The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

NYT no-knead formula + stretch & fold?

AbbyL's picture

NYT no-knead formula + stretch & fold?

What would happen if I were to apply the stretch and fold method to the NYT no-knead formula? It kind of defeats the no-knead concept, but I'm wondering if the very simple dough mixture (3 cups flour, 1/4 tsp yeast, 2 tsp salt, 1 1/2 cups, leave it alone for 15 hours) would lend itself to stretching and folding and thus enable that slack dough to be shaped. Feasible or not?

Trishinomaha's picture

In their last issue they not only recommend a little stretch and fold but the addition of a litte beer and vinegar! It DOES give the bread more flavor.


weavershouse's picture

I always give the NYT dough a stretch and fold. I mix the dough in the evening, let it sit 8 to 12 hrs.  In the morning I turn it out on a floured (no more than needed) board and do a stretch and fold. Leave it for 20 to 30 minutes and shape. The loaf doesn't go flat but rises better and has a better crumb. 


I'd like to read the Cooks article. I'll have to visit the bookstore and see if it's on the stands.      weavershouse

AnnieT's picture

Good morning, Weavershouse. I recently read about the "new" version on Marie Wolf's blog, Breadbasket - have you ever looked at her site? She gives the recipe and comments that instead of the vinegar she would use some of her sourdough starter next time. Lovely looking loaf and she says the taste was good too. If you check it out it is quite a way back but there is some good reading on the way. Funny lady and she writes so well - she's the one who baked every bread in Rose Levy Beranbaum's Bread Bible in 12 months with a kitchen remodel thrown in! A.

weavershouse's picture

Thanks for the Marie Wolf blog. It was fun to read and interesting to read about the twist on the NYT no-knead. I might give it a try. Have you tried it?                                                                                   weavershouse

AnnieT's picture

Hi Weavershouse, glad to hear you checked out Marie's blog. She is a public defender in Minneapolis and seems like a fun person. About as bread obsessed as the rest of us. I would really like to try the new version but I need to find a source for beer. If I bought a 6 pack I might develop a taste for it. I think my son drinks oddball fancy dancy beer though I think they mostly drink wine these days. If I can "borrow" a can I will definitely try the recipe, A.

Carb Addict's picture
Carb Addict

I've begun to incorporate S&F with no knead. Seems to make a vast improvement to the crumb. I'm not sure what the hell I am supposed to do so if anybody can fill me in that would be great.

I adapted the NYT recipe

430g flour

1/4 tsp yeast

12 ounces H2O

1.5 tsp salt

Last time I made bread  I mixed the dough and left it for about 1-2 hours until it was slack, then I did a stretch and fold INSIDE the bowl. Left  it overnight and in the AM, it did another 3 S&Fs about 1 hour apart. Shaped the dough into a boule and let rise ~ 1hour while heating the oven. It seems to work well BUT I'd like to know if anybody can tell me  if I should or should not do an initial S&F the night. Is this not necessary? The crust always comes out great but before I started to use S&F the crumb was good but not great. I've tried this. PS I wanted to attach an image but this site sucks. Would not let me do so. I got some nice big channels :)

KathyF's picture

I never tried that with my no knead, but it sounds good to me. I say do whatever works for you. I have thought about incorporating stretch and folds with the no knead. If I were, I would do the first one that night.

Carb Addict's picture
Carb Addict

Hi Kathy:

Yep, got a loaf rising right now using the same technique. The dough feels super strong. Made a nice tight boule and it should be a good one. Not sure why I am unable to post images anymore. I have the past. This site really needs to be improved fort  hat sort of thing. It's archaic. I'd like to show you the crumb from the last bread I made. Wonderful huge channels, nicely gelatinized. Sadly I am unable to.

Felila's picture

I've started to knead the bread, in the Kitchenaid mixer, before I set it out for a 12 hour rising. The mixer can work with a wet dough and hey, it's no extra work for me. After the long rising, I turn out the bread onto a floured board and give it a little hand kneading.

Then I set it to rise in my oiled cast-iron Dutch over. Preheat oven to 475, turn it down to 425 right before I put the bread into the oven. I slash the bread and do the first 30 minutes of baking with the lid. After 30 minutes, I remove the lid and give the bread another 15 minutes uncovered. Cool for half-an-hour before cutting.

I've cut down the water slightly, so that the initial machine kneading makes a dough that eventually balls up and climbs the hook. That makes the bread firm enough that I can knead it and later slash it.

Let's see ... I also increased the recipe by 1/3, so that it fills the entire bottom of the Dutch oven. Sides give it support to climb. I add a teaspoon of sourdough starter when I first mix it up, as well as the yeast; I like the tang of sourdough.

Result is a fine-crumbed bread that's moist but firm inside, with a deep sourdough wholewheat flavor. It's not no-knead bread any longer, as I knead it twice, but it's still not much work at all.

I served one of these loaves at a meeting and one German participant wolfed down 1/3 of the loaf all by himself. He said he hadn't had any good bread since leaving Germany and this bread was just right. I was thrilled

AbbyL's picture

I'm reading through the various discussions of the stretch and fold technique, and I think I have a basic understanding of how to do it, but I'm still a little shaky on why and when to do do it. So the purpose is to make wet doughs shapeable, right? Let's say I want to use the NYT formula in a different shape than the boule that results from baking it in a covered pot, according to the NYT instructions. Let's say I want to try a batard shape. So after the dough ferments for 15 hours, I scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured or wet counter, stretch and fold until it will hold a shape, and then get another look at Floydm's YouTube recipe and try to duplicate his moves. Then the dough gets its final fermentation for a couple of hours, and I try to get it onto my hot baking stone without killing it, and try to get the oven all steamy so I'll get a nice crust.
You know, just dumping it into the covered pot and baking it is a lot easier.

amazonium's picture


 I have been experimenting the past week with the no-knead dough and doing several foldings within the first few hours of rising. Yes, I know, no-knead bread is supposed to be effortless and this sort of took the non-effort out of it, but it also shortened the time from start to finish by 2/3 or so. This is what I did:

I mixed up the regular dough, put it in the proofing bucket and let it sit for an hour or so. I plonked it onto the countertop- no flour- and gave it a rudimentary fold, using my plastic scraper to keep it together. Back into the bucket, wait another hour or so ( not really timing this- just whenever I thought to check on it)  and repeated the process. The dough had grown quickly, so I repeated the process several more times. I was able to start a loaf late morning and bake it late afternoon- pretty amazing that it rose so quickly and the crumb was as good as if it had done the usual 18-hour fermentation. I like it even better- the crust is a bit more tender and of course the shortened time is more to my liking. As for shaping- I have shaped the dough into baguettes, batards, and boules- all great. I probably haven't explained this method well, but basically just fold it a few times and experiment- nothing to lose but a bit of flour and yeast! 

"omnia vincit amor"

Carb Addict's picture
Carb Addict

So you have been doing the stretch and folds in the first few hours of fermentation? Did you do any later on, closer to the final shaping?

I've been doing more of the S&F closer to shaping time. The result is good. I have used the same recipe for Dutch oven method and for bread  just baked on a stone.

I'd like to know though,  if there is any difference in crumb between early S&F and later S&F. OR maybe it doesn't matter at all. OTOH, I wonder is later S&F degasses the dough more and perhaps should not be done.

Andrew6's picture

Helpful link regarding stretch & fold for no-knead breads.

dabrownman's picture

and folds for  no knead bread - or better yet slap and folds.  No doubt it would improve the rise, spring & bloom.  What people need to do is change the name to Minimal Stretch and Fold or Minimal Slap and Fold Bread - since it isn't no knead bread anymore.  My new routine is near minimal slap and fold with minimal stretch and fold included bread but wouldn't call it no knead.

Lucy thinks I am just getting too lazy to do it right:-)