The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Seam up or down?

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Lloyda's picture
Lloyda

Seam up or down?

I have a real basic beginner question, that l have found conflicting answers to.

when I shape into a boule and place in a banneton, should it be seam side up or down?

Thanks

Lloyd

BobS's picture
BobS

Then flip the banneton over to carefully drop your loaf onto the peel. Don't worry too much about how the seam looks. no one time on the hot stone will over a lot of sins. 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Almost all (probably 90% +) of the breads you see here at the TFL( the fresh loaf) are placed in the banneton seam side up. This means that when they are turned out of the banneton to be baked, the seam side is down, against the pan, or stone. The top of the bread is then usually scored(cut) for optimal expansion of the loaf during baking.

IIRC, the original method prescribed by Jim Lahey no knead videos, he may have proofed the loaf seam side down, and then baked seam side up, with the seam obviating the need for scoring, resulting in a more "rustic" look. I imagine others may also teach this method.

Like most things with baking bread, it's a matter of personal preference, and what one is trying to achieve.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Hi,

I assume that you are flouring the banneton and therefore if the loaf goes in seam up, the flour sticks to the top of the loaf and shows that quality in the final product if the loaf is baked seam down.  If the loaf goes into the banneton seam down, it is then the underside of the final loaf that gets the flour if the loaf is turned seam down for the bake and the final product looks different in that it has little or no flour on its visible surface.  It becomes largely a matter of preference with regard to handling and final appearance. You can see that there are many avenues that can be followed with regard to how the loaf is positioned throughout the entire process.  There is no hard and fast,  right or wrong,  rule here.  It is likely that you will find that one method works better for you over another after experimenting.

Jeff

Lloyda's picture
Lloyda

Thanks,all guess I will stick with seam up. Jeff I must admit to being slightly confused by your argument . surely the bottom of the loaf will always be the top of the banetone? So the flour will always be transferred to the top of the loaf?

Lloyd

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

"surely the bottom of the loaf will always be the top of the banetone"

My point is that this does not have to be.  You could proof it with the seamless side up although this is not commonly done.

Jeff