How to Make the Easiest Stretch and Fold Bread

This is something you can just stir up by hand in a bowl, stretch and fold a few times and then dump into hot oven. Perfect results. The rising is slow using minimum yeast, this makes it tastier.

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All you need is wheat flour, dry instant yeast (or fresh), salt and water.

All you need is wheat flour, dry instant yeast (or fresh), salt and water.

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Weigh the flour carefully. 400 grams.

Weigh the flour carefully. 400 grams.

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Add the yeast, just 3 grams is enough. Almost a teaspoon - but do weigh flour and water; you get better results. If you use fresh yeast it is first diluted in some of the water.

Add the yeast, just 3 grams is enough. Almost a teaspoon - but do weigh flour and water; you get better results. If you use fresh yeast it is first diluted in some of the water.

4
A little salt, approx a teaspoon, or 6 grams.

A little salt, approx a teaspoon, or 6 grams.

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Stir it up with a spoon to mix the dry stuff.

Stir it up with a spoon to mix the dry stuff.

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Add cool tap water, or whatever potable water you may have. 300 grams. Baker's percentage being 75% (of flour weight - 400g).

Add cool tap water, or whatever potable water you may have. 300 grams. Baker's percentage being 75% (of flour weight - 400g).

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Or if you use fresh yeast, you would start with a pinch of that. This and next two photos show the fresh yeast option...

Or if you use fresh yeast, you would start with a pinch of that. This and next two photos show the fresh yeast option...

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Dilute the fresh yeast (if that is your choice) with some of the water.

Dilute the fresh yeast (if that is your choice) with some of the water.

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Mix in the flour and salt into the water (you see, it is the other way around here if you choose fresh yeast).

Mix in the flour and salt into the water (you see, it is the other way around here if you choose fresh yeast).

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Mix with the spoon till all the flour is in the dough. Don't overdo it. Baker's percentage is 75% or more here, so it is quite wet!

Mix with the spoon till all the flour is in the dough. Don't overdo it. Baker's percentage is 75% or more here, so it is quite wet!

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Let the dough rest 30 minutes to let the flour suck up the water, starting the process under cover.

Let the dough rest 30 minutes to let the flour suck up the water, starting the process under cover.

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Stretch and fold, 4-5 stretches each time. Use wet hands. The dough is sticky at first. It gets better after each stretch and fold (three in total).

Stretch and fold, 4-5 stretches each time. Use wet hands. The dough is sticky at first. It gets better after each stretch and fold (three in total).

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Stretch and fold two more rounds, 30  minutes between each go. The texture improves as you continue.

Stretch and fold two more rounds, 30 minutes between each go. The texture improves as you continue.

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After the 3rd stretch and fold you let it rest 60 minutes. Sprinkle some coarse rye flour on a kitchen towel in preparation for next step.

After the 3rd stretch and fold you let it rest 60 minutes. Sprinkle some coarse rye flour on a kitchen towel in preparation for next step.

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Put the dough on a kitchen towel sprinkled with rye flour. Stretch and tuck it in nicely; then here it rests and rises for a final 60 minutes. Turn on oven in good time.

Put the dough on a kitchen towel sprinkled with rye flour. Stretch and tuck it in nicely; then here it rests and rises for a final 60 minutes. Turn on oven in good time.

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The dough has rested and risen for a final 60 minutes. Here I chose to put it in a basket for some shape. It has almost been rising too long here as you can see finger dents remain on the surface.

The dough has rested and risen for a final 60 minutes. Here I chose to put it in a basket for some shape. It has almost been rising too long here as you can see finger dents remain on the surface.

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Flip it straight in a pre-heated pot or a stone slab if you have it. The oven should be really hot at this stage. 250-270 C. Lower to 200 C after 15 minutes or so, depends on your crust preferences.

Flip it straight in a pre-heated pot or a stone slab if you have it. The oven should be really hot at this stage. 250-270 C. Lower to 200 C after 15 minutes or so, depends on your crust preferences.

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There, dumped (sort of carefully) onto the hot surface or into a cast iron pot or similar. No oil or so needed as long at it is blazing hot.

There, dumped (sort of carefully) onto the hot surface or into a cast iron pot or similar. No oil or so needed as long at it is blazing hot.

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Add some water or ice cubes into a hot pan placed on the bottom of the oven. This is to produce steam to the oven and bread to help additional rising and a nice crust.

Add some water or ice cubes into a hot pan placed on the bottom of the oven. This is to produce steam to the oven and bread to help additional rising and a nice crust.

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Bake for 30-35 minutes. Open the oven a brief moment after 15 minutes just to release some steam. Do this every 5 minutes after that. The crust will improve and crack nicely.

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Ready, let it cool for at least 30 minutes. I often let it cool overnight covered only by kitchen towels to get the crust just right. No plastic bags allowed!!

Ready, let it cool for at least 30 minutes. I often let it cool overnight covered only by kitchen towels to get the crust just right. No plastic bags allowed!!

Ingredients

0.40 kilograms Wheat flour
0.75 Teaspoons Dry yeast or 3-5g fresh yeast
6 Grams Salt (1 tsp)
0.30 kilograms Cold water
Some rye flour
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