The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Recently, I purchased plastic bannetons for producing boules. I have tried to spray and then flour them and just flour them. Currently, I am using them to make Pain au levain, using Calvel's formula out of the Taste of Bread. Anyway this dough seems very sticky, I like the bread and don't want to change my method of a secondary fermentation time of three hours; However, I can't get the dough to fall out of the basket. It absorbs all the flour and won't fall out without destroying the shape, is there a trick to this? I really don't want cornmeal on the top of my bread so what to do?

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Hello Baguette Masters,


I believe I have a sound formula for a lean french dough. It calls for a preferment with equal parts bread flour and water and 1 % instant yeast. The final dough is 66% hydration. However, I am not getting the thick, crispy crust, which I thought was desirable for a baguette? I have a great oven and do three seconds of steam 2x in the first minutes of baking.  What makes the crust thick? My baking time was roughly 30 minutes and the crust was light to medium brown (next time I will take a picture) Thanks for any suggestions, and I have been enjoying the back and forth between all the bakers on this site, it has been very helpful.

Marcy, hamptonbaker

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