How-to Shape an Épi de Blé

by katerina on February 27, 2007

I love épis de blé. I love the crunchy baguette-exterior plus the fun of being able to break off a piece and have your own section. It’s one of those silly things that I have been wanting to make since I have started making my own bread. Though this is my first attempt I feel that I understand it well enough to post about it. Especially since I know first hand how hard it was to find a good resource on the web. I learned how to do this from Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman. I think the main thing is to start with a very thin roll of dough. I used the beer bread recipe from The Bread Bible – it’s the beer that gives it that rich colour.

[print_this]How-to Shape an Épi de Blé:

1. First roll your dough out into a baguette shape. (Check out here for instructions on how.) Try and get it as thin as possible – thinner then the picture. Ideally about an inch and a half in diameter. Place it on the surface you intend to perform the final rise on.

2. With a very clean pair of kitchen scissors make a snip 3 inches down from the end. The snip should be approximately 45 degrees and should not cut through the baguette.

3. Gently lift the long end of the baguette and pivot it to the right 45-60 degrees.

4. Continue repeating the same procedure moving down the long end of the baguette, alternating your of pivoting the dough left and right, until you have the whole épi formed. Allow the bread to rise and bake according to your recipe checking it a little early just to be safe.

(Just for the sake of anyone googling this post without proper accents, it would be called: How to Shape an Epi de Ble.)[/print_this]

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