When you think of homemade bread, you may think of the classic loaf shape, steep sided and with a rounded top. But what if you don’t have a loaf tin to hand? This video shows you four alternative ways to shape your dough so you can bake a loaf when you don’t have a loaf tin. Watch to find out more or scroll down to read more.

1. The plait

First up, it’s the plait. Divide your dough into three equal sized pieces (it can help to weigh them and be sure). Roll each piece out into a sausage shape. Pinch the sausages together at one end and fan them out on the bench. Then tightly plait them together, right over centre, left over centre, repeating until you reach the ends. Pinch the ends together and fold under the loaf. Place the plait on a lined baking tray and cover whilst it does a second prove before baking.

You can make the plait with any amount of dough you like – larger pieces will give you a beautiful centrepiece for any meal. You could also decorate the top with seeds or brush with milk or an egg wash if it’s an enriched dough.

2. The boule. 

The classic semi-circle rounded loaf. Use a larger piece of dough (at least 400g) for this one. Pat the dough down into a circle on the worksurface, then work your way around the edges, stretching out the sides and folding them into the centre. Then flip the dough over and tuck the sides tightly under.

Place the dough on a lined baking sheet and cover whilst proving, before baking in the oven.

3. Make rolls

You can also divide all your dough into equal pieces and shape them into rolls. They’ll freeze well, so you can save what you don’t need straight away. Once you’ve divided the dough, take a piece and pat it down into a circle, then stretch and fold the sides in as with the boule above. Flip the roll over and either tuck the sides under, or circle the dough under your hand between your thumb and little finger to tighten up the dough.

4. Use alternative tins

Lastly, make use of any other baking tins you may already have before rushing out to buy new ones. You could arrange the roll shapes you make in a round sandwich cake tin, lined and greased, making sure they’re snugly all together. Prove and then bake in the tin to make a great tear and share loaf.

Alternatively, you could contain a wetter dough in individual muffin tins, again making sure the tin is lined and greased before adding in the dough.

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