The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking couche... what gives?

luc's picture

Baking couche... what gives?

Ok I've seen them mentioned anytime French bread comes up.
Is a bakers couche no more than a piece of canvas or linen that's been floured?

Is the purpose to keep the baguettes relatively straight while proofing?

From what I've seen here:
it appears they facilitate easy transfer to a peel which then pops them onto a baking stone.

I can't imagine it'd cost me nearly $17.00 to find a piece of unbleached canvas with the same dimensions and coat it with flour and have a home made version of the 'bakers couche'.

Anyone here use one? Anyone here have any recommendations for what works best?

Best regards,

dasein668's picture

I've used dishtowels (not the fuzzy kind, more like the bar rags) and parchment paper to the same effect.

Nathan Sanborn

gradygrains's picture

This was a method used in France to ensure the breads stayed straight during final proof they were called Vienna slips. Any fairly stiff material is usable just ensure you have plenty of flour or better still a blend of flour and rice cones on the cloth. Take great care in transferring from the cloth to the peel this takes great skill when done.


John W Cooper

dstroy's picture

Floyd's been using baskets he found at Goodwill lined with linen.
An example of that is shown here

andrew_l's picture

Mine are wicker or rush baskets lined with linen. I've got two round ones, two long narrow ones. And they are very helpful!
The dough is proofed in them (they can be dusted with rye flour to stop the dough sticking, or the ball of shaped dough can be rolled in either poppy seeds, flax seeds, pinhead oatmeal etc).
If, after proofing, the loaf in the couche is refrigerated for a couple of hours, then turned out and slashed before putting into the hot oven, a slack dough stiffens and holds its shape better and also developes an excellent oven spring.

KNEADLESS's picture

When you take the loaf out of the refrigerator, how long before it goes in the oven?


Nhumi's picture

The site sells it through san francisco baking institute - gives money for scholarship to students.

 There are more on this site, but buying it here, the SFBI doesnt get a portion of the sales.


renart's picture

I just use duck (cloth) for lining my baskets. If I am making multiple loaves like baguettes,etc, I just use the duck cloth with 4x4 blocks of wood to hold in the ends.





Everything goes with bread~

DEREN's picture

Deren Weaving is the French specialist of baker’s couche. All fabric is in stock in our Normandy warehouse. Its quality is adapted to an intensive professional use.

This fabric, used daily by bakers to supporting proofing bread dough, has the following characteristics:

- 100% pure linen flax, untreated natural fiber, loomstate, no chemical used.
- Approximately 400 gsm
- Canvas shaved

- Quick drying
- Sold in roll
- Possible customization : written inscription

- Numerous sizes are available (23.6/25.5/28/29.5/31.5 inch.)

Terms and conditions : Minimum order quantity is 250 meters. Credit card payment accepted.

For your requests of estimate and information, contact us by e-mail :