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I've seen them shaped like a rugby ball (but longer) but geometrically can't see how a circle can be folded into such a shape.

I've also ordered French omelettes from menus before and they weren't pinched in at the ends.

Is there a classic shape, or is a French omelette just one that is not set as much with no browning?

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This video with Jacques Pepin should be helpful: youtube.com/… –  cptloop Apr 11 '12 at 11:28
    
The pictures in Jacques' book I couldn't follow but the video explained it. –  jontyc Apr 11 '12 at 13:23
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

There isn't a standardised shape as such, but the rugby ball shape is common. To achieve this shape, all you have to do is cook your omelette (French style uses a super-hot pan and lots of butter), then roll three quarters of it up in the pan.

Then nudge the omelette up the side of the pan a little, so that it partly protrudes over the edge, which will then allow you to flip the remaining quarter back over onto the rest of the omelette. You should now have a rugby ball shape with a 'seam', i.e. the edge of the omelette - simply turn this out so the 'seam' is on the plate and you have a nice smooth omelette showing on top.

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