The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Fendu shaping help

zolablue's picture

Fendu shaping help

I would like some information and help on shaping fendu loaves.  I found only two entries on this site as follows:


Floyd’s beautiful fendu loaf:


JMonkey’s also beautiful rendition of a fendu loaf:


I have made the Hamelman, Roasted Potato Bread, and it is delicious!  I was very disappointed as well to find Hamelman (as with many other things in his book supposedly for the home baker) does not provide good instructions for this and unfortunately both my loaves stuck together.  I would like to know how these were accomplished, if you guys see this, or if anyone else can offer some expertise.


I tried it again with another dough recipe and it also stuck together despite my trying to sprinkle extra flour in the crease before proofing.  I love this shape and it would lend itself well to many other breads so I would like to learn to master it. 

Paddyscake's picture

I've never tried this shaping method but the directions in BBA are generally this : Sprinkle flour over the top, crease it with a dowel, pushing to the bottom of the dough without severing it. Remove the dowel, sprinkle four into the crack. Crease the dough a second time, slightly widening and reinforcing the split, sprinkle the crack with flour again. Gently lift the dough, turn it over and proof it crack side down. When proofed, roll it back over and bake split side up. Hope this helps!

susanfnp's picture

Im not an expert on Fendu but I just wanted to add one thing to the above: when I was shown how to do it, we rolled the dowel so that there was a good 3" or so of flat "hinge" connecting the two halves. I wasn't sure how to describe it; I hope that makes sense.


zolablue's picture

Paddyscake – Thanks for the reminder to check my BBA book.  His fendu looks so different than Hamelman’s (or Floyd’s & JMonkey’s for that matter) but it is always helpful to read through other instructions.  I did shape exactly like you are describing but I’m thinking my doughs were simply too wet for this shape.  I’m going to have to practice.


Susan – Interestingly, I also made a larger “hinge” the second time I tried this thinking that would be a key but again, must have been the too-wet dough.  Or not enough flour.


Xma – I have not tried Hamelman’s oatmeal bread yet.  I’ve been threatening to make an oatmeal bread so thanks for the heads up on that one.  I gotta say, too, that I really love the fendu shape done to a boule.  I just need to figure out how to make it work.

crumb bum's picture
crumb bum

Hello all

This shape does not seen to be real popular.  I have seen it described in books and once by a pro baker.  Most bread shapes have a "purpose" if you will.  Some have more or less crust to crumb, some are made for sandwiches etc.  What is the purpose of the fendu shape?  Is it just an alternative to slashing or are you supposed to end up with two loaves seperated by a thin membrane?  My guess is the latter because it would take up less room in the oven?  I love the way this shape looks and can't wait to try it.  The pro I saw describe it works at Pearl bakery in Portland suggested using a little oil to keep the seperation open.  He also demonstrated a shape called "tabacco pouch" that had a thin membrane flipped over on a boule.  He again used oil where he did not want the "flap" to stick.

Da Crumb Bum 

zolablue's picture

Crumb bum – You are correct that this doesn't seem to be very popular which is why I had trouble finding help.  Trying Googling this shape and you won’t find much at least on the instruction side.  It you have Hamelman’s book, look at illustration photo 12.  They are quite lovely and actually are not a lot different in shape than a slashed boule.  Actually, Floyd’s and JMonkey’s are really lovely examples.  And, again, that roasted potato bread is fantastic.  I’m not sure that recipe is posted here on the site but it should be. Oh, and when I checked BBA he shows the pouch shape that he calls Tartière right above the illustration for fendu.


Interestingly, Hamelman states this shape doesn’t really work well for an oblong loaf.  Go figure.  They all have their opinions.


Renoles – Wow, thanks for that video link!  It was super plus I love Acme bread recipes.  They’re absolutely fantastic, in fact, I believe I keep missing them because I am concentrating so much these days on sourdough.  Anyway, it is interesting that he used rice flour which, from what I read, should really help.  I must order some as I can’t seem to find it locally so far.


In that video he turned the loaf (oblong, btw…hehe) under itself.  First, he dusted the surface with quite a bit of rice flour and then he pressed into that with the rolling pin to try and help that surface pick up the flour.  Then he turned the loaf under itself instead of back into itself (if that makes sense) as I did trying to follow Hamelman’s lackluster drawings and vague instruction.  Basically, that would be backwards to what I did.  I realize I have the book, Baking with Julia, so was able to double check this.  I wonder if that makes a difference or not.  There are several things to try here.