Forget kneading! For most breads, a few stretches and folds is all you need for amazing bread. Bread folding is a technique used during the rising process to strengthen the structure of dough, which gives the loaf a firmer shape. Here are some tips from MOTHER EARTH NEWS on how to get a perfectly folded loaf of bread:
Folding the dough:
1. Let dough sit, covered, for at least an hour.
2. Take dough out of bowl and place on a flat, clean, floured or oiled surface.
3. Take one side of dough, stretch and fold into center.
4. Repeat for each side of dough a few times.
5. When finished, return dough to bowl and cover for at least another hour.
Bakers have a few different techniques for folding bread. Here are a few of our favorite bread-folding videos: