Why You May Need To Reshape The Loaf When Using A Bread Maker

Bread makers offer a convenient and time-effective way to get fresh bread without extensive labor. But a common issue with bread maker machines is loafs that come out unevenly shaped, often this bread will have a sloping shape with one side higher than the other. To fix this you may need to reshape your loaf before the final rise and bake. Bread makers aren't capable of ensuring your loaves are properly shaped before baking so taking this extra step helps ensure beautiful, uniform loaves.

The key to ensuring well-shaped loaves is knowing when to reshape your bread if needed. Reshaping a loaf should happen before the final proofing of your dough, but it can be hard to tell when that is. Especially if your bread maker doesn't have an obvious timer on it, but with a little extra attention you can be on your way to picture-perfect bread in no time. A benefit to reshaping your bread, besides it looking nicer, is that it can give you a more even bake. This can create a fluffier, more uniform texture to your bread that rivals store-bought.

When to reshape your loaf

Most bread makers come with a manual that breaks down the timing of proofs and baking, check this manual to see how many minutes each stage takes. You'll have to do a little math to figure out the time that each stage takes. Once you calculate how many minutes pass before the final proof, you can set a timer to ensure you don't miss it. After your timer goes off, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and lightly coat your hands in flour as well to prevent sticking.

From there, you can gently reshape the dough into an evenly-shaped rectangle and transfer it back to the bread maker pan. You will want to check that the height and width of the bread are even from side to side and top to bottom. If you notice that your bread still isn't even after an initial reshaping you can attempt to reshape it again. Just be careful not to excessively knead the dough since your machine already did that step for you. Once you are satisfied with the shape, return the loaf to the bread maker and let the machine handle the rest of the process. Afterward, be sure to store your bread properly to ensure your homemade loaves stay fresh as long as possible.