Maison Kayser Academy

The basics of bread making: kneading, shaping and scoring

Éric Kayser shows you the basics of bread making.
You heard about the temperature of the water, the kneading, the shaping and the scoring. But, these notions are still quite vague for you.   


This film has been created to help you understand the principles of breadmaking. In order to have a crunchy and soft homemade bread.


The baker’s utensils:
You can do the kneading with your hands (see in this video how to do so) or with a kneading machine.
An oven.
A weighing scale is also important.
A digital probe thermometer, essential to check the temperature of the ingredients or the dough.
Bread baskets for the flour or the bread.
A baking stone.
Some greaseproof papers.
A dough scraper.
A dough cutter.
A baker’s blade.
A baker’s brush.


Temperature of the water:
One of the most important rules of our profession is to calculate the temperature of the water that will be poured on the flour. In order to have a dough at 23°C-24°C when the kneading is done.
At first, add the room’s temperature + the flour temperature (which will be the same as the room’s temperature if stored in the same room since the day before).
We know that the ingredients have to reach 70°C to be kneaded in the machine. So, you have to subtract this addition to 70°C in order to have the temperature of the water.
So: T° of the room + T° of the flour + T° of the water = 70°C
Note that, if you knead with your hands, the water should be a bit warmer, because with your hands cannot heat the dough up enough.


The kneading with the hands:
Little tip: put the baker’s yeast on one side and the salt on the other side. Otherwise it will soak the yeast up.
The gesture shown by Éric Kayser has to be repeated for ten or so minutes.
“Take, pull and throw the dough. And turn it through 90 degrees.”
Once the dough no longer sticks the work surface, shape the dough into a smooth ball.


 “Once the dough is kneaded, can we put it in the fridge?”
Yes, once the kneading is done, let it rest for 1 hour outside and then you can put it in the fridge.
Or, you can let it rest for 2 hours outside (the first rising)
Then divide it into equal pieces, put them in the fridge and shape them the day after.
It works both ways.
The fridge will slow down the fermentation, which will operate at a slower pace.


“How do I know that the dough is ready to be used?"
Press it firmly with a finger.
If it goes up too quickly, it is not ready, yet.
If it goes up slowly, it is, normally, ready to be shaped.
If it doesn’t goes up. It’s too late, you’ll have to start over because the dough will never rise in the oven.


The dividing:
Once the dough has risen for 2 hours with a flap. It is ready to be pre-shaped.
Cut it into equal pieces.
Bring back every sides in the middle and form a bowl, but, do it very lightly, you don’t want to degas the dough.
Once the doughs are ready to be shaped. Leave them to rest for 30 minutes.


The shaping:
See how to shape a boule (a ball), a batard, a baguette and a pavé (a rectangle) (the simpler shaping).


The scoring:
Once the loaves have rested for 1h30, it is time to score them. It is important because it’s the signature of the baker.
After moistening each bread with a brush and water, in order to avoid the crust to form too quickly in the oven.
You can score the loaves in a cross shape, a crosshatch, a single or four slashes, depending on the form of your breads.


The baking:
You just have to put them in the oven: 2O min for the baguette and 22 min for the smaller breads at 230°C.


“How do we know that the bread is baked?”
When the bread is baked we say that it sings. It should crunch, you can hear it. It is like a little bird singing.
And to check if it is baked enough, just knock on it a bit. It should resonate.


Now, it's your turn.