The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Moving Bread to the Oven

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mage789's picture
mage789

Moving Bread to the Oven

I've had some trouble moving a proofed product into a hot oven.  Partly because the oven is screaming hot and also the product is hard to move. For example, I have my proofed baguettes in a couche.  What is a good way to get the dough from the couche to a pizza peel, then pizza peel to baking stone in oven?  I do dust the pizza peel with either corn meal or semolina flour, but I'm awful at sliding the dough off the peel onto the baking stone.  During the process though, I end up disfiguring the carefully shaped dough.


Any other innovative methods of doing this?  Tips?

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

I'm assuming that you have a stone in your oven since you mention using a peel.


Use a flipping board to transfer from couche to parchment, then load via peel.  Refer to the video below on basic procedure.  You can find suitable boards at a hobby store normally and cut them to length if necessary.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hpk0R5tR-pw


 

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Yep, using a "flipping board" is the standard technique for moving baguettes from couche to peel. (Don't beat yourself up over not being able to "slide" them; very few others can either.) There are lots of videos that include using a flipping board in both home and bakery  ...including some old Julia Child programs.


The innovation is in finding the cheapest and most unique way to construct a flipping board. A piece of thin plywood works well. A piece of cardboard (maybe covered with tinfoil so you can spray a bit of oil on it) works too, And so forth. (The main stumbling block is not the material, but the rather odd shape  --long-and-skinny. It needs to be comfortably longer than your longest baguette, and only very roughly as wide as your spread fingers.)

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

I didn't mention plywood because some people really get up in arms over the glues used in its manufacture.


That being said, they are commonly used as bagel proofing boards and I wouldn't hesitate to use one myself.  It never should come in contact with a heat source like an oven or preheated stone, since that can potentially release toxins.

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

Mage,


The flip, or transfer, board is a great tool for moving a baguette from the couche to a peel.  It sounds like you are also having trouble transferring from the peel to your stone in the oven.  A tool that I purchased and can personnally recommend based on my use of it for about a year now is the Superpeel - it is a wooden peel with a couche-type material wrapped about and through a slot in the peel so that it functions as a very small conveyor style loader.  Based on your desired needs, and problems you are describing now, I believe you would find this product very useful.  I have no affiliation with this product except as a very happy customer and user.  The site URL is


http://superpeel.com/


Check the "video" out to see how this product works.  Also, do a search on TFL for "superpeel" to see others posts.  It is a beautiful wooden peel available in several woods and is well made - I don't think you will be sorry if you purchase one. 


Good luck,


Ben

breadbythecreek's picture
breadbythecreek

I had the same problem with floppy loaves.  Now, I just lay a piece parchment on top of the folded couche and place the shaped loaf (seam side down) on the parchment to proof. When it's ready I slide the parchment onto the peel, score it, then slide the parchment onto the stone.  Very little disturbance of the proofed dough.  If you want, after the dough is set (5-10 minutes or so), you can pull the parchment oout so the bread sits directly on the stone.  Works for baguettes, batards, boules and pizza. Bonus- no burned cornmeal smeil :-)


-Pamela

Chuck's picture
Chuck

What is a good way to get the dough from the ... peel to baking stone in oven?


(I just realized I only addressed half your issue...)


I use exclusively parchment paper with my plain old el-cheapo (short-handled, metal) peel. My loaves proof right on the paper, the peel slides under the paper to pick the loaf up, the paper easily slides off the peel onto the baking stone, and the paper (which holds up to fairly high temperatures) just stays in the oven. Sometimes I remove the paper after the loaf has "set" (10 minutes or so).


So the answer to how do I get my loaves to slide on or off of anything without sticking is I don't.


If I could have only one not-quite-authentic tool for baking bread, it would be parchment paper. My hat's off to folks that baked without it; I don't know how they did it. Put "parchment paper" in the search box, and you'll find hundreds of mentions here on TFL.

jcking's picture
jcking

I use the parch same as Chuck. Also for pizza at 550F, just slide pizza off of parch after 99 seconds in the oven. Trim the parch close to the pie and leave a tab to grab onto when removing; use large spatula to lift edge of pie and pull out paper. Parch makes life easier.


Jim

jd's picture
jd

I like a wetter pizza dough and have had problems not waiting long enough. At the three minute mark, I hold the pie in place with the edge of the peel while I just pull out the parchment. I agree it is the only way to go.

jcking's picture
jcking

What temp are you baking your pie at?


Jim

jd's picture
jd

I've gone from drier doughs to almost batter like doughs and have finally settled on something to the wetter side of center.


Here's a prebake and post bake comparison. Sorry about the picture quality, I took these with my phone.


jcking's picture
jcking

If I leave mine on the parch for longer than 99 sec it burns. You have some good parchment paper.


Jim

jd's picture
jd

There is enough left for me to grab though. I'm lucky enough to be cooking in a 30" oven with a nice hood, so a little smoke from the oven is no issue either.


Jim

jcking's picture
jcking

Maybe you get a little smokey flavor :)


Jim

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Most parchment paper is coated with silicone, and so has about the same temperature sensitivity. Silicone's "melting" point is somewhere between 450F and 500F (468F I think, but I'm not sure:-). The heavier thicker stuff will stand up to 450F better, but at 550F there's less difference.


Parchment paper for bread doesn't have much of a temperature problem, partly because typically ovens are only at 450F anyway, and partly because the effective temperature is dramatically affected by the large mass of dough and can be more than a hundred degrees less than the overall oven temperature. The parchment paper can usually simply be left in place for the entire bake.


Parchment paper for pizza is more of an issue, because the oven is hotter and because the dough is spread out pretty thin.


There are a couple tricks that help a lot though. One is to use scissors to "round off" all the corners (when starting a fire in a fireplace you typically light an exposed "corner" of the newspaper because sticking out sharp corners catch fire easier - think of applying that same principle to the parchment paper: get rid of exposed corners). The other is to use scissors to trim the parchment paper all around (except maybe for a "removal tab" as mentioned in one of the previous posts) to about the size of the dough itself (this "rounds off" all the corners too, so there's no need for two separate operations).


Fortunately overheated silicone-coated parchment paper doesn't do awful things in the oven (unlike wax paper:-). It doesn't ignite easily. It doesn't release a lot of smoke (although it may turn black). And it doesn't impart anything "funny tasting" or toxic into the dough. Although black parchment paper means "don't do that again", at least it doesn't mean "call the fire department".

jd's picture
jd

The parchment really isn't an issue. Brown and crispy edges on the parchment don't worry me, and, well, I kind of am the fire department. :-)


I will admit that I smacked myself in the head when I read this thread on getting a baguette to the oven. Duh. I've also already learned a few things here that have greatly improved the overall quality of my loaves.

kmrice's picture
kmrice

Anyone have a source for a peel for loading baguettes - something longer than a normal peel? My peel is about 14.5" square; I'd like to find something longer for baguettes.


Karl

yy's picture
yy

I went to the hardware store and bought a thin wood plank that they helped me trim to my specifications. I then coated it in food safe finish to prevent warping (optional). It was much cheaper than buying something marketed as a peel or a "baguette board."

bnom's picture
bnom

Karl, I was on the same quest for awhile before deciding I really didn't want a second and more massive peel in my kitchen.  Since I go from couche, to flipping board, to parchment with my baguettes, I just slide the parchment onto my 18" Epicurean cutting board and then transfer to the oven. Epicurean cutting boards are made of compressed paper and are relatively thin and light (they are top rated by Cook's Illustrated).  You could use a different brand but the idea is that it not be a super thick and heavy cutting board. The lack of handle is really not an issue if you're using parchment paper and a standard oven.


I like this approach because I don't have another single-use tool cluttering my kitchen. 


Also, a suggestion on flipping boards:  Home Despot has thin oak planks that 4 x 2 inches and strong.  I think they cost about 3 dollars. They make excellent flipping boards. I usually dust the tops (actually bottoms since I proof seam side up) of my loaves with semolina before flipping to prevent any sticking.


 


 

kmrice's picture
kmrice

yy and bno, thanks for the suggestions. I should have mentioned that I bake in a 42" WFO with a counter and entry way, so I need something fairly long. Before I built the WFO, I just used my baguette board as a peel but its way too short for my WFO. I may be able to use a thin wood plank, but I think it will be difficult to use in a WFO without a thinner handle. Certainly worth a try, though.


Thanks again,


Karl

bnom's picture
bnom

I can see you'd need something different for a WFO. I've seen peels that would meet your needs at restaurant supply stores.  (wide enough for baguettes with long handles).


 

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

You might be interested in the peels here. Look about half way down the page.


cheers,


gary

kmrice's picture
kmrice

Those look like just the thing!


Thanks,


Karl

intelplatoon's picture
intelplatoon

unless baguettes are a regular occurance in your household, you could use something like a non treated piece of lumber, or  some stiff cardboard cut to fit your baguettes

mage789's picture
mage789

Thank you all for the wonderful tips.  I think I may invest in a flipping board or an equivalent device (I'm not the most handiest of people).  Will hopefully post pictures of results!


 


 

gbguy71's picture
gbguy71

I've been using makeshift cardboard flippers with varying degrees of success.  One problem I've had is that wet doughs, such as Ponsford's ciabata, stick to to cardboard.  Just by chance I saw the following comment about wooden flipping boards in Glezer's "Artisan Baking Across America" (a big thank you to my local library, who had a copy).

If you are a frequent baguette maker, you will want this thin, light, narrow board to extract proofed baguettes from the folds of the couche, transfer them to the peel, and straighten them.  Most professional bakers cover their boards with a sheath of pantyhose to prevent the dough from sticking.

I'm anxious to give it a try.  Have to wait for the wife to come back from a trip to tell which hose I can have :-)

[Edit - do a search on this site for "flipper", you'll see that this idea has already been posted AND get some good ideas on what you can use as a flipper.  The slider on a magnum box of champagne is the best ;-)]