The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tartine Loaf too sticky after final rise

brikv's picture

Tartine Loaf too sticky after final rise

I've been trying my hand at the Tartine loaf for 6 months now and it seems I'm only getting worse. My biggest issue is the stickiness of the dough on the final rise before it's transferred to the dutch oven. I've tried using the flour mix suggested and I still end up losing a third of the loaf to the tea towel when I try to transfer it to bake. When the flour mix wouldn't work for me I tried more flour, wax paper, parchment paper, greased paper.... nothing seems to let me transfer the loaf cleanly. Not only that, because the dough sticks to and remains on the towel, all the beautiful results of the final rise just deflate on the transfer as I try to scrape the dough off the towel/paper which results in a tasty but really dense, short loaf. Has anyone else had this issue and/or found a solution for it?

Bob Marley's picture
Bob Marley

During the final rise, leave the dough uncovered and a slight skin will form.  And with that skin, I got a much better ear when the dough sprung in the oven.

PetraR's picture

A skin is not good, but we had talked about it in several posts.

The skin will also ONLY form on the top of the dough so it would still stick and the problem not solved.

You want an ear so you need to cut with the knife or lame in the correct Angle and you get an ear.

I personally do not like ears because they make cutting the slices more difficult.

ExperimentalBaker's picture

Some say putting it in the fridge allows the high hydration dough to stiffen up a bit, which makes it less sticky and easier to score as well.

PetraR's picture

Do you put flour on the shaped dough before you put it in the banneton or you bowl with the kitchen towel?

What hydration is you bread dough?

Bob Marley's picture
Bob Marley

Skin forming works for me.  Period!  8)

MichaelLily's picture

Either do your final proof in the fridge or do a longer bulk ferment to create a very well proofed dough, which won't stick as much (the texture of a very well proofed dough is quite a bit different from a lesser proofed one).  I much prefer proofing in the fridge.

cerevisiae's picture

While Tartine does make very wet bread, I find that the better the gluten development, the less it sticks to things. So that's one factor to look at.

I use all rice flour  and a very smooth towel, and I not infrequently also coat the top of my loaf with "extras" - oats, millet, sunflower seeds, etc. I usually do this when I'm adding these things to the dough as well, but I think the extra layer between dough and cloth seems to help it release better.

What kind of flour are you using? It's possible that you may need to hold back a little water, too.

I would also second trying putting your dough in the fridge for the final rise; I've been doing this more lately and I feel like the loaf often comes out with a better shape this way.

jkandell's picture

Try using half rice flour or tapioca flour with all purpose on the towel. I've switched to that and have less sticking since they absorb less moisture. You could simultaneously add some oat or barley flakes on the surface; but I bet the rice flour will do the trick. 

I also recommend firmly tapping the back of the banneton or colander with your hand as you decisively flip it onto your counter. 

If shape is deflating, you may gently reshape the boule before placing into Dutch oven. 

Finally, it wouldn't be the worst sin to slightly decrease the hydration of the dough. Your flour or climate may mean your dough is moister than he intended.  

bikeprof's picture

as many have had this frustration...even Chad in his masterclass video in Europe had some stickage.

Everytime I slack off on attending to this, I seem to pay the price you

- use the rice-flour/AP mix that Chad recommends

- (big one for me) don't be in too much of a hurry after final shaping to get the dough in the basket - as it sits, give it a decent coating of flour/seeds/rolled grains or whatever, and make sure your basket is well prepped, then scoop it up and place it in.

- watch where it sticks if it does, and in the next round, take steps to prevent it (e.g. I was getting extra stickage on the sides of the loaf, because in the final proof, unfloured sections of the expanding dough would run up the side of the basket).

- I find a wide pastry type brush handy for spreading flour gently across the dough surface, covering wet spots without laying it on too thickly.

I have also had that feeling that my tartine loaves are going down hill...not fun, but it gets better.  Hang with it!

printemps2014's picture

I have had this horror happen many times, not just with the Tartine recipe. I've found that getting good tension in the initial shape before the bench rest, then again for the final shape definitely help. Most importantly though is the rice flour. I tend to do the 50/50 blend, but I have a good friend who now only uses rice flour and she never has problems sticking. I really rub the flour mix into the kitchen towel before putting the dough in to proof. It can make a bit of a mess when turning the loaf out, but I almost never have sticking anymore. I've also heard that linen is a god-send when it comes to avoiding sticking, but I haven't worked with it so I can't confirm.

I've been doing a lot of reading lately, and one of the other things to consider is what flour your using and how it is absorbing the water. Maybe try cutting back a slight amount on the water so that your dough isn't overly sticky. It should generally be tacky, but not coating your hands sticky when it comes time to shape.

Devoyniche's picture

You definitely have to use a gritty flour otherwise the dough is going to hydrate the flour and cause it to stick. Tartine actually calls for a mix of whole wheat and rice flour for dusting, but you could use semolina, I have even heard of using cornmeal or something.