This week’s guest editor is Chad Robertson, the man behind San Francisco’s über-popular Tartine Bakery. He’ll be walking us through how to make one of the Porridge Breads from his latest book, Tartine 3, and sharing bits of baking knowledge along the way.
Today: Chad discusses his technique for shaping dough.
Now that we’ve discussed making a starter and levain and mixing the dough, let’s talk about shaping it.
I don’t knead or punch my dough, since pounding it releases all the natural gases I’ve worked hard to develop — that’s where much of the gradations in flavor lie. Instead, I like to “turn” my dough to strengthen the gluten. The surface tension that builds as the dough anchors itself to the work surface is a further sign of the dough’s maturing strength. By the end of the shaping, the dough should have a taut, smooth outer surface.