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    Creating Bread Shapes

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    Join date : 2011-05-30

    Creating Bread Shapes

    Post  Admin on Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:53 am

    After
    the dough has been punched down, kneaded, and then has rested briefly,
    it is ready to be shaped. (It is important to remember that some breads
    may require two or more cycles of rising and punching before the dough
    is shaped and allowed to rise for the final time, so always follow the
    recipe instructions.) There are numerous varieties of bread shapes baked
    in containers or on a flat surface (see "Bread Shapes"). When shaping
    the dough, it is important to handle it carefully and not overwork the
    dough. Shape and work the dough on a floured surface and after shaping,
    allow it to rise a final time.
    Some breads are slashed, which not only creates a decorative effect,
    but provides a means for some of the carbon dioxide gas to escape
    resulting in a loaf that retains an even shape. Slashing also prevents
    the bread from splitting and cracking while baking. To ensure proper
    results, always follow the instructions on the particular bread recipe
    for the exact requirements for shaping and slashing the dough and for
    the correct time for the final rising (proofing) period.


    Standard Loaf Pan


    Bread dough can be shaped for a loaf pan simply by
    pushing the dough into an oval shape that is approximately the length of
    the pan.
    The dough will conform to the shape of the pan during the second rising period.
    A second method that can be used is to flatten the dough into a
    rectangular shape that is about the same width as the longest dimension
    of the loaf pan. Flatten the dough by hand or with a rolling pin.
    Roll up the dough similar to a Swiss roll.
    When placed into the loaf pan seam-side down, the dough will conform to the shape of the pan during the second rising period.


    Bloomer


    Bloomer refers to a bread shape that is cylindrical, with slightly
    tapered ends, but flat on the bottom with several diagonal slashes
    across the top.
    To create a bloomer, roll out the dough (with a rolling pin) into
    the shape of rectangle with rounded corners. The longest dimension of
    the dough should be about 14 inches and the dough should be about 1 to
    1½ inches thick.
    Starting from one of the sides with the longest dimension, roll up
    the dough so that the final width of the loaf is about 4 or 5 inches.
    The ends should be tucked and smoothed.
    Place the dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet, cover with a
    kitchen towel, and allow the dough to rise for the final time. Cut
    diagonal slashes across the top about 1½ inches apart (usually about 6
    slashes) before placing the dough into the oven.


    Cob or Boule


    Cob is a term that usually describes rounded loaves in Britain, while
    boule is a term that describes similar bread shapes in France.
    Rounded loaves are fairly easy to create: simply push the dough into
    a rounded form, push down gently into the center of the dough, and then
    flip the dough over to the other side.
    With both hands cupped over the dough, rotate the dough in small increments while further shaping and smoothing the surface.
    Cob or boule shape after baking.


    Coburg


    A Coburg is similar to a cob except that it has a cross slashed into the top.
    Create a cob shape, place the dough onto a lightly greased baking
    sheet, cover with a kitchen towel, and allow the dough to rise for the
    final time. Slash the dough down the center creating a deep score that
    divides the dough into halves.
    Slash the dough again perpendicular to the first score, dividing the dough into quarters and then bake.


    Cottage


    A cottage shape is a large, rounded shape similar to a cob or boule,
    but with a smaller round of dough placed on top. It is thought that the
    unusual shape was a result of the need to be as efficient as possible
    with the small baking space available in the ovens of earlier times.
    Divide the dough into two pieces with one piece being twice the size of the other.
    Shape the two pieces of dough into rounds. Place the larger round
    onto a lightly greased baking sheet and then place the smaller round on
    top of the larger one.
    Use two fingers to create a hole through the center of the top round and continue through the bottom round.
    A wooden dowel or handle of a wooden spoon also work well to create
    the hole. The hole welds the dough of the two rounds because some of the
    dough of the top round is pushed into the bottom round. Cover the dough
    with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise for the final time
    before baking.
    Cottage loaf after baking.


    Molded Tin or Split Pan


    A molded tin refers to a rectangular bread shape that has the appearance of being split down the length of the loaf.
    One method for creating the shape is to use two portions of dough
    that are placed next to each other in the bread pan. The two pieces of
    dough should each be about half the width of the bread pan. Smooth the
    tops of the halves into a rounded form and then allow the dough to rise
    for the final time. When baked, the halves appear to be two very narrow
    rectangular loaves that are joined together.
    A simpler method of creating the loaf is to use one piece of dough
    that is rounded on the top and then cut a deep slash down the length of
    the dough. When baked, the bread will have the appearance of two halves.


    Baguette


    Baguette, which is the French term for "stick" or "little rod," is a
    long rounded shape that has become a popular name for a number of breads
    with a similar shape. A French baguette can be up to 2 feet in length, 2
    to 4 inches in diameter, and weigh 9 ounces or more.
    The baguette shape is created by first flattening the dough with the
    palms of your hands on a floured surface or by gently flattening the
    dough with a rolling pin.
    While grasping the dough along the longest dimension, fold the dough
    into thirds (the two sides folded toward the center) similar to folding
    a sheet of paper to fit into an envelope.
    Using your fingers, push into the center of the dough along its entire length to create a long cavity.
    Close the cavity by bringing the front half of the dough up and over
    the cavity and onto the top of the other half of the dough and then
    seal the seam.
    With the seam side down, roll the dough back and forth with your
    hands. Begin in the center and while rolling the dough, move your hands
    outward along the length of the dough in order to gently stretch the
    dough to the desired length. Make sure the diameter is consistent along
    the length of the dough and then smooth the ends of the dough before the
    final rising.
    Transfer the dough to a baking sheet or a baguette tray, straighten
    and smooth the dough, cover with a kitchen towel, and allow the dough to
    rise for the final time.
    Before placing the dough into the oven, slash the dough diagonally every 2 or 3 inches along the length of the dough.


    Épi


    Épi is a French bread shape that resembles an ear of wheat and is quite easy to make.
    The shape is formed by first creating a baguette shape, but without
    the diagonal slashes. Place the dough onto a lightly greased baking
    sheet.
    Use a scissors to cut into the top side of the dough every 2 to 2½
    inches along the length of the baguette. The diagonal cuts should
    penetrate the dough about three-fourths of the way to the bottom. The
    cuts create flaps in the top side of the dough.
    Push the flaps to the sides of the baguette, alternating sides with
    each flap of dough. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and allow it to
    rise for the final time. When baked, the flaps form individual servings
    along the length of the bread, which can be easily broken off when the
    bread is served.
    Épi after baking.


    Fougasse


    A fougasse shape refers to a flattened bread shape with elongated
    holes, which give the bread the appearance of tree limbs. Fougasse is a
    popular bread in France and is often compared to focaccia bread of
    Italy.
    The distinctive shape is created by first flattening the dough to about 1 inch thick.
    Place the dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet and push and
    shape the dough into a form similar to a long triangle that is curved at
    the points.
    Cut diagonal slits through the dough about 2 or 3 inches apart on
    both the left and right sides, leaving about a 1 inch strip of dough in
    the center and around the perimeter.
    Using your fingers, enlarge the slits into elongated holes and
    continue to push and smooth the dough until you are satisfied with the
    shape. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and allow it to rise for the
    final time.
    Fougasse after baking.


    Braided


    Braided bread is made of strands of dough woven together to form a
    braided shape. 3 to 6 strands of dough are common for several varieties
    of braided bread and some may incorporate as many as 12 strands. For a
    simple braid, use 3 long pieces of dough.
    Divide a batch of dough into 3 equal parts. On a floured surface,
    roll each of the pieces of dough back and forth with your hands. Begin
    in the center and while rolling the dough, move your hands outward along
    the length of the dough in order to gently stretch the dough to the
    desired length. Make sure the diameter is consistent along the entire
    length of each strand and that all 3 strands of dough are about the same
    diameter and length.
    Place the 3 ropes of dough parallel to each other on a lightly
    greased baking sheet. Beginning in the center and moving toward one of
    the ends, braid the strands of dough by lifting the first strand over
    the middle strand, the third strand over the first strand, and the
    middle strand over the third strand. Repeat the same procedure for the
    opposite end of the dough strands, braiding from the center toward the
    end.
    Seal both ends of the dough.
    Allow it to rise for the final time before baking. (Cover the dough with a kitchen towel.)


    Ring


    A ring shape can be used for a variety of bread recipes and is easy
    to create. It is often used for several types of holiday breads,
    especially at Christmas and Easter.
    Begin by forming the dough into a ball.
    Flatten the ball of dough slightly. It may be easiest to place the
    dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet before shaping because it may
    be difficult to transfer the dough to the baking sheet after the dough
    is shaped.
    Plunge 2 or 3 fingers into the center of the dough to make a hole.
    Widen the hole by gently pushing the dough outward in all directions.
    Run your fingers around the inside of the circle to smooth dough as the circle expands.
    Smooth the top and outside of the ring to make the ring of dough as
    neat and evenly formed as possible. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel
    and allow it to rise for the final time before baking.
    Ring shape after baking and decorating.


    Flat Breads


    Flat breads come in many shapes, thicknesses, and sizes. Thicker flat
    breads, such as focaccia are usually leavened while thin, pancake-like
    flat breads, such as chapatis, are often unleavened. Many flat breads
    have a rounded shape, while others may have a freeform shape or even a
    triangular shape, such as parathas.
    Many varieties of leavened flat breads can be formed simply by flattening the dough with your hands or with a rolling pin.
    Some flat breads, such as the Italian carta di musica or "music
    paper" bread, are very flat so a rolling pin is required when shaping
    the dough.




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