Kneading or Stretch and Fold?

Which is best? Kneading or Stretch and Fold?

When it comes to developing gluten in my dough and choosing between kneading or using stretch and fold there isn’t really a contest. My preferred method for making bread is the stretch and fold method. Hands Down. It makes making bread so much easier.

stretch and fold

With the stretch and fold method:

  • The mess stays in the bowl, right up until you need to shape your bread.
  • You can come back to the dough when you are ready. You can leave it to rest for 10 minutes or up to an hour between stretch and folds. This means that you can just get on with your day without worrying about your dough.
  • It’s a lot less hard work – no kneading for 10-15 minutes
  • It can be easier to make bread this way if you suffer from arthritis pain in your hands or if you struggle with standing for long periods. It saves quite. a lot of back strain.

However, I know that some people prefer to knead and there has been some discussion in the Facebook group about whether kneading improves the rise of the loaf. I have done comparisons between the two methods before and found that stretch and fold worked just as well as kneading for gluten development. However, I thought it was time that I did an official comparison of the two methods and shared it with you.

So, which is your preferred method and why? Do you love to stretch and fold? Or do you prefer kneading? I know some people love the physical activity of kneading and find it therapeutic. What do you love about making bread?

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1 thought on “Kneading or Stretch and Fold?”

  1. Hi, I’ve just watched your video comparing Stretch & Fold vs Kneading – very interesting, I’m surprised there was such a difference, but glad Stretch & Fold ‘won’! Can I just say, when you popped the loaf back for 5 minutes as the bottom was a bit pale – I turn the loaf upside down in the tin for the extra five minutes, it seems to make sure the bottom gets the right crispness. Thanks for all the help and encouragement!

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