The Fresh Loaf

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Shaping a Boule: An illustration

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Mebake's picture
Mebake

Shaping a Boule: An illustration

This is an illustration of Shaping a dough into a ball (Boule). I learned this technique from San Fransisco Baking circle.

David (dmsnyder), was the first to demonstrate this shaping method here.(thanks David!). I thought of illustrating the method, and share it with all of you.

Comments

codruta's picture
codruta

That is very interesting, Khalid. Until now, I used Susan's technique shown in her video here, or Teresa's technique shown here. Your technique is completely different, and I think it forms a very nice tight boule. After trying your batard technique, which, btw, worked very well for me, I must try this one too.

Thank you for sharing, your drawings are very helpful.

codruta

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks Corduta! Glad you found my illustration useful :)

copyu's picture
copyu

I was reading something similar a week ago (probably in Lepard's "Handmade Loaf") urging us to use some 'friction' and to let the dough stick "ever so slightly" to the "minimally oiled or floured work-surface..."

Actually, Lepard was starting with a 'pre-shaped boule' and teaching readers to make a 'baton' or torpedo-shaped loaf...even extending to baguette, by implication. It's a great technique and it's stuck in my mind for perfecting my pain au levain shaping. Shaping is still my 'Achilles heel' in baking, so your illustrations are very useful.

Thanks a lot for posting this.

Adam

lumos's picture
lumos

Wow, this is completely new technique for shaping a boule for me. Never seen the one that involves rolling the dough from both direction. So far, what I've seen were all similart to Susan's or Teressa's, as Codruta said above.

Is this how you shape your boule yourself?  Do you find it works better than those above?

Thanks for sharing, again. :)

lumos

ejm's picture
ejm

Very nicely illustrated. And isn't it great how many different ways there are to achieve similar results? My favourite boule shaping these days is the one demonstrated on Chad Robertson's Tartine Bread video (this is a link) - go to 5:51 on the video for the shaping part (the opening shot on the video is the initial stages of the shaping). 

-Elizabeth

Syd's picture
Syd

This is the first time I have ever seen this technique Khalid. Very interesting and I am definitely going to try it the next time I make a boule.  I think it is going to make for a very tight boule.  My only concern is that it is going to degas the dough too much.

Beautifully illustrated.  Thanks for sharing Khalid.

All the best,

Syd

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Khalid,

Like others have said this is the first I have seen this technique for shaping a boule.  I will give it a go as sometimes I run into problems with the 'seams' on my boules opening during proofing....This may help those loaves!

I love all the diagrams you contribute here.  Easy to understand and follow!

THanks for the posting.

Take Care,

Janet

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Yes, Lumos, this has been my shaping method ever since i learned shaping through video tutorials of SFBI baking circle. As Elizabeth said, it is merely an additional approach to shaping, although it does ensure tight boule shaping, as opposed to methods. If you are careful while rolling, you won't deflate the dough much.

Having seen you aroung in TFL lately, Elizabeth! good to know you're back. I saw the video before. lovely shaping technique by the way. and thank you :)

Thank you Syd. Don't worry about degassing the dough. If you're dough is slack enough, and your folding is gentle, your boule will be tightly shaped, yet retains all the fermentation bubbles.

My pleasure Janet! do try it.

ejm's picture
ejm

Thank you. It's nice to be back.

If you haven't already, do try Robertson's boule shaping method. It's amazing. I have never achieved such oven spring before using it. The resulting boules really are boules instead of puffy discs (in comparison) I was getting before. And the inner crumb has lots of nicely formed non-uniform holes.

-Elizabeth


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sam's picture
sam

Hey Mebake,

Great picture instructions --  and all of the ones you have made and posted.  Very cool.   My shaping is a little different but basically the same overall result, but your instructions are great.

I am horrible at baguettes...   :)   need more practice, practice.....   :)

Cheers!

 

 

ejm's picture
ejm

I found this YouTube video "artisinal breads week 2 - baguette" to be really helpful for shaping baguettes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Idx4QJwcPHA

-Elizabeth

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Adam! I hope you are doing fine in in typhoon ridden Taiwan!

I don't own any of leader's books, nor read any of his instructions. looks interesting :) i happened to like SFBI's instructions. Instructor Miyuki (or was it her?) made it look absolutely easy to shape. I wanted to add an extra effort alongside professionals like Miyuki, and illustrate them, and make them available to all :)

Um, Elizabeth, the video shoes robertson shaping a batard, i'am i right? any way, it does look ingenuine. Sorry, i couldn't make out what was inthe picture you posted, but it must be great results you are getting.

Thanks, gvz! i like your mash adventures too!

ejm's picture
ejm

It's not absolutely clear to me whether Robertson's shaping a batard or a boule. All I know is that when I was trying to replicate the method, at one point, the dough just wanted to turn into a boule. Admittedly, the shaping goes by very very quickly in the video but it does look to me like he is making a boule - just as the camera moves off, he appears to be rounding the edges of a round.

Next time I make round bread, I'll try to remember to do one with the rolling method so well illustrated above and Robertson's. I wonder if the results will be identical....

-Elizabeth

 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Not trying to set off an argument or anything, Elizabeth, but the video shows Batard loaves coming out of the Robertson's Oven, so i figured that the loaves were mostly batards. Looking forward to your experimentation.

 

ejm's picture
ejm

Indeed it does show batard loaves coming out of the oven. But there are standard sandwich  and the cast-iron frying pan loaves shown as well.

The just-shaped dough looks very round (at around 6:00 on the video). That curling is exactly what happens for me as well when I mimic this faux braiding that Robertson does in the video. The dough just wants to go into a boule shape. 

-Elizabeth