You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Basic Techniques - Shaping & Proofing

DK PublishingDK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks
© Provided by DKBooks

Finished shape © Provided by DKBooks Finished shape

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

Proofed dough

© Provided by DKBooks

Unproofed dough

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

Finished shape

Photo: Finished shape © Provided by DKBooks Finished shape

Finished shape

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

Photo: Finished shape © Provided by DKBooks Finished shape

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

Photo: Unproofed dough © Provided by DKBooks Unproofed dough

Photo: Proofed dough © Provided by DKBooks Proofed dough

Shaping & Proofing

After the dough is punched down and has rested, it is ready to be shaped. The techniques on the following six pages illustrate how to form the basic loaf shapes that are most frequently called for in the recipe section. Each stage of the shaping process requires careful attention – handle the dough gently and avoid over-shaping or excessive reshaping. Apply pressure evenly and allow the dough to rest if it begins to resist or tighten. Transfer the shaped loaf to a prepared baking sheet to proof. Proofing allows the dough to rise for a final time before baking. Avoid over-proofing the dough; use the recommended test to check the progress.


Making a long loaf

Flatten the dough with the lightly floured palm of your hand to expel any gas bubbles. Keep the dough in a round shape by exerting pressure evenly. Take one end of the dough and fold it into the center. Press gently to seal the fold.

Fold the other half of the dough into the center, so the folds overlap along the middle of the loaf. Gently press along the seam with the lightly floured palm of your hand to seal the two folds.

Use the thumbs of both hands to create an indentation in the center of the dough. Before bringing the top half toward you, rest your fingertips along the top of the dough and give a firm, short push forward. This action tightens the interior of the dough and gives an even-textured crumb when the bread is baked.

Gently press down with the palm of your hand along the seam to seal the fold. Place the dough seam side down. Press evenly with the palms of both hands and roll the dough backward and forward to achieve the desired length as specified in the recipe.


Making a baguette

To make a baguette, shape the dough as for a long loaf following steps 1–4. With hands placed at either end of the loaf, continue to gently roll the dough, backward and forward, moving both hands outward along the loaf. If the dough resists or tightens, allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Repeat the rolling action until an even thickness and the desired length are achieved.

To make a baguette, shape the dough as for a long loaf following steps 1–4. With hands placed at either end of the loaf, continue to gently roll the dough, backward and forward, moving both hands outward along the loaf. If the dough resists or tightens, allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Repeat the rolling action until an even thickness and the desired length are achieved.

Roll the dough while moving hands outward along the loaf


Shaping dough for a loaf pan

Shape the dough as for a long loaf up to step 3. Place the dough seam side down on the work surface. Use the straightened fingers of both hands to gently roll the dough backward and forward. Continue until the dough is the same length as the pan and is an even thickness. Lift the dough off the work surface. Tuck under the ends and place the dough into the prepared pan, seam side down.


Shaping a round loaf

Gently press your fingers into the base of the rounded dough while holding it with both hands, as you would the steering wheel of a car. Rotate the dough between your cupped hands. As the dough is turned, exert light pressure with the tips of your fingers, while tucking the sides of the dough under what will become the base of the loaf.

When the dough becomes smooth and rounded, place the base of the loaf face down on a lightly floured work surface. Cup both hands around the dough and rotate it continuously in a steady, clockwise motion until a smooth, evenly shaped round is formed. Turn the dough over so that the base is now facing upward and pinch the seam, or “key,” together. Place the loaf “key” side down on a baking sheet.


Shaping an oval loaf

Shape the dough into a round loaf, following the directions given opposite. Place the palms of your hands on either side of the round and gently roll the dough backward and forward, keeping your hands in the same position. Continue to roll the dough until the ends become slightly tapered and the desired shape is achieved.

Shape the dough into a round loaf, following the directions given opposite. Place the palms of your hands on either side of the round and gently roll the dough backward and forward, keeping your hands in the same position. Continue to roll the dough until the ends become slightly tapered and the desired shape is achieved.


Round rolls

To shape round rolls, divide the dough into pieces, each the size of a small lemon. Press down on the pieces to expel any air bubbles. Cup the palm of your hand over each piece and roll it over a floured work surface until it forms a smooth ball.

To shape round rolls, divide the dough into pieces, each the size of a small lemon. Press down on the pieces to expel any air bubbles. Cup the palm of your hand over each piece and roll it over a floured work surface until it forms a smooth ball.


Knotted rolls

To shape knotted rolls, divide the dough into pieces, each the size of a small lemon. Use the palm of your hand to roll each piece on a floured work surface to form a rope, 12in (30cm) long and 1/2in ( 1cm) thick. Tie each rope into a knot.

To shape knotted rolls, divide the dough into pieces, each the size of a small lemon. Use the palm of your hand to roll each piece on a floured work surface to form a rope, 12in (30cm) long and 1/2in (1cm) thick. Tie each rope into a knot.


Twisted rolls

To shape twisted rolls, divide the dough into pieces, each the size of a small lemon. Use the palm of your hand to roll each piece on a floured work surface to form a rope, 12in (30cm) long and 1/2in ( 1cm) thick. Twist two of the ropes around each other.

To shape twisted rolls, divide the dough into pieces, each the size of a small lemon. Use the palm of your hand to roll each piece on a floured work surface to form a rope, 12in (30cm) long and 1/2in (1cm) thick. Twist two of the ropes around each other.


Shaping a ring

Shape the dough into a round, then flatten the top of the dough with the palm of your hand. Make a hole in the center of the dough: place the heel of your hand in the center of the dough and press down to the work surface.

Using both hands, lightly push out the dough with straightened fingers and run them around the inside edge of the hole. Apply pressure evenly to stretch the hole to 6in (15cm) across.


Braiding

Divide the dough into three pieces and roll each one into a 16in (40cm) long rope. Line up the ropes at a right angle to the edge of the work surface. Start from the center of the ropes and braid toward yourself, working from left to right.

Continue braiding the ropes until you reach the end. Press the ends together with your fingers and tuck them neatly under the bottom of the braid. Turn the shaped dough around so that the unbraided end is now facing you.

Again, working from the center, braid the ropes from left to right until you reach the end. Press the ends together, tuck them neatly under the bottom of the braid to finish. Place the braid on a baking sheet.


Proofing

Proofing is referred to as the final rise. Shaped dough is left to rise until doubled in size (unless otherwise specified in the recipe) on a prepared baking sheet or in a pan just before baking. Proofing is best done in a warm, draft-free place. In an exceptionally cold kitchen, a low oven or one heated with just the pilot light is a good option. Preheat the oven for baking halfway through the proofing time; remove the bread while the oven preheats. Avoid over-proofing by testing for doneness; press on the dough lightly with your fingertip. The shaped dough is ready to bake when it feels spongy rather than firm and the indentation made with your fingertip springs back slowly. It is best to put bread in the oven a little early . Do not let shaped dough spread or deflate: over-proofing can cause the dough to collapse when it is touched or slashed, or when it is placed in a hot oven.

Proofing is referred to as the final rise. Shaped dough is left to rise until doubled in size (unless otherwise specified in the recipe) on a prepared baking sheet or in a pan just before baking. Proofing is best done in a warm, draft-free place. In an exceptionally cold kitchen, a low oven or one heated with just the pilot light is a good option. Preheat the oven for baking halfway through the proofing time; remove the bread while the oven preheats. Avoid over-proofing by testing for doneness; press on the dough lightly with your fingertip. The shaped dough is ready to bake when it feels spongy rather than firm and the indentation made with your fingertip springs back slowly. It is best to put bread in the oven a little early . Do not let shaped dough spread or deflate: over-proofing can cause the dough to collapse when it is touched or slashed, or when it is placed in a hot oven.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon