The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

HELP! - how do you get the risen baguette off the linen cloth??

Julia W-B's picture
Julia W-B

HELP! - how do you get the risen baguette off the linen cloth??

Hi there, first time poster here - I'm a relative new comer to home baking but am knocking out some pretty good hybrid Sour-dough loaves (100% hydration, 2-3 gms yeast to 500g flour)  I've recently decided to give baguettes a go and am reasonably happy with the result of the crumb, crust etc, BUT I can't find any information about getting the risen baguette off the linen cloth onto the tray with any resemblence of the gorgeousness it had on the cloth.  I have been lifting them off, which results in a deflated fatter middle and  elongated ends.  It puffs up nicely in the oven but looks more like a long oval loaf than a classic long skinny baguette :(   Rolling them off onto the tray seems logical but how do you do that when there's more that one baguette?  I am using a floured linen tea-towel not a proper cloche, so its not as sturdy as I imagine one of those would be, but nevertheless the successful transfer from one to t'other still remains a mystery to me - any ideas??  THANKS!!

ps any ideas on how to make the most of this incredibly lush site?  I'm full already but am sure there are so many hidden delights and maybe even an answer to this question....

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

The way I was taught was to use a "transfer board".  It is easier to see and understand than it is to explain in words, so I'm going to ask you to watch this excellent video tutorial (on ciabatta as it happens) by Mark Sinclair (mcs here on TFL) who owns and operates the Back Home Bakery here in the USA in Calispel, Montana.  He uses a transfer board to load the ciabatta onto the baking trays near the end of the video.  I was taught to use exactly that same technique to move other long-shaped (batard, baguette, etc.) loaves to the baking tray. It takes a couple of tries to get the hang of it, but after that it works pretty neat.

A note on the trick, though:  proof your loaves seam side up...  Yes, seam up.  Then when you transfer them for baking, as you can see in the video, you first pull on the linen and flip the loaf over to seam side down, then flip it again onto the transfer board to land seam side up, and finally you flip it one more time off the transfer board to land seam side down on the baking tray.  Phew, that is a lot of flips!  Seam up proofing also benefits the slashing.  Seam up means the top of the loaves is down on the linen, which mildly dries out the top.  That make it easier to slash, and the slight dryness helps those slashes to open up nicely.

This tutorial I have suggested by Mark is at least part of an answer to your question about finding the jewels here on The Fresh Loaf too.   This site has been around for long enough now, and is host to so many learned discussions and helpful comments, that I doubt there are many questions you cannot find anything on.  It may not be exactly your question, but you may also find some good stuff in the results. Because of that I strongly suggest making frequent use of the search box in the upper part of the left sidebar of every page.  Use just a few terms for any subject you are interested in or have a question on.  Read a few of the posts that come up, then if necessary add or remove terms from your search and try again.  In a short time you will find enough reading to keep you up late.

Welcome to The Fresh Loaf Julia W-B!  I look forward to seeing some of your baguettes in the future.  By the way:  There is a FAQ available on how to post photos if it gives you trouble.  Just click on the FAQs link on the top menu bar of any page, including this one, to get there.
OldWoodenSpoon

Julia W-B's picture
Julia W-B

Brilliant advice that worked brilliantly. Thanks so much!!!

tomsbread's picture
tomsbread

Check out this Youtube video on transferring Baguettes using a flip-board.

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

A  variation is to lay a strip of baking parchment over the baguette before flipping . This way, the baguette sits on the parchment paper and you can avoid the situation of getting the dough stucked on the flipboard. The flip board can double as a peel for loading into the oven.

If you are just using the flipboard for transferring to a baking pan, you can slip a stocking/hose over the flipboard to prevent the risen dough from sticking onto it.