This is the best video I’ve seen for shaping bread so far. I use a method very similar to this one: Shaping Sourdough Loaves
- Start by flouring surface and stretching bread into square.
- Fold corners in one at a time.
- Fold corners in again.
- Fold entire piece in half.
- Place seams side down in a proofing container that has been dusted with a 50-50 blend of rice flour and all purpose flour.
Once the bread is shaped, I place it seam DOWN in a wooden proofing basket, which can be found here. Proofing can happen in 1-2 hours, or for a better loaf, cover it in plastic and refrigerate overnight. When you go to bake, take it out of the fridge 2 hours before baking to re-warm.
- Preheat oven to 500degF with your baking vessel inside. My favorite shape is a Bâtard because it slices into sandwich/french toast bread very easily. The vessel of choice is a clay baker with lid.
- Once the oven has hit temp, pull out the baker, transfer the loaf in carefully (don’t just dump it in) placing it seam side down. Slash with a bread lame in your favorite pattern and put the lid on, then back in the oven, lowering the oven temperature to 450degF.
- Bake for 20 minutes with the lid ON, then take the lid off and bake 25 minutes longer.
- Remove and let rest, and slice
Your bread will be fine for a day, if it survives that long. If after several hours you are too full, slice it the rest of the way (in a method that will fit in your toaster), place in a freezer-proof container, and freeze. When you want bread, pull out a slice, put it in your toaster and it will retain 70-80% of its “day of baking” character.