Kneading vs fold and stretch

I’m reading, reading, reading. Learning, learning, learning. I run a small manufacturing business and my time in the kitchen is hit or miss. I see a lot of references to fold and stretch for lengthy periods of time. I actually enjoy a good knead. Are they interchangeable?

Traditional kneading works for lower moisture breads.

Artisanal breads are typically high hydration/moisture and the dough is too sticky for traditional kneading. Fold and stretch is usually 3 or 4 F&S at intervals … a lot of recipes state once an hour over 4 hours so not lengthy duration like “knead for 10 minutes”. I think if you read much on this site you will see that it works various ways and it is more paying attention to dough development vs a specific method or time frame. And there are other methods of manipulating high moisture doughs: Coil fold, Rubaud method for example … also a lamination technique which you can see on this site of you search laminate or lamination.

Sounds simple but I’m seldom home for 4 hours. Maybe after the holidays.

Or you can skip it altogether and do the long, cold bulk. There are not absolutes. I doubt any of us stick to a rigid schedule as you will see in many recipes.

Sounds good to fit in a busy work schedule. Thank you Liz! I’ll try the cold stretch, again, that you recommended. Too scared to do it since the last attempt on cold stretch about two years ago. the dough was flat and tasted so sour.

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I have a problem with timing as well. Fortunately, I’m my own boss, have a very busy booth in a farmers market, where I sell bread on Thursdays and Saturdays. I bring my dough with me. It beats getting up at 3:30 am so that I can have it at bulk fermentation before I leave for the market. I think all places of business should have “Take your dough to work” days. :wink:


@yunwang0826 you might have to experiment with timing a little. It will likely get more tang, the longer it goes. And if was flat, maybe it went too long (over proofed, not enough “food” left for leaven) or not enough time to rise after shaping. For me, I mix, let the dough sit at room temp for 1-2 hours (if I can) and then into the frig for 24 hours … sometimes 36 or 48. I look at it and if it is getting too puffy and in danger of overproofing, I will shape it cold which deflates the dough and back in the frig until I can bake. Will this “method” give you the absolute, most perfect loaf of bread? Maybe, maybe not … some experience will let you know timing in your conditions and with your flours. But experience and timing and judging the dough is part of any method.

I like Trevor Jay Wilson’s BreadWerx site . His instructions usually go along the line of “I don’t let the dough run my life. If I can, I do some S&F, but sometimes I don’t” And he gives good info on what to look for: 30-50% rise for example and what to expect if you go under or over.

@susan YES! to “take your dough to work” :slight_smile: I am self employed, work from a home office right next to my kitchen … still, life can get in the way of the dough schedule sometimes!

Thank you so much for all the detailed information, Liz! Trevor Jay Wilson’s bread have huge holes, they are so tempting! The dough fermented in fridge two years ago was likely over proofed since we had a cheap fridge at that time, not holding things cold very well. Will definitely try again, see how it goes. Just peeked in your website, It is so beautiful, your pup and kitty, the nature, your trailer, etc. Wish you a wonderful holiday season!

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You are welcome! And thank you … I have been fortunate to have work I love that also allows me to live where I want to and enjoy lots of time outside with my pets :slight_smile: . Best wishes to you, also, for a wonderful holiday season.