The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Frisbee bread

dovder's picture

Frisbee bread

Hi there

I've been baking bread for 3 or 4 years. I recently bought a nice banneton, but despite my enthusiasm I keep finding that things fall flat - literally. I turf the proved dough out of the banneton and it just spreads out into a puddle. It doesn't seem to rise much either, so I end up with frisbee bread - most frustrating.

I think this is probably mainly to do with shaping. Shaping is like some kind of inner mystery of yoga to me; I have no idea what it is I'm trying to actually get to. I just fold the bread over itself a few times until I get frustrated with it sticking to my fingers, then I stick it in the banneton.

I guess I'm looking for a mixture of moral support, suggestions of tips and maybe some advice on shaping technique. But I'm not really sure. Fire away!


Danni3ll3's picture

You might be working with dough that is too high a hydration for your amount of skill. Don't worry, I am not there yet either so I cut back on the amount of water I use. Less water makes the dough so much easier to handle. That's the one thing in a bread recipe that you can manipulate and not mess up the recipe unless you add way too much or way too little water.

Then have a look at shaping videos on Youtube. There are a ton out there. You might want to try the letter fold method which is fold one side over one third of the dough, the next side over that and then do the same top and bottom. The cinching method which is the one I have been using lately is stretch one side and fold it over the middle, stretch the other side and fold that over the first side (very similar to the letter fold method), then take the top and roll it towards you and press the edge down gently into the middle of the dough. Finish rolling the dough towards you until the seam is underneath. 

Hope this helps.

gerryp123's picture

One of the most important aspect of shaping is to build a tight outer layer "skin".  Do this by dragging the almost-formed dough across a nearly dry counter to develop tension as you shape it.  This skin helps to keep the shape intact prior to baking and traps gas and steam within the loaf to give it lift during the bake.

dovder's picture

I will try both of these things. I have a horrible feeling that dough shaping is just one of those things that is very cruel to beginners.