The Fresh Loaf

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How much time shouild be allowed between foldings?

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marcsababa's picture
marcsababa

How much time shouild be allowed between foldings?

I have a few questions about strech and folding.

 

1. For whole wheat sourdough how much time should be allowed between foldings?

 

2. Should my dough pass a window pane test if I am folding instead of kneading?

 

3. Can any recipe adapted to strech and fold?  If so does all the streching and foldinf and resting time create a problem of ovr proofing if I add in enough time for a good rise?  Will the yeasts be over popullating the dough by the time it rises if I take the time to strech and fold it over a period of 3 hours instead of a straight kneading which would take 20 min.? 

bwraith's picture
bwraith

marcsababa,

1) You can do it a lot of different ways. The basic idea is to develop the gluten but not make it too stiff. An indication of a good time to fold is when the dough seems to have relaxed in whatever container it's rising in. If it has flattened and spread out, it probably could be folded. If it is holding it's shape or crowning a lot, then it may not benefit from another fold. You can also notice if the dough is stiff and resists any folding when you do try to fold it and adjust accordingly. You may only fold it in half or do less folds if it seems stiff and resists folding. If it is very loose and slack, you may fold it north/south and east/west and even fold it in half again after that.

2) I don't go all the way to a window pane test on most of my doughs. Time and folding will usually develop the gluten without all the initial kneading to full window pane test, especially with wetter doughs. There is a trade-off, probably. If you overdevelop early, then folding may not help much or even make the dough too stiff or maybe start tearing it. If the dough is way undermixed initially, the gluten may not ever develop sufficiently even with time and folding.

3) The stretching and folding can be used to extend the rise by combining folding with deflating the dough similar to a "punchdown", if you want that. Or, you can fold very gently and not deflate much at all as you go along, if you believe you won't have enough gas production during the final proof or if the gluten quality is not sufficient to retain gas or you think you will be overproofed if you extend the fermentation. You can also fold early, shape early (when it has only increased in volume by 50-75%), and then let it have a longer final proof, keeping the total mix-to-bake time about the same, which is what I tend to do with my sourdough loaves.

I hope this helps.

Bill

 

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

marcsababa  had some questions about stretching and folding

1. For whole wheat sourdough how much time should be allowed between foldings?

 

It isn't critical, it isn't rocket science.  I've used anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes.  30 minutes was when I was teaching a class and wanted to hurry the process.  45 minutes was close to optimal, but 60 minutes made production in a bakery easier.  All worked well.  As you get experience with it, the dough will tell you when it's ready.

2. Should my dough pass a window pane test if I am folding instead of kneading?

Mine does.  Is a windowpane a test you want to pass?  If so, just plan on doing about 4 stretch and folds.  I do a very rough mix to start with, then stretch and fold.  How rough a mix?  All I try to do is get all the flour wet.  I show this at http://www.sourdoughhome.com/stretchandfold.html 

3. Can any recipe adapted to strech and fold?  If so does all the streching and foldinf and resting time create a problem of ovr proofing if I add in enough time for a good rise?  Will the yeasts be over popullating the dough by the time it rises if I take the time to strech and fold it over a period of 3 hours instead of a straight kneading which would take 20 min.?

 

I've done everything from bagels to ciabatta, from white flour to whole wheat flour.  The only recipes that don't work well are rye bread recipes because, well, rye is different.

 

Start with a rough mix and let the stretch and fold do the work for you.  Over a period of time, the stretch and folds take the place of knocking down the dough, so eliminate what would normally be the bulk rise.  Do the stretch and folds, then form the loaves and let them have their final rise.

 

Also, I am a strong believer in a slow rise.  Fast rising breads tend to taste too yeasty  and not wheaty enough for me.  So if a recipe rises in an hour, I'm cutting back on the riser.  I shoot for at least 2 hours in the first rise and about 1/2 the first rise time for the second rise.

 

Mike

 

roxbakes's picture
roxbakes

Mike, just wanted to let you know that your technique, the way you explained it in your videos opened a new horizon in bread baking for me! THANK YOU SO MUCH! With four little ones at home I took on doing larger quantities by hand, just because it's manageable. White, whole grain, whole wheat DO WORK with this method!


However I do have one question. Are you supposed to completely deflate the dough when you fold again(my dough rises very nicely between folds, even though I use very little yeast)?! I get all these nice bubbles in the dough and don't know if I should completely deflate them.


If so, should I use a roll, or just press with my hands?! 


Thanks for the feedback!

jowilchek's picture
jowilchek

can someone explain on the kindergarden level...(I'm new at bread making, but feel ready to try the strech and fold method instead of kneeding) how to do a proper strech and fold for basic white bread. I am a fast learner and feel if I get the strech and fold method down for basic white bread baguettes then I will be able to do it on most breads.


again kindergarden level directions and photos would be helpful.


Thanks for all the great help and suggestions on this site I have learned alot but need more information and photos.

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

Quote:
how to do a proper strech and fold for basic white bread.

If you look through the 'handbook' links here it takes you to a nice 'stretch and fold' how to set of videos here


Thanks to the OP for this question - I have always used 20~30 minutes but I'm going to try a bit longer after reading some of the responses here to see if it improves my loaves..