The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

moving bastard loaves from bed to peel

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

moving bastard loaves from bed to peel

When proofing an oblong loaf on a linen bed, how does one move the tender loaf from the linen to the peel? Proof seam-side up and flip directly onto the peel, or good side up and transfer with a flipping board?

I ask, because my experience tells me that, left to my own devices, I'll do things backwards. I am reminded of my recovery from GBS, when the therapists were telling me to use the cane on my strong side when all logic (wrong, I might add) was telling me to use the cane on the weak side. Think Dr House and his bad leg. Neither of us paid any mind to the expertise of the physical therapist, though I have since seen the light. I'd like to avoid doing things the hard way vis à vis baking.

cheers,

gary

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Gary--

My usual approach to transfering from couche to oven is to use parchment paper.  I proof seam side up.  When the loaf is ready, I flatten the couche folds, place a piece of parchment next to the loaf, flip the loaf gently over onto the parchment with seam side down, then slide a peel under the parchment.  The peel carries the loaf to the oven, and I pull the parchment onto the stone.  One could do this without parchment, and simply flip the loaf onto a peel that's been powdered with semolina or the like.  But I find that using parchment reduces the risk of damaging the loaf inthe transfer process.

Glenn

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Having posited two alternatives, wouldn't you know the first response would suggest a third. ;-) Thanks Glenn.

cheers,

gary

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Let me know if you'd like a fourth or fifth alternative.

Glenn

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Options four and five, and maybe six have already been offered. All but Pat's are slightly off topic; but that's my fault for making a poorly formed problem statement. I'll  expand on that in another comment.

cheers,

gary

proth5's picture
proth5

Actually, either method can be used.  If it is seam side up, I have been taught to take the first fold out of the couche, then you use the flipping board to roll the loaf so that it is seam side down on the couche, then use use the couch as sort of a sling to roll it onto the flipping board seam side up, then move to the peel and roll/flip it off the board so it gently lands on the peel seam side down.  If it is seam side down I have been taught to use the couche to roll it onto the board seam side up and then onto the peel seam side down.  Why all the flipping?  Well - I was taught using an industrial loader where you don't have the option of moving the loader belt and you may need an intermediate board to position a loaf in the middle of the loader.  I use the technique at home with a peel because - well - it gives me a lot of control as to where the loaf is deposited on the peel. The decision really comes down to: seam up or seam down?  Putting the top of the loaf in contact with the linen couche presumably draws some moisture from the upper surface to better prepare it for scoring.  Seam down?  I'm at a loss to explain that, but it might be used when you are going to place seeds or other sprinkley bits on the loaf and will eventually need to spray it or wash it with something. 

That being said, I have had "my teacher" (Ah! surely we will be together again - and soon!) tell me seam up one day and seam down the next with no more explanation than "Just do it."

A baffling topic.

I don't use the parchment paper on the peel for anything - I consider it part of my hand skills training to slide a couple of baguettes (or a pizza) into a home oven unaided by parchment.  But when I work with beginner bakers I let them use the parchment to boost their confidence.

But I speak the truth about how to handle the loaf - although it is easier done than said.  Perhaps someon who is good at searching videos can find a video of the process for you.

Hope this helps.

Pat

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I agree with Pat. Learning to transport from couche to stone without using parchment is a skill worth learning. I generally use a home made flipper board and make one move from the couche directly to the stone. I slash on the board. As Pat says, roll the dough as needed to the flipper. I find it works better if you dust the seam side with my rice/AP flour shaker before rolling the dough on, seams down. Slash, steam, load.

I recently made a board that is the width of my stone and parchment paper for baking rolls. The rolls need parchment. I have a large aluminum peel but it's not as wide as the stone. If you want to bake 12 rolls at a time, it's much easier if you shape the rolls and place them on the paper to proof. Then using the full size board load them easily all at once.

BTW, I like proofing seams up for batards and boules. I like the slightly dryer skin from the linen wicking moisture from the dough.

thomaschacon75's picture
thomaschacon75

I use brotforms or bannetons for every kind of loaf I make, from baguette to batard. If I could find one for pizza, I'd probably buy one. ;)

I realize that doesn't answer your question, so let me choose from the above: proof seam-side up and then roll onto a dusted peel (semolina or rice flour works best) OR parchement. "The roll" requires Zen-like (don't think about it or you'll botch it) concentration, so don't hesitate. 

I say "or parchment" because I only use parchment for high hydration (wet) doughs (70% plus). Wet doughs take a Master's master technique to get them into the oven without parchment. After 10 years dealing with wet doughs, I think it'll take me 50 more years to master the wet-dough-onto-dusted-peel-and-into-oven-without-destroying-loaf technique.  

GregS's picture
GregS

I've been using a Super Peel because it works a bit like a professional loader. I can slip two wet loaves onto my baking stone in one pass. With a bit of messing around, you can also use the cloth wrapping of the peel as a sort of couche.

P.S. I have no commercial connection whatsoever with the maker of Super Peel.

Greg

diverpro94's picture
diverpro94

Hehehe. It's spelled "batard", which means "bastard" in French. Those darn French; got to love em'! You see... If it were the English that invented the batard, it would be something like a "tramp loaf" and what not.

------------------------------------------

I always use a flipping board lined with parchment paper. Although, I havent mastered the technique, I see a lot of professional boulangers (bakers) using flipping boards. But, I also see a lot of brave ones go at it with their bare hands.

Watch this video and towards the end (at about time mark 6:00) Ciril Hitz transfers his different breads from a couche to his loader....

 

<iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.thefreshloaf.com/http://www.youtube.com/embed/RgqPli_sLLM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgqPli_sLLM

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Quote:
It's spelled "batard"
No, it's not; I spelled bastard correctly. I speak English, not French. I also know that a baller or ball-maker is a French baker, but again, I speak English, so baker it is. I also said bed rather than couche. Couche is problematic as it is probably from where we (English speakers) derived couch. I was pretty sure someone would pitch a hissy fit for misspelling it, so I used a probably better term, bed. This is especially so as couche derives from coucher, to lay. For example, from Patti LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade"; "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?"

gary

jcking's picture
jcking

Linguistical Laugh Out Loud

Jim

diverpro94's picture
diverpro94

No need for a linguistic commotion! lol

 

You're more than entitled to call it what ever you want, but professionally it's refered to in it's French version like most culinary terms and many dishes. It does cause a commotion, especially when you learn the translation as most French culinary terms are rather risque or just plane silly (Pate Choux: Cabbage Paste, Chiffonade: To turn something into rags, Ganache: Jowl, and others). But, these translation problems happen in one way or another with all languages. I am a native English and Spanish speaker, so I do see a lot of this in between Spanish and English.

 

But, the reason why much of the culinary world is in a fog of the French language is because they, the French, updated and refined the culinary world. Rather, they elevated cooking into an art form. One man that invented the modern culinary traditions and the brigade de cuisine system, Georges Auguste Escoffier, was French. (He also wrote the culinary Bible, Le Guide Culinaire.) So, out of tradition and respect for the creators of such a system, most people stick to the French terms. In culinary school, it's a BIG deal for us to learn the "propper" names, but I still have fun referring to pate a choux as cabbage paste. :o)

 

To sum that up into a smaller rant, the French language is the lingua franca of the culinary world. It's like Latin to the Bible, Italian to music, or Arabic to Islam. It's just simply tradition!

---------------------------------------

 

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?

 

Oh... No thank you. ;o)

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

If you mash a botch of wet dog, trundle it lumpwise to the barking stone.  It never fouls.

Glenn

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

It seems I dragged most off on a tangent. I was not asking how to use a flipping board so much as whether to proof seam side up or down for bastard loaves, and how to handle the transfer for either. Pat's suggestion for seam up to use the board to roll the loaf over, then flip is simplicity itself. Way too straight forward for my over-thinking ways.

Both Pat and Eric espouse the seam up proofing on linen, so I'll give it a try. Today's bake was proofed seam down, and there were no scoring problems on a 67% hydration, lightly enriched dough (other than my own disabilities). I shall try seam up next time and compare.

GregS was a little off topic, but I'll give him credit for mentioning the Super Peel. That's a doodad that has fascinated me, and I may just buy one if they have the size I'd want.

The flipping board had no learning curve for me, it worked as advertised from the first baguettes to today's bastard loaves. Solving the seam up/down conundrum leaves me in good shape on this tool. For the rest ….

cheers,

gary

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Gary Gary Gary, you are over thinking this situation. I was trying to get you to see the simplicity of minimal handling of the well proofed dough. If you proof seams up, all that is needed is to roll the oblong dough over onto the flipping board lifting the end of the linen fabric, so as to roll the dough seams down onto the board. No need to use the peel and risk damaging the fragile blob. Simply load. The fewer times you handle the dough, the better.

Eric

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Eric, that's making the board your peel, which is a problem for me where bastard loaves are concerned. My board is only marginally wide enough for most of my loaves. With my palsy due to GBS, I'd risk the loaf slipping off during the move to the stone.  Using my peel directly means the loaf is at the edge rather than toward the center, where I'd have better control. These are factors I have to, um, factor in when handling the dough.

I understand your concern over excess handling of the dough, and if it causes a problem, I can simply proof seam down. It is my sense that seam down keeps the skin tauter, and if not proofed in full in a bag, the top will have dried a bit, same as being against the linen. Or, I can lay the excess linen back over the dough.

cheers,

gary

davidg618's picture
davidg618

and I've made my own refinement that serves me well.

I've cut a board from 1/4" birch plywood that is 20" long and 8" wide. My home oven's interior is 22", and my baking stone is 20" wide.  When I bake baguettes, 20" long, I proof them seam side up, flip them onto the long side of plywood board, well dusted with rice flour. I gently straighten the loaf, if necessary, slash it and, presenting the wide side of the board to the oven, transfer it to directly to the pre-heated baking stone. I generally bake three baguettes at a time--all my home oven will allow--so I do the fllip, slash and transfer three times. I've not seen offered, nor own a commercially made peel wide enough the load a single baguette. I own a Superpeel, and an aluminum pizza peel. The Superpeel is too heavy and clumsy, for me. I sometimes use the aluminum peel for removing baked loaves, never for loading.

I also use the board when I load batards--I prefer using this word--proofed in bannetons (naturally proofed seam side up). I generally make 750g loaves; the oven accomodates two loaves side-by-side. I've found both my commercially made peels generally two narrow  to load two loaves at one time, and too wide to load them one at a time without freguently damaging the first loaded loaf with the side of the peel while loading the second loaf. For two batards or boules--like that word, too--I place a loaf on the dusted board, slash it and, presenting the narrow side to the baking stone, position the loaves accurately.

There are down sides, obviously: opening the oven two or three times, with the repeated loss of steam and heat, being the worst. Nonetheless, after much experimenting this approach works best for me.

David G

P.S. I was a Boy Scout; I am a veteran, and, in younger years, back-packed hundreds of miles of this great country. I speak only English, and love America. Nevertheless, one of my favorite mountain ranges will always, for me, be the Grand Tetons.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

-Mini

davidg618's picture
davidg618

David G

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Quote:
P.S. I was a Boy Scout; I am a veteran, and, in younger years, back-packed hundreds of miles of this great country. I speak only English, and love America. Nevertheless, one of my favorite mountain ranges will always, for me, be the Grand Tetons.
Then you might also find beauty in the  Deux Mamelles of Senegal, unless size matters. ;) Keep in mind that the vast majority in the US have no clue what téton means, it's just a name. Likewise boule, bâtard or boulanger are not understood. Baguette has entered the language, so no hoohah.

I don't mind anyone choosing to use a French word  or phrase that's well understood in the context. I do mind someone gratuitously deciding I am the village idiot (excuse me, l'idiot du {de?} village), and correcting me for using English or misspelling French, whichever.

I have  issues similar to yours re too wide/too narrow. For baguettes, I flip from the linen to the board to a sheet of parchment on the back of a half baking sheet. Three fit the half sheet, as well as fit my stone. After scoring, the oven rack with stone is pulled out and the parchment is slid onto it from the side.

cheers,

gary

proth5's picture
proth5

to the whole linguistic thread.  I'm US born, but in a series of strange events came to learn French at a very early age (it's "du" village...) and because of my until then unsophisticated upbringing, learned a lot of terms in French before I learned them in "American English."  So some of the American uses of French terms are quite baffling/amusing to me.

Just sticking up for us average Americans that do know what French terms mean :>)

Oh, and if you haven't watched the Hitz video - it is fascinating viewing.  Shows his absolutely incredible hand skills. 

diverpro94's picture
diverpro94

Gary,

I apologize if I did offend you or made you uncomfortable! That wasn't my intentions in the slightest. I have never heard anyone refer to a batard as a bastard loaf on purpose, so I thought you made an honest mistake. The people on this forum and most of the global baking community use the French version; it's just baking tradition.

My intentions weren't to make you sound like the village idiot or incompetent. I thought you misspelled a word, so I made an effort to let you know. I wasn't trying to get out my spanking ruler of baking and to whack you across the hands.

So, hopefully there are no hard feelings in between us. The purpose of this forum is to learn and share from our experiences.

 

Sincerely,

Stephen