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Uploaded on Jun 8, 2011
Before shaping a boule or batard loaf, dough is often preshaped into a boule (ball). This preshaping allows the final shape to achieve a tighter surface tension, which helps the loaf maintain its shape through proofing and baking, and helps cuts to open nicely during baking.
This video demonstrates my method for preshaping a boule. A preshaped boule is typically covered and left to "bench rest" for 20 -- 30 minutes before the final shaping. This allows the dough to relax and renders it more cooperative for the final shaping process.