What You Need
1 batch of bread dough, after its first rise
1. Scrape the bread dough out of its bowl and gather it into one large lump in your hand. Fold it over itself and keep pulling it taut, like an upside-down bowl.
2. Hold the ball of dough tightly underneath; as you pull the dough taut on top the underneath will look like a gathered purse or a belly button.
3. When you are finished the surface of the dough ball will be smooth and soft, and very tight. Gently slide the dough ball back onto the countertop to finish rising.
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(Images: Faith Durand)