Kneading and Shaping

A couple more bread videos for you. The first one is the three main kneading techniques that I teach on our basic bread making course. The first is a French Kneading method with Richard Bertinet as it’s main proponent. Great technique, especially with a sticky dough, search for him on youtube and he’ll take you through it in more detail. The second is a more classic stretch-along-the-bench technique where you stretch it away from you with the heel of one hand (holding the dough firm with the other hand), fold it back with your fingers, turn the dough ninety degrees, and repeat. The third is a two handed kneading method where I’m using traction between my hands and the bench to stretch the dough and the side of my hand to fold it back on itself. I would do all of these three methods quite a bit faster if it weren’t for film.My preferred kneading method, especially for larger amounts of dough, is actually more hands-off then any of these three and is championed by Dan Lepard and others. I’ll cover that in a future vid.


In this second vid  I’m shaping a couple of oblong bloomer loaves from a quite-sticky spent brewing grain dough. I’ve slowed it down as much as I can to show the essential steps, but with a sticky dough like this it’s best to work fast. First I stretch the dough a little to form a rough square in front of me. I fold in the four corners of the square to the middle, pinching down the folds and the dough now forms a diamond. I fold in the four corners of the diamond (the right and left corners slightly less so) and the dough now forms a rectangle in front of me. I fold this in half towards me to form a more oblong shape and then roll back and forwards with a little downward pressure and nice long rolls from wrists to fingertips to get the desired shape. It then goes into a floured linen couche to prove. The second one I shape is a bit better.

Bread videos

Got a new iPhone4 and the video camera seems much better on it than my old 3GS, so I thought I’d start shooting a few bread videos and posting them on here. It may become something significant, it may not, but here’s the first three.

First up one of my students on Saturday invented her very own kneading method. I like it.


Second this is me mixing the dough for the borodinsky bread’s on sale tomorrow at Stirchley Market. This is a 6kg batch and includes rye sourdough starter, water, salt, malt extract, molasses, caraway seed, plus rye flour.


Finally this is me shaping that dough into tins. It only has the one rise or proof, directly in the tins – 3 hours after this and it’s in the oven. Always have wet hands when shaping rye!