for my dutch oven sourdough which calls for a wetter dough. It's a pain to work with and I bet this would make it easier.

PetraR's picture
PetraR

I do just french kneading but each set is short like slap the dough down & fold , as in the video you put the link , and then bench rest 5 minutes. I do that about 5 times:)

paul0130's picture
paul0130

OK, I get it now. So 5 sets and 5 minutes rest between, that's about half hour right? So what do you do in between :) I can see myself pacing around looking at the timer to finish. I need more patience for this.

PetraR's picture
PetraR

What do I do inbetween? 

Drink a Coffee, wash up what I used for making the dough, sit down again and check my mail on my Phone.... 

I just did not see the point to work so hard with the french kneading when it is just as good a result with less work and more rest:)

 

paul0130's picture
paul0130

Sorry for the dumb question :) I'm going to try it this way this weekend (as well as try my patience). So I'm guessing the trick is to keep it a little on the wet/sticky side right? If I can finally get a good window pane that would be pretty sweet!! My kids also tear up my sourdough, but now that one is off to college it lasts a little longer :(

PetraR's picture
PetraR

Our fav. bread is made of 625g Wheat flour + 75g Whole wheat flour and 550g of water, so it will be on the wet and sticky side but good to handle still.

Once the kneading is done I form in to a boule and put it in bowl , cover with plastic wrap and let it bulk ferment over Night.

I usually start my bread at 9 pm so I can finish with shaping and proofe and bake so we have a bread at lunchtime :)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I did 1 minute of slap and folds to get the levain and salt mixed into the autolyse and that was it.  6 hours on the counter to bulk ferment then in the fridge for  A 24 hour bulk retard and shape it cold and put it in a basket then retard that for 24 hours before warming on the counter and baking.  Came out perfect without much kneading at all.   Kneading is overrated and not needed at all if you have the time to let the dough knead itself :-)

Happy no knead baking

PetraR's picture
PetraR

I wish I had the time for all that, by I have 4 Children * though they are 15,20,21 and 25 * and a hubby to feed with bread. sighh

I can not bake fast enough.

Why oh wyh do the love SD bread???

Today I made an onion SD bread, it is all gone but a tiny slice and even that won't last long.

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

make net time and split it off after mixing and give it a long retard so you can taste a long retard SD bread is all about.  You won't regret it plus something new is always welcome in the fridge and oven:-)

PetraR's picture
PetraR

Before my 2 oldest finished University I always did it the way you do it, but those 2 boys they go through bread as if it is the last they will ever get .pffft

I think I should lock the bread away!!! lol

Laurentius's picture
Laurentius

Hi Paul,

Making bread or bread making? If you just want to make bread there are many easy and rewarding ways of doing it. After successfully making bread for a few months, I for one wanted to explore the world of bread making, where there are myriad of formulas and techniques, in which I want to learn a few just for knowledge sake.

paul0130's picture
paul0130

This all started with me trying to revive my grandmothers bread recipe from near extinction. After a couple of attempts at that, I did a little reading and stumbled upon the health benefits of sourdough bread. I set off to create my own starter and after a couple of months just order one online. The "part art and part science" of bread making began to appeal to me during this process. I finally did get my own starter going and just baked it this past weekend. Not too shabby, but since I was running out of time I only let the sponge sit 3 hours so it didn't quite have the right amount of sour, but the kids all loved it. I'm a technician and troubleshooter by trade so the whole process of making a really good artisan bread very much appeals to that part of my brain. I even managed a no knead dutch oven sourdough, but still haven't gotten that one quite right yet. I figure with some time and experience I'll be making some pretty good bread that is good and healthy for the family and a fun hobby/craft for me too!

Laurentius's picture
Laurentius

Triple post, double sorry.

Laurentius's picture
Laurentius

Double post, sorry