Professional bread bakers assure us that wood is the best material to shape dough on; it will hold a very light coating of flour in its pores, allowing the flour to stick slightly, but not too much. Indeed, I’ve found that my Formica counter tops grab hold of the dough very tightly, causing it to pull and tear, but when I use even the slightest quantity of flour, the dough just slides around.
I’d considered buying a baker’s bench, but they were pricey and probably too large to easily fit in my kitchen. I found a more practical solution: a super large, thick cutting board, pictured below. It’s made of maple.