The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Books/sites with shaping ideas?

clazar123's picture

Books/sites with shaping ideas?

I've come pretty far in learning how to make some pretty tasty doughs (Thank you everyone on TFL!) but I am definitely unimaginative and klutzy on shaping. I see pictures on line and think-"I'll have to remember that" but I rarely do. I'm looking for a book (lots of pictures) and sites where a lot of different shapes are discussed/shown rather than a random idea/picture here and there on 100 different sites/books. I see on the book list are some artisan pastry books. Any titles anyone is familiar with that would fit the bill? I'm thinking for sweet and savory bread and brioche doughs to be used. I haven't tackled laminated doughs yet.

Daisy_A's picture

Hi clazar123

i've found Ciril Hitz's site Breadhitz on YouTube really helpful

I've mostly watched Bread Shaping and Baguette Shaping and they really turned my shaping around. However it does include brioche and other doughs. On my browser, if you press 'All' from the top bar you get an index of all the videos on the right hand side. 

There are also books and DVDs for sale on his site Breadhitz. One book is on artisan breads, the other on artisan pastries.

Not seen these but maybe someone who has them can comment? Based on the YouTube series, getting bakers to shape well seems to be one of his priorities.

Hope you find what you are looking for.  Best wishes, Daisy_A


Floydm's picture

Hamelman's Bread book has real helpful diagrams (not photos though) on shaping the different loaves and braids.  It also has a huge section on decorative breads, though not pastries.   It might be up your alley.  

clazar123's picture

Thank you for the great links!

I thoroughly enjoyed the videos and reviewed them because I can always use it but I am looking more for a site or book that has a collection (all in one place) of shaping unique loaves and rolls-a dragontail epi,hedgehog rolls, nautilus-shaped rolls,fougasse,various dinner rolls, some easy pastry shapes like bearclaw or  types of "danish" or knots.  I have found these shapes on many separate sites and an occasional picture in a bread book but no collection in one place.

I guess I fit under the "addicted to bread" category because I enjoy looking at pictures of pretty loaves and unique rolls or even well executed simple rolls. Better than some afflictions, I guess. :)

I've learned how to make some good doughs and now I'd love to learn to make some of the unique and pretty shapes. I'd like to start with rolls.

 I must not have spent enough time playing with clay, as a child.

dmsnyder's picture

Hi, clazar123.

I'd second Floyd's suggestion of Hamelman. He has line drawings, not photos, but a good variety of loaf and roll shapes. He also has the most extensive collection of braiding patterns I've seen in one place.

George Greenstein's "Secrets of a Jewish Baker" also has a nice assortment of roll shaping drawings. 

Michel Suas' "Advanced Bread and Pastry" has a very good set of photos on Danish pastry shapes in addition to ones on bread shaping.

You might also consider purchasing some of the instructional videos that cover those topics.The CIA has some, for example. I think the SFBI does also.

Hope this helps.


clazar123's picture

The Greenstein and the Hammelman books have been on my wish list for a while. I'll take a look at the Michael Suas book this weekend.

Good ideas!