Folding 1/3's


I've been trying to achieve the large extended holes in my bread. Using Dan Lepards recipe he say's to achieve this you need to fold the dough in thirds over itself to stretch and extend the holes. In trying this method my bread finishes with the fold lines in the finished bread. How can this be achieved without the fold lines in the finished bread?

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bethesdabakers's picture
bethesdabakers 2007 September 27

Hi Barry,

If you are getting fold lines in the finished bread, you are doing something very wrong.

Can you describe your proving and shaping methods.


Barry 2007 September 27

Sure, I'm doing three short needs at 10min intervals then one at 1/2 hour interval then 2 at 1 hour intervals. I'm folding after the last short need then putting the dough in an oval basket and in the fridge over night and baking in the morning.
I usually put 3/4 cup of soaked cracked wheat and about 20% wholemeal flour and white bread flour. The crumb seems pretty good and the taste great but I'm not getting a real open texture.
I do make ciabatta with dry yeast with great success.
Incidently Mick, i extended my starter using barley flour which seemes to increase the loafs acidity quite a lot is there a reason for that?

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2007 September 27

Barry, what do you put on your working surface when you do the folding? Very minimal flour is needed or should be used.


SourDom 2007 September 28


you can fold using oil or flour, depending a little on how sticky the dough is to start with.
However you should try to brush off any excess flour so that you don't end up with a lot of unmixed flour sandwiched between fermenting dough.

one other thought - you do need to make sure that the surface of the dough is not drying out too much in between folds.

so, what I do -
toss some flour on the bench and spread out
tip out the dough on to the flour. Dimple/stretch out roughly without degassing
fold the top of the dough towards me. At this stage if the folded dough is heavily coated with flour from the bench brush off what you can.
Then fold the bottom of the dough over the top. Again brush off any excess flour.
Fold in the sides in 1/3s

hope this helps


bethesdabakers's picture
bethesdabakers 2007 September 28

If I understand you right, you're continuing short kneeds after the first fold. Apart from the excess flour issue I'm just wondering if you are allowing the dough to recover enough before you shape it and put it to prove in the basket.

My routine would be: three short kneeds at ten minute intervals and then folds at the end of hour one, two and three (four hours fermentation in total). That way the dough has a full hour's recovery time before shaping (or even preshaping if you are being a good boy). I would then be proving in the basket for 3-4 hours - I know all this will vary according to you starter and climate. By the time I get to folding I wouldn't use oil of flour if I could get away with it.

The more cracked wheat and wholemeal you use the less open your crumb is likely to be - holes for holes sake is pretty pointless - your crumb might be perfect for the loaf and it's just the layers you need to sort. Never tried barley in my starter but I currently have so much barley flour I think I'd better get started!

Best wishes,


SourDom 2007 September 28


I've tried the naked barley in my starter a few times.
makes for a nice subtle undertone to a white loaf.

I agree with Mick that a 20% wholemeal loaf with extra cracked wheat might not be terribly open in texture - and that would be entirely expected.


Barry 2007 September 29

Yes TP probably using too much flour during the folds as the dough can't stick itself back together. Tony, I'm using organic barley flour not malted as far as I know.
No I'm not allowing the dough to recover before shaping and placing in the basket would 1/2 hour be OK? i did suspect the cracked wheat and wholmeal flour would have an effect on the size of the wholes.i guess you can't have the best of both worlds.Will follow your sugestions next bake.
Thanks Barry

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