Dividing your dough

Bulk fermentation ends when you divide the dough. Dividing means cutting your dough into pieces of the same weight. There’s no dividing if you’ve made only one loaf, so it ends when you begin pre-shaping or shaping.

After dumping out your dough, the smooth side of the dough is on the bottom. It’s important to remember where the smooth side is. I like to lightly dust the top of the dough first. I then try and visualize how I’m going to cut the mass of dough into equal size pieces, and then I cut the first one. I pick up the first piece of dough and flip it onto the scale so that the smooth side is now on top.

I now check the weight. If it’s over, I try and cut the perfect size piece off. It’s it’s under, I try to cut the perfect piece from what’s left. I want to get to the right weight with as few pieces as possible. I then take the pieces and set them on the bench. Next, I take the large piece of dough (smooth side still on top) and place it on top of the pieces.

I repeat this process until the dough is completely divided. I like to divide the dough all at once so that I get the feel of the size of dough I need hoping to get better at cutting off pieces of dough that weigh the same.

I always have the scale in the middle of my bench with the dough dump on the right and the weighed pieces of dough on the left.