A contribution to predicting the length a braided loaf will have
In bread braiding, given a certain amount of dough the hitherto still unsolved problem is how to control de size of the finished product.
The final dimension of a simple loaf of bread is not so hard to manage; braiding that same amount of dough however, introduces a new unknown factor into the equation. Braiding a rope shortens its length since it has to traverse other ropes diagonally in the procedure. Proofing the braided dough increases its volume, as does oven spring.
I have years of experience in bread making but what still stumps me is the heavy work of rolling out the ropes needed in braiding. While doing this I lighten the effort by rotating the ropes to let the gluten relax, but it still takes me 50 minutes of exertion to form four 12 in ropes.
Do professionals have an easier way of doing this (without special machinery) or I just have to take my hat off to them? I do it any way.