Saturday, 25 May 2013

A word on shaping loaves

I do believe if I was in a position where I had a boss breathing down my neck shouting at me and 200 loaves to shape every day for 3 months I would become rather good at shaping loaves, who wouldn't. The reality is I bake a little more often than once a week, I bake 2 or 3 loaves each time I bake and no matter how much I have read about the importance of shaping, watched videos on shaping, without the practise it's really hard to feel I make much progress or more correctly make enough progress to satisfy me.
Today I was baking my usual white sourdough; in the last few weeks I have been baking with Khorasan and Einkorn flour, I was missing the soft yet chewy whiteness of my daily bread. It was when it came to shaping the dough into three loaves that I came up with an idea. It was easy enough to pour the dough out of the large bowl I had it in, onto a  floured surface and stretch it out into a large rectangle, it was then I hit on the idea of cutting each portion, creating three long oblongs. I took each oblong and lifting up the far end, stretched it even further and rolled it up to form a large roll. I neatened off the ends and popped each loaf into a well floured proving basket seam side up. They lay there, covered for 3 hours while we popped off the Church fete. Having just slashed and baked them I am particularly pleased with the outcome. There has been a gratifying amount of "oven bloom" where the loaves once slashed have expanded nicely. I shall certainly use this method again,
The bread by the way is my standard white sourdough click here for the recipe


  1. Cheers for the share Tobi, I dare say it works better for the heavier grained loaves :)

  2. Hello from a rather sunnier Norfolk, dare we believe it might remain like this? probably not. I realise now, actually it occurred to me in the middle of the night when I woke up, that the evening before this brainwave about shaping loaves hit me, I was busy rolling 16 croissants! The mind is an amazing thing the way it works subliminally without you having to make a great deal of conscious effort. Happy baking, Tôbi.