The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Technique Experiment: No Knead vs. The Works

Bröterich's picture

Sourdough Technique Experiment: No Knead vs. The Works

This is an interesting topic.

The writer tried to do side-by-side comparisons of the 2 techniques using identical ingredients. 

It would almost suggest that we may overthink and possibly overwork our bread making. Read the comments. I remember that Ken Forkish raises this subject somewhat when he compares his bread making methods to Jim Lahey's no knead method.

I have wondered about this myself at times when we read descriptions of using X number of S&Fs spaced some many minutes apart or recommendations of one S&F technique vs. slapping, kneading, etc. It may seem that dough in general is more forgiving than we think.

Comments, thoughts?


Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

 Kneading, stretch and folds, slap and folds etc are done to bring the gluten formation and fermentation into sync. 

So a short bulk ferment would need more stretch and folds then a longer bulk ferment. A very long bulk ferment might not need anything as time will do it all. 

Just taken a quick look at the recipe. Seems to me it was a long bulk ferment. Long enough for the gluten to develop with time. So perhaps the stretch and folds weren't needed, here! With this recipe.

What would be interesting is to increase the starter, shorten the bulk ferment and then compare. 

SlekkerBread's picture

i use my old bread machine to mix and knead (8 min), then do stretch and fold once an hour for 2 hours, divide & shape, then proof futher 1 hour & refrigerate. Gluten comes out w/ medium crumb and very chewy. 

Also, I learned the hard way that more starter isnt always better b/c the extra activity can wear the dough out and turn it to a soupy mess.