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SethG

"Turning" the dough

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SethG   

Welcome, kellytree! I don't think any of us have actually provided a very good description of how to stretch and fold properly-- so it's hard to say if you're doing it right or not.

I notice you're in Italy... what kind of flour are you using?

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I imagine that it can be explained over and over in words but really the only way to "get" the stretch and turn system is to see it done.

This time I used only soft wheat - white. Bought from my local dinky supermarket.

I dont know which variety of wheat it is.

Usually I mix hard and soft wheat. there are a couple mills in the area so I try to go to them..... which doesnt always happen.

In the past when we grew our own wheat we had two kinds of soft wheat -- one had a great flavor but no rising capacity and the other vice versa.

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jsolomon   

Hmm... I read this thread figuring I would come up with a neat little trick to help me make better bread. Boy was I wrong. What I got was confused as heck.

As near as I can tell, the way I knead dough by hand is closer to the turn and stretch method. So, as someone who has little time to make bread, and even less time to experiment with it right now, could someone help me with a slightly less abstract description of the differences between the two.

Or, a how-to on proper kneading. I'm utterly confused on how I ought to be hand-kneading my bread at this point.

Thanks...

-j

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SethG   

Kneading involves stretching and folding, sure.... over and over again, until a desired texture/extensibility is reached.

The "turn," or stretch-n-fold, is different. Here's an imperfect attempt at describing it. Tonight I'll look at Maggie Glezer's description and probably edit this to make it better. The idea is to let the dough sit a while, and then you take it out of its container. Put it on the counter and let it settle into a flattish mass. Don't push it down or anything. Although your dough is likely in a round ball, think of it as having four edges, left, right, top, and bottom. Now hold the left edge, grab the right edge and pull it out, stretching it gently but firmly. Then fold it over to overlap the center of the dough. Then repeat, holding the dough on the right side this time, and pulling and stretching the left edge until you can fold it over the center. Then repeat again for the top, and again for the bottom.

Now you've folded over all four edges; you have a ball of dough again. Turn it over in your hands, and hold it from underneath with your palms, as if you were shaping a boule (if you follow me). Bring your hands together lightly to form a little seal, but you don't have to do much-- the goal isn't to de-gas. It should feel a bit tighter than before. Plop it back your rising container, and let it recover and start to rise again.

Some people counsel leaving it for an hour; Maggie Glezer says at least twenty minutes. You can then take it out and fold it again. There aren't hard-and fast rules (as far as I'm aware) as to how many times to fold; Glezer suggests folding a few times early in the rising process and then letting the dough rise on its own for the later part of bulk fermentation.

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jackal10   

Kneading and turning are very different.

Kneading is hard work, By hand you put your hands on top of the dough and push it along the working surface, stretching it with a sort of rolling motion before gathering it back, and turning it round a bit. You do this again and again at the begining of making the bread, for ten minutes or more.

ALternatively use a mixer to emulate the hand kneading and to mechanically work the dough.

The turning technique is much more akin to making flaky pastry or croissants. You handle the dough as lightly as possible, so as not to de-gas it. You wait until the dough has some bubbles, then just lightly fold it sides to middle, and maybe top to bottom. That is all. You then put the dough back to rest, relax and ferment some more - maybe half an hour for a yeasted bread or an hour for sourdough, before folding it once more, maybe four times during the period of bulk fermentation.

gallery_7620_3_1095442454.jpg

Folded dough


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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I work quite often with slack doughs and my favorite way is to use a large dough trough.

I can't do as much kneading by hand as I used to, because of arthritis in my hands. Working the softer slack doughs in a dough trough is much easier and turning or folding is integral to working dough in this type of container.

The largest one I have, used most often, is shaped rather like a shallow canoe and it is simple to press the dough flat in the bottom then fold in each end, then tip the bowl so the mass of dough folds over on itself.

I usually cover the trough with a piece of waxed linen as plastic wrap will not stick well to the wood surface. The linen is heavy enough to conform to the shape of the bowl and the waxed surface holds the moisture in and even rather wet dough will not stick to it.

If anyone wants to know how to make waxed linen (or muslin) I can tell them in an email as it would probably be considered off topic.

Dough troughs or bowls are getting difficult to find, however Lehman's still carries them at a rather modest price considering that many "antique" ones are selling for hundreds of dollars.

this one is somewhat smaller than the one I use most of the time but it is still a respectable size and very workable.

Another advantage is that you don't have to stand while working the dough in the bowl. I injured my back earlier this year and have had difficulty standing for long periods. I can sit with my feet up on a footstool with the dough trough on my lap and work the dough with no difficulty.

It may seem a bit odd at first but if you routinely work with slack doughs, try one of these and I believe you will be plesantly surprised at how easy it is.

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I work quite often with slack doughs and my favorite way is to use a large dough trough. 

I can't do as much kneading by hand as I used to, because of arthritis in my hands.  Working the softer slack doughs in a dough trough is much easier and turning or folding is integral to working dough in this type of container. 

The largest one I have, used most often, is shaped rather like a shallow canoe and it is simple to press the dough flat in the bottom then fold in each end, then tip the bowl so the mass of dough folds over on itself. 

I usually cover the trough with a piece of waxed linen as plastic wrap will not stick well to the wood surface.  The linen is heavy enough to conform to the shape of the bowl and the waxed surface holds the moisture in and even rather wet dough will not stick to it. 

If anyone wants to know how to make waxed linen (or muslin) I can tell them in an email as it would probably be considered off topic. 

Dough troughs or bowls are getting difficult to find, however Lehman's still carries them at a rather modest price considering that many "antique" ones are selling for hundreds of dollars.

this one is somewhat smaller than the one I use most of the time but it is still a respectable size and very workable. 

Another advantage is that you don't have to stand while working the dough in the bowl.  I injured my back earlier this year and have had difficulty standing for long periods.  I can sit with my feet up on a footstool with the dough trough on my lap and work the dough with no difficulty. 

It may seem a bit odd at first but if you routinely work with slack doughs, try one of these and I believe you will be plesantly surprised at how easy it is.

Thank you, andiesenji! I've been looking for one of these for a very long time! :biggrin: It looks good, but they are running low . . . I hope it's still around when they take my order.

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