How to Mix and Shape Dough Explained Without Words in Two Minutes

Some things to note about this video:

  1. Bakers use scales and so should you.
  2. Mixing dough entails making an incredible mess.
  3. Learning to shape dough requires practice.

As regards point #3, my plan is to mix up some practice dough (I use the dead dough recipe in the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook but any bread dough will do) and practice over and over. As a professional once told me when I complimented her on her pizza shaping prowess, “It’s because I’ve done it 10,000 times.” Practicing with dough you’re not going to bake takes out the fear of failure problem.

Thanks to Kathy Turk for alerting me to this video.

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  1. Great video, hard, messy work! I have been working on my sourdough bread making skills for a number of years, books and this type of info help, but as you said, it comes down to doing it over and over again, making it look easy! As far as shaping loaves goes, even funky crooked baguettes taste good, and again practice makes perfect, but a little funkiness doesn’t hurt! (;

    • Yeah, I always eat the mistakes. They often taste fine even if they won’t win a blue ribbon.

  2. Nice video! And great timing. I just went to the community grains conference here in Oakland last weekend, which was awesome. I was reminded that I have been meaning to ask if you found that you are able to grind your flour on your komo mill as fine as grist and toll flour? I’ve been thinking of getting a komo mill, but being able to get as fine a grind as grist and toll is my criteria for a mill. Thanks!

    • The Komo works great. I’ve made many great loaves of bread with it and I like that I don’t have to worry about flour going bad. That said, the mill at Grist & Toll is a lot bigger and can grind finer and at a slower speed. Plus there’s Nan’s expertise, of course.

  3. So, do you still find that your bread comes out noticeably better when you use Nan’s flour? I am currently getting flour in bulk from her when I happen to be in LA, but would love to be able to mill my own here in Oakland. The current mill I have does not get the bran fine enough. I can only use home milled flour for crusts, biscuits, etc. and have to buy flour for my bread baking. I would like to switch out to the Komo mill, if it works well enough. Thanks again.

    • The Komo does a fine grind, just not quite as fine as Nan’s. I’ve found that with my own Komo-ground flour I have to add a little more water to the dough. You also, of course, have to use a strong (i.e. with enough gluten) grain suitable for making bread. So there’s a little more trial and error, but I love my Komo.

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