How to Use a Bread Stencil – Easy Sourdough Art

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Learn about how to use a bread stencil to create easy sourdough art. A bread stencil is a simple way to create bread art for beginners and advanced bakers alike. Use it alone with a single score in your bread or combine it with other sourdough scoring designs. Either way, you can create beautiful, elevated bread with ease.

Stenciled sourdough and bread art stencil on decorative towel.

If you have watched just about any of my YouTube videos, you probably know that making sourdough bread is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen. My no-knead sourdough bread is, hands down, my most reliable bread recipe.

Once I got the sourdough recipe and process honed, I wanted to make my bread more beautiful. But I don’t often have time to experiment or learn advanced sourdough scoring techniques.

Really, most days, the goal is to just have food–but I also want it to be pretty (or fun like the T-Rex stencil).

Unbaked sourdough with person placing T-Rex bread stencil on dough

To elevate my bread without extra work, I started designing and making bread art stencils. Similar to the coffee art stencils I make, a bread stencil is an easy-to-use tool that will transform your bread from basic to beautiful.

Having beautiful bread isn’t necessary. You are doing an amazing task by making sourdough bread for yourself and family.

Since using a bread stencil only takes a few seconds though, you can create sourdough bread art without any extra work. It’s a win-win!

Watch // Bake + Stencil with Me

YouTube video

What is a Bread Stencil?

A bread stencil is similar to any other stencil you would use for crafty, scratch-made projects. The bread stencils I make for moon + magnolia are made out of food-safe mylar and made with a laser cutter.

Fun fact: I make all of the bread and coffee stencils at my house!

The stencil is placed directly on prepared, unbaked dough just before baking. When ready, you simply dust over the stencil with flour or even cocoa powder.

I like to, then, gently rub over the floured stencil with a clean finger or brush to ensure the design is covered. That also slightly works the flour into the surface of the dough which helps the design stay put.

Then, after baking you have a beautiful design on a perfectly golden crust.

Woman sprinkling flour over bread art stencil

Tips for easy bread art with a stencil

  • If you are making sourdough bread, you will need to be minimally familiar with scoring. Don’t worry, you don’t need to do anything fancy (unless you want to). You will just need to make a single score in your bread to allow for the bread’s natural expansion. I recommend using a lame for your sourdough scoring.
  • Using a sieve or a powder shaker is key to crisp, beautiful stencil art. The fine mesh screen prevents too much flour from dumping onto your bread. I prefer using a powder shaker because it offers more control over exactly where the flour goes.
  • Experiment with the type of flour you use. All-purpose flour is a good option because, most likely, you will have a little on hand. Rice flour is often preferred because it doesn’t absorb moisture and stays bright white through the baking process.
  • Place the stencil directly onto the bread. If you hold the stencil above the bread, you won’t be able to keep it still enough. Placing it directly onto the unbaked dough will ensure that you have clean, crisp lines.
  • In lieu of flour, cocoa is also a great option for stenciling. The steps are the same, just fill your shaker or sieve with cocoa powder instead of flour.

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unbaked sourdough boule with stenciled with person using a lame to score

What You’ll Need:

Step-By-Step: How to Use a Bread Art Stencil

  1. Make your preferred bread dough as you normally would.
  2. When your dough is ready, preheat your oven.
  3. While the oven is preheating, place your stencil directly onto your proofed, ready-to-bake dough.
  4. Gently hold the edges of the stencil down as you dust flour on the stencil. Depending on the shape on your bread, you may need to adjust your hand placement to match the curve of the bread.
  5. Gently rub across the stencil with a clean finger. This will press the flour down and create crisp art.
  6. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 as needed.
  7. When all parts of the stencil have been covered, bake and–ENJOY!
hands slicing stenciled sourdough bread

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Leaves stenciled on sourdough bread and displayed on decorative towel

How to Use a Bread Art Stencil

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 1 minute
Active Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 minute
Difficulty: Beginner

Whether you are making sourdough or other scratch-made breads, creating bread art is easy with a bread art stencil.

Materials

  • Bread art stencil
  • Powder shaker or sieve
  • Flour

Instructions

  1. Make your preferred bread dough as you normally would.
  2. When your dough is ready, preheat your oven.
  3. While the oven is preheating, place your stencil directly onto your proofed, ready-to-bake dough.
  4. Gently hold the edges of the stencil down as you dust flour on the stencil. Depending on the shape on your bread, you may need to adjust your hand placement to match the curve of the bread.
  5. Gently rub across the stencil with a clean finger. This wil press the flour down and create crisp art.
  6. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 as needed.
  7. When all part of the stencil have been covered, bake and--ENJOY!

Notes

The flour should fully cover the surface of the dough, but don't build it too high. Otherwise, it will wipe off after baking. It should be level with the surface of the stencil.

Rice flour will create a more crisp aesthetic and will retain its bright white color.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Let’s connect!

Have questions or want to share your bread stencil experiences, tips, and tricks? Drop a comment below. I’m here to help. And I’m here to celebrate your beautiful bread. -xo-

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