Posts Tagged ‘stretch and fold’

Looking back at my last sourdough/natural leaven post, I realise that I have made a bit of progress since the days of creating sandwich bread with sourdough taste and texture. Inspired by the likes of Azelia’s Kitchen and Weekend Bakery, I decided to try something different. I made mini-boules with a rustic crumb developed by stretch and fold technique, with greater hydration (i.e. higher proportion of liquid, at about 70%).

I used the exact same flours (1/2 Aldi’s house brand strong wholemeal and 1/2 Allinson strong white) and salt proportion which I used to make my sourdough sandwich bread. So the different results I achieve now are purely down to the different techniques I use, and the use of more liquid.

Stretch and fold involves pulling the dough in one direction at a time and folding it back on itself at various intervals, prior to the final shaping and baking. There is a video illustrating how this is done here. If you like rustic style bread with irregular holes, I recommend stretch and fold.

Also, stretch and fold works well as a gluten development technique in high hydration recipes; wet dough is less easy to knead than firm dough. You can see that it made a reasonable crumb even with my 50:50 mix of strong wholemeal and strong white flour.

By the way, if you like a crisp crust I recommend using steam in the oven. Although I was doubtful that my domestic oven would be able to retain steam, pouring boiling water into a hot metal tray on the bottom shelf of the oven worked really well for me.


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