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Jun 3, 2010 03:50 AM

is slapping the dough after kneading really necessary?

hey! i hand knead the dough. i saw some like to slap thier dough. but for me slapping the dough onto suface of silicon mat sounds too loud and the whole kitchen sink seems to be getting unstable. so i usually vigouraously hand knead without slapping. and fortunately i think i kneaded some dough very well without slapping.the final texture of some of the dough i was happy with was ok for me. and the doughs for brioche well pass the window pane test after proofing. is slapping really necessary ? is it just diffrent way of handling the dough or has it its own merits?

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  1. I read, somewhere, that slapping the bread dough around defeats all the good work you put into kneading the dough. The purpose of kneading is to incorporate air into the mix (along with the yeast), which creates the texture of your bread. Rough handling only knocks those bubbles out of the dough. There is a proceedure called "stretch and fold" technique:

    10 Replies
    1. re: Lisbet

      Another place to look:

      (Get the book or borrow it from your local Library)

          1. re: Lisbet

            The purpose of kneading is not to blend air into the dough, it is to develop the gluten structure. Your dough should pass the window pane test after kneading, not after initial proofing.
            "Slapping" the dough onto the counter simply introduces the forces of inertia to stretch the dough. It isn't necessary - you can stretch it using a variety of other handling techniques.

            1. re: todao

              In defense of my Initial Post on the subject:


              Read under "Kneading". This article explains what I so ineptly tried to convey about treating the bread dough in a gentler manner (stretch & fold). The bubbles created in the dough by air and fermentation will deflate, and you will have a much denser loaf.

              Under the same heading, third paragraph down, and end of last line (I believe is a 'typo')....think they meant "produces"....rather than "reduces the flavor of the final loaf".

            2. re: Lisbet

              actually the french fold method video looks to me as demostrating a sort of slapping.

                1. re: bushwickgirl

                  if it is so, could french fold method be then said unnecesary also when stretch and fold technic can be fully utilized?

                  1. re: hae young

                    Take a look at this link, scroll down to French Fold for an explanation of the very small difference between stretch and fold and the French fold; one or the other technique can be used, depending on the hydration (stickiness) of your dough:


                    In this link, Peter Reinhart uses the stretch and fold technique on a very hydrated dough:


                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                      i see this chef : richard bertinet use two hand for doing the french fold.
                      i read that nancy silverton in her book : breads from the labrea bakery recommend one hand french fold.
                      ok! i found her description a bit confusing.
                      could someone let me understand her description of her one hand french folding???

                      here goes like this :

                      "remove the dough from the bowl, if you're using one, and place it on a sturdy work surface. with one continuouus motion,, grab the end of the dough closet to you, fold it toward the other end, gather one end in your fist, lift and flip the dough in midair, then whack it down hard on the work surface. immediatey grab the dough again and repeat the motion over and over for about 5 to 7 mins".

                      ok when i see some chefs french-folding and eventually whacking the dough down hard on the work surface, then they imediately turn their doughs about 45 deegree angles. so they can very evenly french fold their dough.
                      but in her descprion i jsut quoted, she, i think, seemed to fenchfold by grabbing the same side of the dough over and over and over again.
                      any one who think my suspicion is correct????

      1. unnecessary flourish--unless, of course, you have a particular face in mind! in which case, better the dough than the face.

        3 Replies
        1. re: bakersdelight

          Ha, ha, yes, it's totally unncessary but so much fun.

          1. re: bushwickgirl

            I was going to write the same thing if no one beat me to it!

          2. re: bakersdelight

            I always wanted to marry a baker's daughter because she would always need me, but no one told me about the slapping !!!

          3. If in doubt stretch. if it passes the window pane test, you are good. I have never slapped around my bread unless pissed or bored.

            1 Reply
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