The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

dough spreads out when rising

tc's picture

dough spreads out when rising

Hi all. What are some makeshift ways to keep dough from spreading out while rising? I remember something about making a little hammock for your bread out of kitchen towels? I can't seem to find the articles and posts on this subject. I'm trying to make batard shaped bread. Thanks!

andythebaker's picture

try looking up couche, or baker's couche.

or for something fancier, brotform or banneton for something more structured as an alternative.

good luck.

flournwater's picture

"a little hammock for your bread out of kitchen towels" can be prepared by placing your shaped dough onto a floured towel (or oiled plastic wrap) and placing it between two wine bottles over which the ends of the towel/wrap are draped.  Works quite well ...

Chuck's picture

I often put the shaped dough in the middle of a piece of parchment paper, then roll up a couple kitchen towels (the diameter of the rolls is typically more than one inch and less than two inches) and slip one under either side of the parchment paper to form a sort of cradle. (I've rolled up bathroom towels and mats too, but found it's too hard to get them into place because the rolls they make are too big around.)

When baking time comes, I trim off the excess parchment paper with scissors and remove the rolled up towels, then slip my peel under the parchment paper which is under the loaf and slide the whole thing onto my baking stone in my oven.

Ford's picture

Building tension in the surface of the loaf is important to getting the loaf to rise vertically as well as horizontally.  Put the word "shaping" in the "search" box above.