The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hi from so.Cal baking newbie

dough re mi's picture
dough re mi

Hi from so.Cal baking newbie

Great site; can't wait to explore more. I've been baking bread for about two weeks now, with pretty good results, but I do have one problem. I have difficulty shaping the loaf (after the first rise). I can get it smooth on top, but then the bottom is all tucked in and ugly looking; how can I improve the shaping of my loaves? I worry about spending too much time on shaping it...I shape it for 2-3 minutes most, but it does not look pretty.

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

Howdy neighbor = ]

Shaping is one of the last things to really worry about, and for some, it's almost a lifelong pursuit to perfect.

If you get the top fairly tight, you can roll the dough over onto that top and pinch the seam closed. Exact technique, of course, depends on whether you're making a boule (round), a batard (elongated round), or a 'sandwich loaf' shape (also referred to as a 'Pullman shape'). You will find many resources here at TFL to help you perfect shaping for a specific loaf, just use the search bar. You can also find TONS of videos on YouTube that explore shaping. There are that many, because there are different techniques for differing dough qualities (lean doughs, enriched doughs, sourdoughs, high hydration (very wet/slack), etc., etc...).

If you can't find anything that you think will help you improve your specific shaping challenge, post what kind of bread you're working with, and if possible, some pictures of what you're dealing with. Pics are extremely helpful to us in helping you.

Welcome to TFL!

- Keith