Folding and Scaling Dough for Bialys

This was supposed to be in the bialys post, only I can’t seem to add it there. So I’ll just post it here in case anyone want to see how to fold dough, folding dough is one of the best tricks I have learnt about making bread and I like doing it, it’s a gentle considered process that has a magic effect on the dough, much better than thumping the dough up and down on the worktop. No one really needs to do that. Folding helps tighten and strengthen a very wet dough, evens out the temperature throughout the dough so that the whole mass develops evenly and if you do it very gently, helps to stretch and form lots of wonderful bubbles to give you a well aerated dough that a machine simply can’t achieve for you. You don’t have to fold, but it helps!

The second set of photos is using a 100% function on a KD 8000 set of scales to get the dough pieces the same size.

The idea is that you can divide your dough up into equal pieces without having to do lots of sums. So say you want 4 pieces of dough of equal size. You put your bowl on the scales. Zero the scales. Add the dough. Then press the magic 100% button. The number on the scales changes to 100. Take the dough out. Number goes to 0 again. Then cut the dough up. Each piece should be….. 25%. That’s it. So this works best for numbers that go into 100 easily, like 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10, but it will work with 12 as in the example in the slide show.

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6 thoughts on “Folding and Scaling Dough for Bialys

  1. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    Great slideshow, Jo, thank you! Those scales sound like a great idea – I have a flour covered old calculator in the kitchen because the maths really can get tricky at times!

    Completely agree about the folding – I think the technique was originally known as a “pastry fold” – it does result in much better bread!

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      They were last year’s birthday present from him indoors… I have one of those calculators too.

      I love folding dough, it’s like folding sheets, I love the way the dough feels happier afterwards, like it knows what it’s supposed to be doing, getting into the swing of being dough… it’s also one of the bits that I can do without any stress at all. Unlike all the slashing and oven stuff that comes later….

  2. heidiannie

    I agree with Celia, it is like a pastry fold( only without the addition of thin slices of butter to make the pastry more flaky)- I have been doing it more often since seeing you and Celia use it on bread dough.
    I weigh each piece of dough before I shape them when I make bears, etc. When you sell bread, it HAS to be uniform in size. I have used an old ice cream scale I got back in the ’70’s to measure – although I’ve made so many by this time that I can pretty well judge the size by hand.
    I like your slide show, by the way, especially the captions under the pictures.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Maybe it comes from pastry work? French? Croissants and… mille feuille pastry. I’ve made layered pastry once or twice, not something I’ve tried much though. In France it’s called giving the dough a turn… the one that amazes me is when people work on flat griddles and produce fine threads of dough for middle eastern pastries or thin wafer thin hand pressed sort of crepes, so many extraordinary techniques, so much skill…..

  3. Choclette

    Jo, thank you for your help and link to this post today. Your slide show is really useful. I haven’t used Dan’s folding method before. I think the one in Short & Sweet is a bit different to this, although that could just be me misinterpreting it. I’m making (just awaiting final rise now) Dan’s tea cakes and it’s a very sticky dough, so the method you’ve shown just isn’t possible. I did manage shape the pieces using well oiled hands without too much difficulty though – time will tell!

  4. Joanna Post author

    Choc, I have made that teacake dough many times and you are quite right, it is soft and loose and sticky to start with, so the folding process is more about holidng onto the edge of the dough once it has sort of spread out on the worktop with your finger tips (not your whole hand as it were) lifting it up and away from the bulk of the dough and then folding it back over the main part of the dough. You do that from either end, then carefully lift it up and either turn by 90 degrees and repeat or just put it back in the bowl. Next time I make some I will see if I can get Brian to take pics at the same time to show you. Seriously if you want to hop off the train one day here I would be delighted to do it with you xx Joanna

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