Baking Bread - Shaping a Round Loaf

When you are satisfied with your dough, you can shape it to a round.

This will allow it to rise evenly, and you can easily gauge its progress. This also encourages the yeast to work during rising.


Step 1

Lay your dough, smoothest side facing down, on the work surface and prod a little with all your fingers to flatten it.

Step 2

Now, with one or two fingers and a thumb, lift an edge, fold it into the middle and press down.

Step 3

Make about an eighth turn of the dough, pick up the edge at the side of the fold you just made and press into the middle. Repeat this step until you return to the edge of the dough where you started.

Step 4

Now flip it over. You should have a nice, smooth, round dough.

Step 5

Put your hands flat on the work surface, palms up, either side of the dough, one forward, and one back. Now, in a fluid motion, bring your hands together under the dough, at the same time sliding the forward hand back and the back hand forward. This both spins the dough and stretches the upper surface down and under. Repeat this ‘spinning’ action two or three times. With practice, you can start to cup your hands around the dough; the point of the flat hands is to discipline yourself to use the inside edges of your palms and little fingers to do the stretching work.

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