The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread in short stages with frequent pauses?

Cellarvie's picture

Bread in short stages with frequent pauses?

Hanging around with you inspiring TFLers has turned me into a serious (OK, obsessive) bread-head, and I just know that you’ll be able to crack this conundrum for me. 

How can I make bread in short stages with frequent pauses?  Recent illness has left me with limited mobility and stamina, and slightly compromised sight, so I’m looking for a simple, flexible, forgiving method that produces a tasty, open crumbed, crusty loaf.

My first thoughts are that yeast might be a more forbearing leaven than sourdough starter, and that the fridge might be my friend on this adventure, but can I refrigerate twice (bulk ferment and shaped)?  And if I can, how would it impact the proof, and the %age yeast and water?  And what if I need to refrigerate for a couple of days before baking? 

Do you think an all-in-one dough might deliver, maybe with an autolyse but no pre-ferment or manual gluten development? (I have a mixer).  And are some flours more tolerant than others? (I’ve white, whole-wheat, rye and spelt).


Any thoughts or advice before I jump in on this next stage of my big bread adventure?

HeidiCooksSupper's picture

I have a bad back and am a total stretch-and-fold convert.  I learned how from this site:

I adapt any and all bread recipes to stretch-and-fold with great results.  Only the wettest ciabatta dough is too awkward to use this method.  For that or really wet rye dough, I just use a spoon to do the equivalent of a stretch and fold with a spoon in the bowl.  I'm pretty much finding you can always replace manipulation (kneading) with time and periodic stretching and folding.  

2tattered's picture

I've got horrid arthritis in my hands, so I use S & Fs at every opportunity, including with a spatula for wet doughs. It works perfectly!

Cellarvie's picture

Thank you both for this advice (and the useful link).  I'll give it a go.  

bigcrusty's picture

Dear Cellarvie.

I mix my bread -wait 15-30 minutes and do one fold and stretch and pop it into my frig in an oiled bowl for autolayze usually overnight.  After I divide into loaves, place in bannetons and proof another 2 hours. It breaks it up a good bit.  I had some medical issues last August and had little energy but I'm a breaded as well and I was able to motivate myself to make bread and get very nice compliments from people I give it to.  I healed enough to bake 16 loaves for the Church Choir at Christmas so I guess it was good therapy.


Good luck with your recovery and baking,



Cellarvie's picture

That simple is just what I'm after, thank you BigCrusty, for the method and the motivation.  I feel a weekend bake coming on.