The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How do I understand Dan Lepard ?

BROTKUNST's picture
BROTKUNST

How do I understand Dan Lepard ?

Maybe you have tried Dan Lepards 'Flaky Buns' of his 'Art of handmade Bread' book (?)

I have a question about shaping the actual buns from a 1/2" x 4" circle . Please read (p.146) :
"12. To shape the buns, roll out the dough on a floured surface to a 1cm/½in thick rectangle. Using a pasty cutter or chefs' ring cut out 10cm/4in circles from the dough. Pull the edges of the dough circle in towards the centre, pinching them down to create an oval or bun shape.
13. Place the buns seam-side down onto a baking sheet covered with non-stick parchment. Cover and leave to rise for one and a half hours in a warm (not hot) place."
I can of course read what he says and what I picture in my mind by 'pulling the edges towards the center' does not quite add up to an 'oval', or does it?BROTKUNST
bwraith's picture
bwraith

Brotkunst,

I think he's asking you to gather the edges in toward the center and press them together, which will create surface tension underneath. Then, you turn it upside down and place it on the surface, which will leave the smooth tensioned side up and the seams underneath to seal. If you gather the edges very evenly around the circle, the shape will still be a circle. If you gather the edges a little bit more from two sides, rather than completely evenly around the whole circle, you'll get something more oval.

Sorry if that seems less clear than the text itself.

Bill

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

Sounds to me like the standard description for shaping a round loaf ... the roll will be circular when viewed from the top down but kinda oval when viewed from the side ... the weight of the dough itself will keep it from being a perfectly circular ball ... no?

 

Paul Kobulnicky

Baking in Ohio

bwraith's picture
bwraith

I was describing making either a circular or oval shape as viewed from the top down, depending on where along the edges you choose to gather them. I agree either round or oval shapes as viewed from the top will all look somewhat oval from the side. You would probably want to press them down a little in any event, just to seal the seams and allow for a further puffing up during the final proof.

My interpretation is that Dan Lepard's text is saying to make an oval shape as viewed from the top down. However, there is no reason you couldn't make them round.

Bill

BROTKUNST's picture
BROTKUNST

Indeed the Lepards Bun look quite nice - and oval. I kind of pictured it like Bill described ... which does not appear to be an elegant way to create an oval shape. And yes Tom .. if you follow the instruction to the letter you'd get a mini 'boule' ... not what I was shooting for.  I was thinking that this odd way of forming the dough had something to do with the layered butter and the flaky effect. Maybe the classic way to make a mini batard would ruin the structure. I guess I'll just do the best with the description - like Bill suggested- and see how the 'oval' buns turn out. Maybe the dough kind of plays to itself and things come together then. By Sunday I shall know.

Thank You for your opinions Paul and Bill.

BROTKUNST

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Brotkunst,

In a blog entry I did on "A Hamburger Bun", I shaped the hamburger buns much as in Dan Lepard's version above. However, it was shaped round, as a typical burger bun would normally be. I think if you just were a little assymetrical in your gathering up of the edges, you'd get an oval. I don't know if doing it like a batard would be a problem, but I bet it would work. However, if you want just a mild oval instead of a longer batard shape, it would probably be better to make a rectangle and "roll it up" from the short edge and tuck the ends under, too. That way, by the time you finish rolling it up, it would only have stretched out to a shape a little longer than wide. I guess it depends how you do it and how you define "bun", but I think of a batard shape as being longer than a "bun".

Bill

BROTKUNST's picture
BROTKUNST

The buns turned out quite nicely ... pretty much like on the pictures in D. Lepard's book.

I kind of expected that creating this layered butter dough would be a mess, but it was very workable and clean, easy and convenient.

About the forming: When you cut out the 100 mm (4") circles, their texture is not like regular dough because of the multiple buttered layers you created before. So the dough resist forming somewhat and when you 'fold in the edges' and you kind of automatically end up with an 'oval'.

In my oven, the suggested 400F/25min had to be cut short to 20min because the browning started to get too intense. Next time I will try 375F/25min ...

Great Sunday morning buns though that you just have to take out of the fridge for 30 minutes or so (if you had them proofing overnight in the refridgerator).

A tip: D. Lepard does not indicated to what size of rectangular you roll out the dough (1/2" thick) ... I think it would be helpful to know. Mine was about 14"x10". You should also see what kind of circles you will cut later and with that determine the size of rectangular that gives you the least dropp off pieces.

 

BROTKUNST

bwraith's picture
bwraith

BROTKUNST,

I have a nice new copy of Lepard's (UK original version) of the book, and you've made it clear that I should open it up and start reading. For one thing, I am now very curious to check out the pictures of these oval buns after all the shaping discussions. Also, originally there was a reference by zolablue to sourdough raising bread, which is what motivated me to buy the book.

Bill