How to Shape a Boulé

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!

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10 Responses to How to Shape a Boulé

  1. Nydia says:

    Thanks for sharing this step by step..:!!!

  2. Cheese boule is pretty much my favourite bread. Thanks for the hand hints! You’re very well informed 😀 What a perfect looking loaf – well… boule.

  3. Thanks, but I try to follow and still my bread comes out so hard I can sell it as a weapon.

  4. Ann says:

    Great tutorial and fabulous pictures!

  5. Good tutorial. I noticed you also cut the top- any time I do this it’s never deep enough and I can barely see it. 😦 How deep do you have to slice?

  6. alyssa says:

    Thanks for the great pictures! I will be trying this soon!

  7. You’re right, homemade bread is absolutely terrific!

  8. Pingback: Poulane-Style Miche – the largest loaf of bread ever | Foods I like

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