Instead of doing a Wordless Wednesday today, I thought I’d do a little how-to. If you’ve never made bread at home, you should make some soon, because there are few things better than pulling out a freshly baked hot loaf of bread out of your oven and slathering it with whipped butter. This post is going to show you how to shape a boulé, which is a rounded loaf. If you wish to shape a baguette, you first have to go through the process of shaping the dough into a boulé, so this is a good place to start. Let me take you through the steps:
Start with your dough out on a lightly floured countertop:
Use the palms of your hands to pull down the sides of the dough and shape it into a tight ball:
Take the excess dough that you have pulled down and pinch at the bottom of the loaf (I’ve turned mine upside down to show you):
Here’s the top view. Pinch and pull that dough under the ball:
What we’re doing is creating surface tension, and that surface tension ensures that the bread bakes up into a nice little ball instead of spreading out into a flat disk:
It’s ready for its final rise and bake!