The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

BBA's french bread in boule shape

basbr's picture

BBA's french bread in boule shape

Hi everybody,

I've been following this wonderful forum for a while now and got some teriffic tips from you guys. I'm new to writing on the forum and to bread baking itself. I got Peter Reinmhart's BBA for Christmas and already made a TERIFFIC focaccia. Now i'm on to French bread, and there's my question:

I bought a bannetton to shape dough into nice boules (I like those better than baguettes), but when reading the recipe in BBA it calls for an additional resting and proofing of the dough (45 to 75 minutes) after shaping it. But since I plan to ferment the dough in the bannetton, there will be very little shaping.

Should I stick to the first two hours of fermenting, or should I proof the dough a little longer (and maybe degass it a little bit)? And....... How much time should be added when baking to correct for the boule shape?

Thanks in advance!

LindyD's picture

Not sure why you think good shaping isn't necessary when using a banneton - it is.

Here's a tutorial that should be of help.

Be sure to use a generous coating of rice flour, or a 50/50 mix of rice and AP flours in your basket.

As to your question about timing the fermentation - the TFL mantra is don't watch the clock.  Watch the dough.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.


yy's picture

a banneton is not a substitute for shaping. The banneton will help hold the shape of the boule, but it's still necessary to form a boule with a taut outer skin to begin with, otherwise you will end up with a very slack and flat disk of dough.