Stage V: Shaping and Panning

AFluffy, Buttery Cinnamon Rolls Tutorial Recipefter the bread dough has been optionally Divided, Rounded and Benched, shaping takes place. It is about more than appearance; rather, shaping also forms the dough for optimal rise and containment. It is also the last chance to build strength into a loaf. The goal is to shape the dough without popping valuable air bubbles, losing carbon dioxide or tearing the gluten strands in it.

There are dozens of traditional shapes for bread and hundreds of techniques for achieving them. Each one is discussed with its appropriate recipe, in a step-by-step fashion with color photos.

There are different types of shaped breads:
Pan or Loaf Breads the taller breads that are baked in pans because they need the support of the sides to maintain their shape.
SARAH SAYS: Make sure you use the pan size or shape specified in the recipe; if too small the bread will rise over the sides; if too large the bread won't seem to have risen very much. Bread pans vary as to volume. To check for the right size, grease the pan lightly and place the unshaped dough in it; it should reach ½-inch from the rim of the pan. The baked bread’s center should rise about 1-inch above the sides of the pan.Peter Reinhart's Pizza with Sarah Phillips' Tomato Sauce, Step-by-Step with Special How to Grill Pizza Recipe

Others can be baked on baking sheets and pizza stones, and are made into more free-form shapes, called Artisan, Hearth or Sourdough Breads, the result being a more open crumb. They tend to spread sideways, though, and moist dough will tend to spread more than a stiffer dough. Some bakers use special floured bannetons or even colanders lined with floured towels which give the dough support during the final shaped rise. (To keep the dough from spreading further in the oven, it is important to use a baking stone in a well-preheated oven so that the dough has what is called "oven spring.")

NOTE: I found a treasure trove of French bread forming techniques on this website. While they do not have a video that is exclusively for forming a boule, you can see the action I am describing above in the first moments of their video.

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