After you have mixed together a delicious bread dough the hard part is over, right? Might not be if you don’t know how to shape bread correctly. Luckily I have a life and bread altering tip for you to make shaping a piece of cake…or toast!
The number one thing you want to remember is NO FLOUR. The conventional wisdom is dust your hands and dough with flour to keep it from sticking everywhere. Here’s the problem; over-floured bread is hard and dense. You have just spent time mixing the perfect dough, with just the right amount of flour and water in it. You watched as you mixed to see the dough taking the right shape, pulling away from the walls of your mixing bowl. Then you kneaded it until soft and shiny. Now like a crazy person you want to mess all that up and add more flour? Just back away from the flour. Put it away, you won’t be needing it.
Oil is your new best friend. I know it might seem gross, but trust me on this one, okay? Get out your preferred oil: coconut, olive, maybe canola and get ready to shape! Since I love the taste of coconut, I use that on any sweet recipes like cinnamon swirl bread or rolls. Pour a quarter sized drop of oil in your hand and rub them together like you are washing your hands. Get it all over your hands.
Now you can shape the bread with ease without adding more flour to your dough. When you add too much flour to your bread dough it gets hard and dense. When you add a fat to your bread it gets soft. I don’t know about you but I will take a softer dough over a dense brick any day.
Oil just WORKS BETTER. Since you are not constantly adding flour, it’s faster too. You can oil your counter top and rolling pin if you’re rolling out bread. If the thought of cleaning your counters is sending you back into the arms of flour, you can put down some parchment paper or plastic wrap on your counter and oil that up. If the paper is riding up use a cookbook or other paper weight to keep it down. I use this trick when I make bread at other people’s kitchens. You never know how clean other their counters are ;)
1. Oil > Flour
2. Be generous. Oil up your hands, counter, rolling pin — even your knife or spoon.
3. Oil makes whole grain bread softer.
4. Lay down and oil parchment or cling wrap to keep counters clean
5. Match Flavors and use neutral oils like canola for sweet breads and olive oil for savory breads.
Now you know everything you need to shape rolls and loafs with ease. This tip changed my baking and I know it will change yours too!
I hope you find this post helpful! If you know someone who could benefit from step by step videos on baking with whole grains and this informative post please share Easy Healthy Bread with them today! Thanks!
**Photo Credit fdmount**