The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Major trouble having Sourdough not stick to the shaping bowl = loosing it's shape when turned onto baking sheet

Nick Sorenson's picture
Nick Sorenson

Major trouble having Sourdough not stick to the shaping bowl = loosing it's shape when turned onto baking sheet

I've been trying to make this for weeks. It always tastes pretty good and actually turns out ok but it's not right.

When I let it shape in my "Baneton" (just a bowl that's been buttered and/or floured) it is stuck to the bowl BIG time by the end of the 2.5 hour last rise time. When I flip the bowl and turn it onto the baking sheet/stone/etc it barely will leave the bowl and sticks most of the way out. Needless to say I now have a blob on the baking sheet. I end up having to re-shape immediately before baking. This works but it's not right.

I do the poke test and only bake when the finger poke finally doesn't quickly spring back out at me.

Any tips on getting the loaf shape to remain and not stick to the baneton?

yy's picture

Try lining the bowl with a tea towel or piece of linen, and coat the fabric generously with flour. You can "prime" the fabric by misting it lightly with water so that the flour will stick. While the cloth may still stick a little bit to your loaf, you can carefully peel it off the dough without causing too much damage.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

is not only to hold the dough while doing a final rise before baking but to lightly absorb moisture from the "skin" of the dough to help it maintain its shape when eventually inverted.  Letting the dough rise in a bowl will result in trapping moisture between the bowl and dough keeping the dough surface moist,  bubbly and open.  Open bubbles can be seen in the dough if the bowl is transparent.  Gas escapes as soon as the bowl is overturned and removed causing partial collapse, similar to tipping out the dough after a bulk rise.  Good for bulk rises but not necessarily good for finally shaped dough.  So...

Lining a bowl or colander (it has holes in it) or sieve with a floured cloth is a step in the right direction and works much better.  A banneton that is cane, paper or plastic relies on the form's ability to breathe and to absorb a small amount of moisture instead of cloth to maintain the dough's "skin." 

yy's picture

Mini makes an excellent point about bowls trapping moisture. A plain old wicker basket lined with a cloth is another option.

dabrownman's picture

half rice flour (non glutinous) and AP flour for dusting the smooth cotton cloth (don't use terry cloth or anything thing not smooth).  You can also lightly dust the top of your dough ball before inverting it into the floured cloth liner.  This is almost a fool proof non stick way to get your dough out of the form and have it ready to slash, nice and dry too, and into the oven.

Happy Baking.   

Pioneer Foodie's picture
Pioneer Foodie

When I first started baking, I used the bowl lined with tea towel, and that worked fine. Then I got snobbish but cheap, and bought some wicker bowls at a second hand shop, and sewed a cotton liner for each. That worked also, perhaps a little less fuss.

When I worked at a "semi-artisan" bakery, we formed sourdough boules on the bench, and then proofed them without any form or support on a linen couche. We also retarded them on the linen couche. When we let them rise before baking, they did just fine. We loaded them onto the peel by hand, and they didn't lose shape.

Often it seems that forums like this perpetuate a singular idea as the only acceptable idea. I think there are lots of ways to make it work. Look at how many different people do it, and work to get a feel for dough. Then experiment. Good luck...

JoshTheNeophyte's picture

When you do have mishaps like this -- a final proofed dough about to go into the oven that sticks to the banneton -- does reshaping make sense?  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sticking to the banneton.    Reshaping depends on the damage.

When the dough sticks just a little bit, and the dough doesn't collapse, then reshaping isn't needed, sometimes a few clips with the scissors to remove a blob of dense dough may help.  But often just sticking the torn dough piece back on works.  Or wet of finger and smooth over the torn bubbles to create a skin.  

If the dough has collapsed during a tear, and the sticking is major, reshaping is a must.  If the dough is very sticky and won't shape, it is perhaps over-proofed and should be mixed with some fresh dough before shaping and proofing again.

Ways to prevent sticking include not only dusting the banneton but rolling (rubbing) the finished dough shape lightly with flour before placing into the banneton.  Options include crumbs, seeds, grated nuts, starches.