Bread Shape Tutorial

Bread can take just about any shape the baker desires, from classic baguettes to modern sandwich  loaves. It’s hard to learn how to shape loaves from  written descriptions, however, pictures can give a good guidance to the adventurous bread maker.

Before one shapes the dough, one needs to pre-shape it first. There  are two basic pre-shapes. The first, a basic oval or rectangle: roll the dough into a rectangle. Beginning with the shorter side, roll dough towards self. Seal long seam as well as ends with hands. Fold sealed ends under. The second, a round: form the dough into an oval, stretching and turning ends of the dough under and pinching into a seam. Place in prepared pan seam side down.

Scoring is generally completed directly prior to placing the loaves in the hot oven. Some loaves are not scored, however, all hand-made artisan breads are. Intentionally creating this weaker point on the surface prevents the loaf from bursting at weak point created during shaping. The type of scoring performed determines the direction in which the bread will expand during “oven spring” and the depth of the cuts influences the rate of expansion. The pattern of cuts can create a pleasing visual effect on the ready the loaf.

Round bread shapes: cob, cottage, boule, wreath

Elongated bread shapes: ficelle, grissini, baguette, epi, Vienna

Sandwich bread shapes: Pullman, moulded tin, moulded twin, split tin

Classic bread shapes: bloomer, baton, batards, challah, plait, fougasse

Bread roll shapes: Kaiser roll, bun, bap, dinner roll, classic spiral, pistolet, croissant, pretzel

Bread Shapes Guide

8 thoughts on “Bread Shape Tutorial

  1. Thank you for following my blog and I am so happy to have found yours. I am baking bread today I am making rolls from a recipe I have used many times but never rolls always a boule or some sort of loaf. I never knew the reasoning behind slashing the loaves, thats very interesting I wondered if I have to slash rolls, do you know? I slash the larger breads.

  2. Thank you for following my blog, I’m so happy to have found your lovely blog! I haven’t baked any bread for my blog yet but will definitely be getting some tips from yours! What a pro 🙂 xxx

  3. I bought an old bakery pan last week. it has 3 molds shaped like indented half a football lengthwise. I thought it was for bread but when I made the loaves they looked like footballs, rounded all the way around. was there a bread that shape? your picture of Vienna is the shape but this mold makes it round all the way around with no flat side. hmmm, I am stumped. maybe cakes that when flipped out look like half of an easter egg… any thoughts?

    • Hi. I’m afraid they sound like cake pans…the Vienna bread is a similar shape, but the ones pictured on my tutorial image are classic handshaped loaves. However, I can not see anything wrong with a football bread 😉 Good idea for sports day…J. XXX

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