Off shape dough

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by theculinarykid, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. theculinarykid


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    Culinary Student
    Let me start out by saying, I hate baking. I actually hate it so much I give it my highest culinary respect. However, I want to learn to master it to become a better cook. So I started practicing. My dough always comes out fine, the taste seems spot on and it does what it is suppose to. However my problem is that it never "looks" like it is suppose to. To give examples my french bread was a simple fold over and when it came out it was all balled up on one end. When I made home made buns they were all funky sizes despite using a "cookie cutter". Youtube videos and all I can't seem to master the "Forming" part of it. I understand practice makes perfect, however I can't master it when I have no idea on what I'm doing. Let me know chefs! Thanks. 

    If you would like pictures of what my steps just let me know and I can try my best to post them. 
  2. chefross


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    Former Chef
    I think the first step to take is to change your thought process.

    You say you dislike baking (hate is a very strong word) so I'm thinking your subconscious is interfering with your abilities.

    Baking is a science of mathematics where ingredients are measured and calculated together with time and technique.

    If you are used to cooking without using measurements and believe that baking is the same, you're going to have problems.

    Time and patience are key in baking.

    Try and try again

    . Practice makes perfect.

    Slow down, watch the dough, feel the dough, practice and practice some more.
  3. mtullius


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    Cook At Home
    Shaping was the part I had the most trouble with too. It is important to get a tight "skin" on the outside during final shaping. If you don't, then when it rises it pokes out unevenly where the skin isn't stretched tight enough. I've watched a few videos, but so far haven't found one that seems to be stretching the dough enough.

    Shape your loaf using the fold over, then flatten slightly and do your folds again. Hopefully this will tighten it up.  Each time you fold, you're stretching and tightening this skin.

    I don't think using a cutter is advisable for a yeast risen bun, as it  breaks the skin. I make them by flattening into a disk in my palm. Then folding in half and again. Then rolling in little circles on the board or palm.

    A cutter is used with biscuits though.  Baking powder doughs don't need the skin. In fact using a dull cutter that stretches the dough rather than cuts it keeps them from rising as high.
  4. kokopuffs


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    Home Cook
    Just prior to the final shaping of your dough, allow it to proof uncovered.  A "skin" however slight will develop on the surface and provide some holding power to the final shape of your dough.