The Fresh Loaf

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Would it be a good or bad idea to fold over/knead no knead bread while it rises?

icantbakeatall's picture

Would it be a good or bad idea to fold over/knead no knead bread while it rises?

I was looking at this article and it says they kneaded their no knead bread several times while it was rising. This kind of defeats the purpose of a no knead bread, sure, but I wanted to get your guys' opinion on it. Last time I made my no knead bread, I did fold it over once while it was rising, and it turned out great, but that may be due to any other number of variables I changed that time. Any opinions would be appreciated!

cranbo's picture

Folding isn't the same as kneading, it's a more gentle and significantly less intensive process. The article appears to be promoting folding. 

I regularly incorporate folds into my "no knead" bread. Personally I don't do it any other way b/c I've tried both styles and I vastly the prefer the results of a folded no-knead bread to one that it is only mixed once. 




Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I've used several of the recipes from "Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day". They specifically say to mix the ingredients but "don't knead". I've found that I get much better results now from working the dough at least a little bit, both directly after mixing and then a couple of folds while the dough is going through its first rise (before going in the fridge). Much higher rise on baking day, much nicer texture to the final crumb.

dabrownman's picture

gluten - the two basic proteins, water and time.  You will notice that most no knead breads require a higher hydration and lots of time for them to work and the two proteins are in the flour  3 other things can help develop gluten - mechanical mixing and or kneading somehow, salt and the acid from sourdough..... but it is the mixing and kneading that really shorten the time required for the gluten to deveop.

My personal thoughts are if you knead in any way, traditional, slap and folds or stretch and folds you no longer have a no knead recipe.  Do a few slap and folds and stretch and folds help to develop gluten better and faster in a no knead recipe - of course they do!  I think just a few in the beginning is a real benefit and makes for a better bread in the end then not doing any at all.  I also think if you do a few gentle stretch and folds to shape a no knead bread also helps it to be better too.

Oddly, I also think that less mechanical action and other kneading types also benefits those breads.  I used to do 8, 1 and 1 minutes of slap and folds on 30 minute intervals but now just do 2, 1 and 1 in stead and the bread is much better for it.  A long retarded SD will develop more gluten as it sits in the fridge. 

Happy baking 

Roger Lambert's picture
Roger Lambert

I'm using an 85% water ratio and my bread comes out too wet. The bread has a wonderful flavour but I would like to remove some of the moisture.  What is the minimum water value that will still offer a good no knead bread?