The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Newbie question about shaping

billmac's picture

Newbie question about shaping

I've got Peter Reinhart's book and have made a few things out of it with moderate success.  However in his pictures, his dough, hands, and board are usually drenched in excess flour, I assume to prevent his hands and board from sticking to the dough.  The question is: Doesn't this make it difficult to shape the dough? IE, isn't it hard to seal seams and cracks, etc when shaping into boules, batards, etc?  I have a hard enough time doing it and I don't use nearly the flour he seems to.  Is there a trick to it?  Do you keep a little water handy to seal the seams?


This looks like a great forum.  Thanks. 

lurk moar's picture
lurk moar

I always keep both water and flour by my side when working with dough. If one doesn't work, use the other. I believe you're supposed to use as little flour as possible when shaping.

SourdoLady's picture

I prefer to do my shaping on a plastic cutting mat which I have sprayed lightly with cooking spray. I also lightly spray my hands. I use no flour at all. Personally, I don't care for the "floury loaf" look. I never have issues with dough sticking to the working surface.