Shaping Dough: A Visual Guide
All machines on the market today have a dough or manual cycle. This cycle is one of the most important cycles your machine has. It is what makes the bread machine so flexible.
Using the dough or manual cycle and your favorite bread recipes you can make sandwich rolls, dinner rolls, bagels and much more. Any recipe you have for yeast risen bread can be done on the dough cycle, shaped, risen and baked for an almost unlimited number of goodies.
Below are some examples of what you can make. For more ideas take a look at our How-To’s located on the main page.
Roll the dough into 1 or 2 large rounds on a lightly floured work surface. A 4-cup recipe will easily make 2 rounds. A 3-cup recipe will make a large round and very large crescents, or 2 rounds and smaller crescents. Using a knife or pizza wheel cut each round into 8 equal pieces (as you would a pie). Roll each piece firmly from the wide end to the narrow end. Place the pointed side down on a greased baking sheet and bend the outer ends down to form a curve. Cover, let rise and bake according to directions.
Flower (Knot) Rolls
Divide the dough into 8 to 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into an 8 to 10-inch rope, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Tie into a loose knot with long ends. Bring one end over and under the roll and the other end up and over, and tuck it into the center of the knot. Cover, let rise and bake according to directions.
Divide the dough into 8 to 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into an 8 to 10-inch rope, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Coil the rope around on itself and tuck the end underneath. Cover, let rise and bake according to directions.
Divide the dough into 36 equal pieces (about 1 inch in size). Dip each piece in melted butter and place 3 in each lightly greased muffin cup. Cover, let rise and bake according to directions.
Parker House Rolls
Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface into a large, 1/4inch-thick rectangle. Using a 2-1/2 to 3-inch biscuit cutter (or similar tool), cut into rounds. Brush each round with melted butter and then fold each round almost in half (with the buttered side in), pressing on the fold. Cover, let rise and bake according to directions.
Roll the dough into a large, thin rectangle. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, brush the top of the rectangle with about I tbs. melted butter. With a sharp knife, pastry or pizza wheel cut the dough into small rectangles (about 1-1/2 x 2 inches). Place 5 rectangles on top of each other and place short side down in a greased muffin cup. As the dough rises and bakes, the rolls will fan out. Cover, let rise and bake according to directions.
Form the dough into 20 or 24 equal balls. Roll each ball to form a rope 8 to 10 inches long. Starting with the first rope made (this rest allows the dough to relax and makes it easier to work with), take one end in one hand and hold it in place as you twist with the other hand. Either leave the dough in a long rope or pinch the ends together to make a twisted ring. Cover, let rise and bake according to directions.
Jelly-Roll (and slices)
Roll the dough into a large, thin rectangle. If a filling is to be used, the filling should be spread evenly over the rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Starting with the wide edge closest to you, roll the dough tightly, encasing the filling. Pinch to seal. For rolls, slice into about 12 equal slices. Cover, let rise and bake according to directions.
Divide dough into 8 to 10 equal pieces and roll each piece into a 6 or 7-inch round. Fold one edge toward the middle. Starting about halfway along that fold, fold another piece toward the middle, and continue around the edge until you have 5 folds then tuck the last half of the last fold under the first fold and press firmly to seal. Place folded side up on a greased baking sheet. Cover, let rise and bake according to directions.
If you want a quicker way you can purchase a kaiser roll stap from King Arthur Baker’ Catalog.
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into a long rope. The three strands should be braided together as you would hair. If you have difficulty starting the braid, begin in the center and work toward the ends. Seal and tuck the ends underneath and place the braid on a greased baking sheet. Cover, let rise and bake according to directions.
Roll the dough into a large rectangle. Using scissors, a sharp knife, pastry or pizza wheel, cut 1-inch strips down each side, from the center third to the edge. Fold strips over the center, alternating side, and angling each folded strip toward you. Tuck the ends inside to give the appearance of a braid. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover, let rise and bake according to directions.
Form the dough into 10 equal balls. Roll each ball into a long rope, about 15 to 20 inches long, and shape into a wide U. Cross one end over the other and press together gently. Pick up the ends that are crossed and cross a second time. Fold the twisted portion over the bottom of the U following the illustration. Cover, let rise and bake according to directions.
Form the dough into equal balls a little bigger than an egg. Flatten each ball into a thick round and place the filling in the middle. Pull the edges of the dough over the filling and press tightly together to seal the filling inside. Place seam side down in greased muffin cups, or on a baking sheet. Cover, let rise and bake according to directions.
Divide the dough into 9 equal pieces. Roll one piece into a ball and place it in the center of a greased pizza pan or round baking sheet. Shape remaining 8 pieces into long ovals and place them around the center ball, radiating out from the center like petals. Cover, let rise and bake according to directions. After baking, remove in one piece to cool on a wire rack.
There are several ways to shape a bagel. Of all of the methods for shaping bagels I like The Hole in the Middle Method. They look the nicest. My Least favorite is The Bagel Cutter Method. The bagels tend to have straight sides instead of rounded ones.
The Hole in the Middle Method:
Roll each piece of dough into a ball, allow to rise for 30 minutes and then poke a floured finger through the center to form the hole, and then shape top and smooth sides. Moisten your finger with water, ‘if necessary to smooth. Pull gently to enlarge the hole. The resulting bagel is smooth and there is no joint.
The Hula Hoop Around the Finger Method:
Create a circle without a joint by flattening a ball of dough slightly into a round shape, folding the bottom edge under and smoothing it until it looks like a mushroom top. With a floured index finger, make a hole in the center of the circle from the bottom up. Twirl the circle around your index finger, or two fingers, like a hula hoop, to widen the hole. Pull out and shape the round.
The Rope Method:
Roll each piece of dough into a rope by rolling it on the bread board or between your hands. Wrap the rope around four fingers, overlap and join the ends, and turn the circle inside out. Until you get this hand movement down pat, you may have to moisten the ends to hold them together. Initially, the length may be lumpy and the joint will show. It takes practice. Or, roll dough into 30-inch lengths, cut each length into thirds (each 10 inches long) and join the ends. If you become proficient at this hand-made method, make 10-inch marks on the edge of your bread board so your bagels will be a consistent size.
The Bagel Cutter Method:
Roll dough out to a fiat shape about 1/2-inch thick. Cut with a bagel cutter and smooth the tops over the sides so they’re rounded, using a little water on your finger to smooth, if necessary. Knead scraps again, re-roll and cut into as many more bagels as there is dough. If you don’t have a bagel cutter, use a wide champagne glass to cut the outside. Cut the inside hole with the edge of a cordial glass or the small end of a measuring jigger.
Cookie Cutter Shapes
You can also try using different cookie cutters. Roll the dough out to about 1/2 to 1-inch thick. Using a cookie cutter stamp out the shape, bake in a regular oven on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 20 minutes or until done.