In this phase we will shape the dough, so it is ready to rest in your proofing basket. Tip: In theory, bread makers have enormous bench space which can stay floured for hours on end. Not in my house. Kitchen bench space is PRIME REAL ESTATE, and you can get evicted at (pretty much) any time. If a kids needs a sandwich, you better be able to make it quick. Therefore I use large serving platters ( 50x40cm ), with a lip, so I can contain the flouring surface, and keep it mobile!
Flour your benchtop ( or tray ). Don’t go overboard, you don’t want the dough to stick to the surface, but you don’t want to trap too much flour in the dough either.
Drop your dough from your bowl in the middle of the surface
Go around the dough with your hand, pushing the side towards the bottom of the dough. you have formed a roundish blob of dough. Cover it for 20 mins and leave it alone
Using your dough scraper, go around the base of the dough and flip it over.
You will now make a rectangle, and fold the dough over itself
Pick one of the side that didn’t get folded, and repeat 3 times ( 4 folding in total )
Rotate the dough 45 degrees, and repeat the stretching to a rectangle, folding in half, 4 times.
Now you’ll have folded the dough 8 times. You will have a strange looking blob, and might not be able to move it anymore. use the scraper to bring it back together into a roundish shape.
Leave your dough to rest for 20 mins, covered.
Meanwhile, flour your proofing basket. Use a mixture of white flour / rice flour to flour the basket. The rice flour won’t stick much and make getting out of the basket easier.
And now, the Final shaping. You’re getting close to the end…. In this last shaping, we are trying to fit more folds ( ie trap more air, ie get a lighter loaf) into our dough. Flour the bench around the dough, and the top of the dough.
Flip it over so the smooth side is on the bench. Rather gently, stretch the top into a rectangle, fold over onto a square. Repeat with the left side. Then the right side, then the bottom.
You are now facing a square of dough. Pick the top right corner, stretch it, and fold it to the middle. Repeat with the top left corner, the bottom left, and the bottom right corner.
By now you should be looking at a rather messy dough. Flip it over. The face which was against the bench is now facing up, and is looking smooth. Use your flowered hands or your dough scrapper to shape a nice ball.
Take this dough ball, and drop the smooth face into your proofing basket. Cover the dough with a cloth.