Pastry chef tips – Tour double

Single fold? Double fold?

When it comes to laminated doughs, you find two types of tours (literally turns, although I tend to refer to them as folds in English): the tour simple – or single fold – and the tour double – otherwise known as double fold.

I’m planning on making a post describing both types, along with some notes; but today’s pastry chef tip is all about double folds.
On the diagram below – representing both single and double folds – you’ll find the classic double fold most books and online resources will use: the dough gets “sectioned” in quarters, both ends gets folded over the centre “spine”, and finally, to complete the double fold, the dough gets folded in half.

The tip

Today’s tip is the proof that something simple can have a tremendous impact; the beauty of pâtisserie really.

I might be wrong, but I like to think that this tip was given to me by Graham Hornigolda sensational pastry chef and even better human being who is very dear to my heart, yes, he’s the best – in our basement prep-kitchen at the Mandarin Oriental too many years ago. Thank you Graham!

When doing a double fold, slightly offset the centre “spine” to your right as shown on the diagram below:

Then proceed as normal:
1. Fold the right end toward the offset centre “spine”.
2. Fold the left end to meet the first fold.
3. Fold the dough in half to complete the tour double.

The reason behind it

The “spine”, as I like to call it, where both ends meet is traditionally at the centre of the rolled-out pâton. But when you fold the dough in half to complete the tour, the two ends separate slightly due to the physical action of folding, leaving a thin gap with only one layer of dough instead of two.

By offsetting the “spine”, you ensure that all parts of the dough get laminated, creating a dough with consistent and continuous lamination.

One of our readers, Martin, has a very interesting insight in the comments
Offset folding also helps by moving two of the less well laminated edges into the centre mass of the sheet. If you fold in the regular style, the poorer lamination is never adjusted and remains on the outer rim of the dough.

Notes and resources

-I like to trim the ends, again, to ensure a consistent lamination; but more on that later in another pastry chef tip!

– Always gently brush off excess flour before completing the folds.

– As I’ve mentioned it above, I’m also working on a more general article about lamination, but in the meantime, this post about cinnamon croissants contains many of my tips (and the most wonderful breakfast one could ever have).

– My absolute favourite printed ressource: Advanced Bread and Pastry, by Michael Suas.

– More laminated dough posts and recipes.

3 thoughts on “Pastry chef tips – Tour double

  • Martin May 3, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Good tip. Offset folding also helps by moving two of the less well laminated edges into the centre mass of the sheet. If you fold in the regular style, the poorer lamination is never adjusted and remains on the outer rim of the dough. If you’re super-keen, do two tour double on alternating orientations (with a rest in-between, of course) to eliminates those less-buttery edges.

    • Fanny May 3, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      What a wonderful insight Martin. Thank you! If you don’t mind, I’m going to add your comment to the post 🙂 X

  • Dani May 6, 2016 at 6:26 am

    I love the drawings! Great post! x

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