The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baguettes Keep the Shape

Bakeation's picture
Bakeation

Baguettes Keep the Shape

I wonder if anyone could help or share their ideas on how to keep baguettes shape when they are prooving I use linen but I constantly have to keep adjusting so the dough keeps its shape. The linen is not stiff enough to be able to support the sides of the baguette dough, I did think if I used the proper French Couche used by bakers it might be better?

Sean McFarlane's picture
Sean McFarlane

you may be able to find some heavy untreated linen at your local fabric store, cotton will do(canvas), though flax is better.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Excellent product at a reasonable price:   http://www.sfbi.com/linen_canvas_couche.html

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Push the baguettes up against each other with linen inbetween,  like pencils laid side by side.  You need some sort of "bookend" for each outer most baguette or on either side of the baguette if there is just one.  The bookends will keep the baguettes pushed against each other (with linen inbetween) and they will hold their shape until baking.  Waste no time after leaving the linen and prior to entering the oven.

Jeff

wally's picture
wally

This may be more about proper shaping technique and less about stiff linen.  The primary purpose of couche isn't to enable a baguette or batard to retain its shape, but to keep the surface of the dough from developing a 'skin' while it proofs.  If you create the proper degree of surface tension when shaping the baguette, it will retain its shape even if you're using a light-weight fabric or other material.  I would be careful about placing them too close together- rather than helping them retain shape you are going to restrict their ability to proof fully.

Good luck,

Larry

Bakeation's picture
Bakeation

Thanks for your feedback I do push linen in between the baguettes but I need to find book ends as suggested  I appreciate the couche really is for keeping the dough from drying out in the air.I find I still need something to cover them also is the objective of the couche also to absorb moisture from the dough hence the material used? I did think about getting a wooden cutlery divider as a means of keeping them in their compartment!

wally's picture
wally

The ability of the linen to wick away moisture is a secondary benefit.  I usually slide my couche (which I place on top of a large bread board) inside a medium size garbage bag to create a proofing environment.

Larry