More free education from Bethesdabakers. Does stretching and folding the dough during fermentation have any noticeable effect?
Two identical white sourdoughs at 65% hydration:
The dough on the right was stretched and folded three times every hour for the first three hours of a four hour fermentation. After four hours:
When they were shaped the unfolded dough was noticeably slacker than the folded dough which had much more structure and resistance to shaping. The kitchen was pretty warm during proving – 28C.
I think I can safely say that the folded dough (on the right) has much more lift.
Not a massive amount of difference in the openness of the crust: the larger holes are mainly in the top third of the folded dough.
Both are pretty acceptable in my book. Most of my doughs are fermented over night and I don’t think I’m going to start getting out of bed to do the odd fold.