11 Shaping Specialty Breads
Rye dough is weak and should be gently shaped into a short batard using the sides of the hands to fold and seal the dough. Because rye dough is fragile when fully proofed, score immediately after shaping to prevent deflating and to result in a more uniform volume and a rounder cross section in the baked loaf.
Creating a rounded, triangular shape by folding in one side of a boule just over halfway, repeating with the other side, folding in the base and tightening.
Shaping a crown by using an elbow to form a hole in the center of the dough, then carefully using both hands to apply pressure, as needed, to form an evenly shaped ring. Because the crown is flipped over when loading, proof the crown seam side up so the seam will be on the bottom when baking.
Rolling a preshaped boule into a one-half inch thick rectangle and making open areas in a leaf-like pattern by cutting evenly spaced incisions to promote even proofing and baking. Because it is difficult to move the dough after shaping, place the rolled dough on the board or pan where it will proof before cutting.
Not formally shaped, roll the dough into a square, cover in bran, divide in half, sandwich together, and cut into strips that when baked open up (due to the bran mixture), creating a unique appearance. Folding the dough before shaping builds strength, creating more volume in the final bread.
Shaping roasted potato bread by forming two pieces of dough into baguettes, shaping each baguette into a twisted fendu and twisting the two fendus together into a pinwheel. Proofing the bread upside down maintains the tenderness of the dough's skin, preventing it from drying out and cracking.