The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Raw flour problem

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thesteelydane's picture
thesteelydane

Raw flour problem

After years of futile attempts of creating a ciabatta with those gorgeous huge holes and a chewy crumb, I finally got very close today, in no small way thanks to all the excellent advice I've found o this site! 
I used a poolish starter (100 % hydration) with just a speck of yeast and a 16 hour ferment, then made a 72 % hydrated dough, of which the poolish made up 30 %. It was very wet and imposible to knead, so I just brought it together with a stiff silicone spatula in the bowl, then folded it 2 times during the first rise, and baked super hot with steam and all - pretty straight forward, a pain working with such a wet dough, but well worth it. 
Here's my question though: To avoid the finished loaves sticking to the counter and the towel I covered them with while proofing, I had to use so much flour that a lot of raw flour ended up on the outside of the final ciabattas - How can I avoid this? And what is the best way to get such a fragile loaf from the counter onto the peel and in the oven with knocking any air out of it?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
P.S. I posted a pic in the Gallery section: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/1681