Author Topic: Mixers and Stretch and Fold  (Read 841 times)

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Offline David Esq.

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Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« on: June 10, 2015, 11:47:19 AM »
I've never used a mixer to make dough, whether for bread or for pizza. 

I've also never made a pizza dough that is super strong -- i.e., like when I see people spinning pies or otherwise getting a good stretch going with dough that is neither super extensible nor prone to tearing.  I feel like my dough is always a "little sticky" even with generous flouring. Maybe not right at the flattening stage, but shortly thereafter.  Maybe this is the result of my not using a mixer or not engaging in hand kneading of the dough.  I don't know.

I was curious about what people who have done both have to say about how their dough compares when they mix/knead versus when they simply mix ingredients by hand and engage in 2-5 stretch and folds during the bulk fermentation phase.








Offline mitchjg

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2015, 01:06:28 PM »
I've never used a mixer to make dough, whether for bread or for pizza. 

I've also never made a pizza dough that is super strong -- i.e., like when I see people spinning pies or otherwise getting a good stretch going with dough that is neither super extensible nor prone to tearing.  I feel like my dough is always a "little sticky" even with generous flouring. Maybe not right at the flattening stage, but shortly thereafter.  Maybe this is the result of my not using a mixer or not engaging in hand kneading of the dough.  I don't know.

I was curious about what people who have done both have to say about how their dough compares when they mix/knead versus when they simply mix ingredients by hand and engage in 2-5 stretch and folds during the bulk fermentation phase.

Regarding a "little sticky", what hydration do you typically use and with what flour?
Mitch

Offline David Esq.

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2015, 01:48:58 PM »
Typically, I've made high hydration dough at 70%, however, I recently did one at 61 and 62% using 100% Caputo 00 flour and one with 33% whole wheat.  The 100% caputo was less sticky which I will attribute to less fermentation activity due to the lower nutrient flour. But even that dough was a little stick once I started to stretch it out.

But, I'm more interested in the experience of others, in terms of how their dough comes out when they completely eliminate the mixer and kneading at all hydrations.  My own particular issues are not really worth exploring here as I'm a newbie pizza maker.

Offline mitchjg

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2015, 02:11:51 PM »
Typically, I've made high hydration dough at 70%, however, I recently did one at 61 and 62% using 100% Caputo 00 flour and one with 33% whole wheat.  The 100% caputo was less sticky which I will attribute to less fermentation activity due to the lower nutrient flour. But even that dough was a little stick once I started to stretch it out.

But, I'm more interested in the experience of others, in terms of how their dough comes out when they completely eliminate the mixer and kneading at all hydrations.  My own particular issues are not really worth exploring here as I'm a newbie pizza maker.

The reason I asked is because I find that hydration impacts stickiness (overwhelmingly) more than a mixer vs food processor vs by hand (I have done all 3 multiple times).  I do find that it is much easier to over-mix with a food processor, easier to over-mix with a stand mixer and very difficult (impossible?) to over-mix by hand.  How much you mix heavily impacts extensibility and elasticity. 

I doubt if mixing devices impact stickiness at 70%.  It will be sticky, that hydration is way beyond the absorption value of pretty much any flour.  Stretch and folds will be helpful regardless of machine.  Stickiness should be pretty low with Caputo at 61 or 62, although the rated absorption is lower than that (high 50's IIRC). 

So, maybe (machine vs hand) it has impact, but I have not personally observed it to be particularly important relatively to the other moving parts.
Mitch

Offline David Esq.

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2015, 02:17:03 PM »
Got it. Do you see an advantage in your dough when you use the mixer vs when you mix by hand?   I understand you can over oxidize using a mixer, but assuming you were using it "correctly", is the advantage to a machine mixed dough that you wind up with a more elastic and extensible dough  that is easier to stretch without tearing?

Offline mitchjg

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2015, 02:35:38 PM »
Got it. Do you see an advantage in your dough when you use the mixer vs when you mix by hand?   I understand you can over oxidize using a mixer, but assuming you were using it "correctly", is the advantage to a machine mixed dough that you wind up with a more elastic and extensible dough  that is easier to stretch without tearing?

I do not think the issue is oxidizing (which can happen), it is that when you over-mix, you over-do the gluten development and the dough is tougher and more elastic (snapback).

I have not personally observed a difference as you described.  It will be interesting to see what others may say.
This may be helpful in case you did not see it: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=10441.msg92221#msg92221

The only thing I have observed is I feel like I get more consistent results more easily with a mixer.  When I mix by hand, I tend to "up" the hydration since I use wet hands for the stretch and folds.  I also get a drop more waste since more gets lost into space somewhere along the way.  The two tend to offset each other somewhat but, as mentioned, the hydration ends up slightly higher.  I end up trying to compensate for that in the recipe planning.  This issue could easily be "just me."
Mitch

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2015, 02:55:51 PM »
I don't think there is any advantage to hand mixing. The main advantages of a machine is it's a lot easier. If you are doing a 24-hour or longer ferment, you really don't need to knead much at all. If less, the machine can do some/all of the kneading for you.
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Offline David Esq.

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2015, 04:21:51 PM »
I'm not really interested in the ease of hand mixing or the ease of machine mixing. I am really interested in knowing if people's dough changes when they mix one way or the other.  It sounds like the answer may be that it does not impact the dough.

For me, mixing by hand is easier because I don't have to take out the mixer (or clean it after use). It's two less things to clean -- a bowl and a dough hook, so it is not only easier but saves me time. :)

I had not read the hand-knead vs. mixing thread but it is basically asking about kneading manually vs using a machine whereas I am asking about skipping the kneading altogether using my hands vs. whatever people do, using a machine.  I saw people who use "stretch and fold" but who do so only after mixing with a machine, which is what prompted me to start a new thread.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2015, 04:24:36 PM by David Esq. »

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2015, 04:35:00 PM »
I hand mix and do zero kneading.  I do 4-6 stretch and folds after the bulk rise and that is it.  Cold ferment 2-3 days.


Offline David Esq.

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Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2015, 06:13:29 PM »
Great. Have you ever used a mixer or otherwise kneaded the dough for comparison?

Also., why do you do the folds after the bulk rise?

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2015, 06:48:02 PM »
Great. Have you ever used a mixer or otherwise kneaded the dough for comparison?

Also., why do you do the folds after the bulk rise?

For me, because 48 hours in balls is too long - the balls get too relaxed. 24 is about as long as I like the dough to be in balls.
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Offline David Esq.

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2015, 06:52:21 PM »
That makes a lot of sense. Mine took the shape of the round container so I didn't think it would matter.

Offline David Esq.

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2015, 06:53:06 PM »
Maybe that was my problem...

Offline parallei

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2015, 07:49:28 PM »
I've never used a mixer to make dough, whether for bread or for pizza. 

I've also never made a pizza dough that is super strong -- i.e., like when I see people spinning pies or otherwise getting a good stretch going with dough that is neither super extensible nor prone to tearing.  I feel like my dough is always a "little sticky" even with generous flouring. Maybe not right at the flattening stage, but shortly thereafter.  Maybe this is the result of my not using a mixer or not engaging in hand kneading of the dough.  I don't know.

I was curious about what people who have done both have to say about how their dough compares when they mix/knead versus when they simply mix ingredients by hand and engage in 2-5 stretch and folds during the bulk fermentation phase.

This is probably too simple minded of a response (and yes I've done both) but here we go:

I prefer mixing by hand, as you noted less to clean.

You are not limited to "stretch and folds".  I only "stretch and fold" for doughs above 70% HR. It is not illegal to hand knead.  You know, just kneading the dough, nothing fancy.
,
If your dough seems "sticky" you could lower the hydration or through experience, learn to deal with it.  It is not that difficult.

I don't have any problem peeling and launching a 70% HR pizza and you will not either once you've tried it a few times.

Keep it simple, try this for 62 ish HR, 00 dough:

- Salt with water
- Add flour and  IDY (or whatever)
- Mix with spoon
- Cover, let rest 20 min
- Hand knead 2 or 3 min.
- Cover, let rest 20 min
- Hand knead 2 or 3 min., divide, ball and into the fridge (or not)......Check done.






 

Offline David Esq.

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2015, 08:18:46 PM »
That's how I do it with the ny times Roberta recipe.  I'm not interested in any kneading at the moment. Though kneading in the air is fine, I don't want to bother messing up the counter.  So the bucket is my most convenient option.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2015, 10:09:24 PM »
I do stretch and fold after the bulk rise to both remove air from the dough and to add air to the dough, as well as to form tight balls that will rise as ball shapes.

Offline DDT

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2015, 12:54:14 AM »
My question is,
What gives more strength to the dough (less tearing when opening), stretch and fold after mixing or stretch and fold after fermenting?
D


Offline David Esq.

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2015, 05:50:22 AM »
Followed by, can you have too many stretch and folds. Because if not, why not do both? I had assumed that doing it after the bulk would degas more than you wanted and it would negatively impact the crumb. But if not, then do it after mixing and then again before you ball.

Offline David Esq.

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Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2015, 07:40:30 AM »
Here is Peter Reinhart's take. Interestingly enough he includes stickiness as an attribute of the method. http://www.fornobravo.com/pizzaquest/instructionals/59-written-recipes/175-the-stretch-and-fold-method.html

Offline norma427

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2015, 09:30:41 AM »
David,

I have mixed doughs by hand, in a Hobart mixer, with a regular hand mixer, in a Kitchen Aid, food processor, and even in a Universal Bread Maker.  The Tartine book taught me a lot about mixing high hydration doughs by hand and doing stretch and folds. 

The Kitchen Aid is used in different ways to get the desired dough I would like.

One place where the food processor was used at Reply 368
 
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=11044.msg103246#msg103246 

One place dough was mixed by hand before the Kitchen Aid was purchased
 
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9880.msg85799#msg85799 

The Universal Bread Maker thread is at:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=13668.msg137118#msg137118

I also learned a lot from forum member UnConundrum (Warren) at his Bread Making Demo when he talked about mixing bread and pizza by hand and his recipes at http://www.recipesonrails.com/  The link to Warren's artisan bread baking demo is at

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=10020.msg88225#msg88225

I did try to over mix dough different times.  One time was at Reply 248 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9946.msg122436#msg122436

There were experiments done with larger amounts of dough in a hard plastic food container with hand mixing. 

The way I looked at no matter what method is used for mixing is to watch the dough and get a feel for when it is right.

Norma

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Mixers and Stretch and Fold
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2015, 10:02:11 AM »
David,

I had not seen the Reinhart article before, although I had seen the video referenced in the article before. This morning, I took the liberty of adding a link to the Reinhart article in a post I had composed before at Reply 65 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=2223.msg63786#msg63786. That post deals mostly with the steps leading up to the kneading of the dough but it also appends some links to different methods used to hand knead dough.

I have always tended to view stretch and folds as a creation of the bread making world and as being different from a standard "knead'. It seems to me that Tom Lehmann may be of the same mind based on his post at Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=14203.msg143312;topicseen#msg143312 but maybe I am reading more into his comments than intended.

To the above, I would add that I discussed an alternative method (the countertop method) for kneading dough at Reply 68 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=576.msg5674#msg5674. I cite that post because I learned a lot about hand kneading doughs using high-gluten flour. I also came to the conclusion that King Arthur discouraged the hand kneading of doughs using high-gluten flour because it was most likely looking for full gluten development that is more characteristic of bread doughs or bagels, whereas less physical gluten development is needed for pizza doughs using the same flour.

Peter


 

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