Stenciling involves placing a flat, patterned object (most commonly a leaf or flower) on top of your loaf, then dusting the loaf lightly with flour. When the stencil is removed, the pattern stays, and looks beautiful after the loaf is baked.
Here is the simple process:
- Follow your recipe through the final rise (proof). At this point your bread should be shaped and in the pan (or on the sheet/stone) and ready for the oven.
- Mist with a squirt gun to lightly dampen the surface of your bread.
- Place the stencil on top of the moistened loaf.
- Sprinkle the flour evenly across your stencil, as lightly or heavily as you prefer.
- Remove the stencil carefully, and bake your bread.