The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flour Dusting or something else?

Mike Sisson's picture
Mike Sisson

Flour Dusting or something else?

I have seen a large number of pictures of freeform loaves with what appears to be a dusting of flour on the crust.  The flour is on the top of the bread so I know that it isn't being used like cornmeal to prevent sticking.  How and when is the flour (if that is what it is) being applied to the bread?  If it isn't being applied and it's coming from the dough itself during the baking process, how do you achieve it?

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

Many people do the final proof of shaped loaves on a floured couche or banneton with the seam UP. When the dough is ready it is flipped over and slashed and baked. I assume this is what you are seeing.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

take your pick of one or any combination.  

Grated or chopped un-roasted nuts or seeds can be used in a similar fashion.  As well as rolled grains like spelt, oats, rye, and barley.  The list is endless.  

Whatever sticks to the dough and prevents it from sticking to a cloth draped form or banneton used to hold the dough while it rises.  Or sometimes the dough is shaped and rolled into flour or seeds spread on the work surface or tray and then set aside so the dough can rise before being baked.  Some loaves can be decorated using a trivet or cooling rack resting on the surface while flour is dusted over the loaf.  The rack/stencil is removed and a design is left in the dough.  

Flour is applied before the final rise or before the bake, not after the bake.  If it is not desired, it can simply be brushed off leaving a dull brown surface.

carolienbell's picture

In one of my cookbooks it just is suggested as a decoration; a way to make it look a bit rustic.