hydration for bench proving
I've been making loaves using bannetons with some success(and some failures!). I've been using about 67/68% hydration- I do struggle to 'tighten' the dough enough to keep a good shape if I go any wetter=just the simple problem of everything sticking. I appreciate this might be viewed as a relatively low hydration for sourdough but I'm still learning;)
I wanted to try and shape a batard so went down to 60% hydration and found it much easier to tighten and shape the dough. I just sat the finished loaf on the counter for its final prove which in the end was probably only about 90 mins-I normally prove much longer but was concerned the loaf would spread too much. How would one normally prove a batard? In a couche? This I imagine would help retain height but if I'm only doing one loaf at a time there is nothing for it to sit up against..
Is it generally accepted that a batard, or other shapes not proved in a banneton, need to be lower hydration.... or do I just need to keep practicing?;)
One final question- how to people season banneton to prevent or minimise sticking? I've been loading them with rye flour but it ends up coating the loaf a little too heavily. I then clean the banneton completely and repeat for the next loaf. Should I be leaving the flour in and trying to create a skin, patting the flour in to create a layer? I read somewhere about painting the banneton with a flour water paste and letting it dry?
Thanks in advance for any input and apologies if I'm asking too many questions!