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Bakery shaping: what's at stake for the end product?

Baking is an essential part of everyday life. The baker's trade is not one to rest on, as he or she must be meticulous in his or her work in order to deliver mouth-watering results for consumers. For the French, eating bread is no longer a habit; it's a real choice in terms of nutrition and taste. Artisanal taste is highly sought-after. But to achieve this, the steps involved in shaping the dough are very important. What are the secrets to a quality end product? What standards must be met? These are the questions that arise for bakery and patisserie enthusiasts.

Shaping bread dough: what is it?

Who hasn't tried to bake bread, hoping to achieve a result worthy of a professional: crisp and golden brown? But in the end, the finished product is a disaster. You get brick-hard, unbaked, inedible loaves, thinking that shaping dough is easy. But what do we mean by shaping?

Principle and definition

Shaping is the process of shaping bread dough into different shapes.

The principle is very simple: it's the manipulation during which the baker corrects and perfects the bread dough to obtain a crisp result.

To achieve this result, there are three essential steps to follow [1].

  • Rolling
  • Rolling
  • Flattening

Shaping: why follow the steps?

The baker's rule of three in shaping is very important in the bread-making process. Each step is important to the final product [2].

1. Rolling

During lamination, the baker obtains a galette with a honeycomb structure. Outgassing is avoided as far as possible, to preserve the bread's taste and guarantee better preservation.

2. The tight roll

Also known as volute forming, tight rolling of the dough enables the dough pieces to hold together better, while preserving the regularity of the honeycomb structure.

3. Flattening

As the name implies, flattening consists in flattening the dough in order to expel some of the gas and bring the dough into the desired shape.


Shaping is an important stage in the preparation of bread, and is generally done by hand. It's a regular practice that the baker must not neglect, to ensure the quality of the product. Shaping contributes in large part to the product's taste and preservation.

Shaping hundreds of loaves of bread every day is no easy task. Caplain Machines, the manufacturer of professional machines for bakers, pastry chefs and pizza makers, offers shaping machines. These are time-saving machines that retain the traditional know-how of baking and pastry-making. Don't hesitate to visit our website to discover our catalog of professional equipment.


[1] Breadmaking basics: kneading, shaping and laminating

[2] Dividing, shaping and baking bread