Oct 14

14th October 2019 

Free Tutorial: How to Shape a Plaited Loaf

A home baked loaf is one of life's simple pleasures. With it's amazing smell warm from the oven, crusty outside and super softer inside, there really is nothing quite like it. Channel your inner Paul Hollywood and give this plaited loaf a go.

In this tutorial you can learn how to shape your loaf into a plait to really take your home baking to the next level. You can learn great tips like, why you shouldn't over prove your dough, how you can tell your dough is proved and why your dough sometimes tears.

This free tutorial from Pretty Witty Cakes will really help you improve your bread shaping skills! This is perfect for an autumnal lunch spread accompanying some warm soup. 

We have so many recipes on the academy that we're sure you'll love! If you liked this bread shaping tutorial then have a look at this Basic Bread Dough Recipe from the Pretty Witty Academy, you can also have a look at our how tutorial all about to make and knead a basic bread dough.

Basic White Bread Dough
How to Make and Knead Bread

Top Tips for Shaping this Plait:

  • Learn how to make a basic 3 stranded plait.
  • 3 x 100g pieces will give you a small loaf of bread.
  • Ball up a lump of dough with the wet side up.
  • Tuck the dough under the ball to create a rounded ball of dough.
  • You can also use the surface or use your hands to cup the dough and create a nice round shape as demonstrated.
  • Don't worry if the dough is messy underneath as you won't see it when it's rolled out and plaited.
  • Allowing the dough to rest for a couple of minutes before rolling out will help the gluten in the dough to loosen a little and will be easier to roll out.
  • Roll the dough out into sausages once they have rested, they should be three times as long as the original dough.
  • Don't worry if it tears a little, just allow it to rest again and then carry on.
  • Using a weight will help you to keep the strands in place.
  • The dough needs to prove in a warm area with a damp tea towel over the top.
  • Small air bubbles under the surface will be a sign to show you it has proved enough.
  • Don't over prove as those air bubbles will pop and your whole loaf will collapse.
  • Place the dough in the middle of the oven, the dough should be an even colour and when tapped it will sound hollow.

Products used for this Plaited Loaf:

Bake Easy Spray    

Purchase HERE​

Baking Tray  

Purchase HERE

Scotch Scraper  

Purchase HERE​


What To Do Next?

Why not head on over to the Pretty Witty Academy to have a look at all our tutorials on bread baking and make you a master in bread! We also have lots of other bread recipes from Foccacia to Corn Bread so you can really expand your repertoire. So join the Academy today!

And once you've given them a go, come and join us over on the Pretty Witty Cakes Facebook group, where you can share your creations!


Over on the Pretty Witty Academy site we have nearly 1000 cake tutorials showing you everything from how to cover a cake with sugarpaste to fully advanced gravity defying cakes. We also have a huge business section for those wanting to run a cake business. 

Why not check out some of these amazing cake tutorials. See more at Pretty Witty Academy.

Some links in the Pretty Witty Cakes Blog will be affiliate links. Affiliate links are links where we can earn commission by advertising and linking to other sites.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases which helps ensure that we can keep producing free tutorials for you.

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