The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Why use cloth liner on Brotforms?

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kensbread01's picture
kensbread01

Why use cloth liner on Brotforms?

I see Brotform.com sell their Brotforms with cloth liner and without.  I would assume that using the cloth liner will imprint a soft texture to the bread crust and minimize how the concentric circles of the brotform transfer to the crust.  So is that the only difference?  Looking purchase something and wonder if I really need the cloth liner.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think the basket came first and then the cloth was added it to prevent sticking to the baskets.  Austria and Germany like the cane that grows in the region between the two countries.  It is a blind industry and has traditionally been used as well as braided straw baskets.  There are no rules on liners or baskets just what works.  I'm waiting to see the loaf that has a jean pocket in the crust, jersey knit will also work and doilies or woven designs in fabric.  Pine needle baskets, unglazed bisque clay pots and tiles, plastic french fry baskets, don't limit yourself.

Try it, just watch out for varnishes and paint that might transfer to your dough.  I think dabrownman has a blog entry on assorted baskets.  

kensbread01's picture
kensbread01

To answer my own question, I read that the cloth absorbs some liquid and prevents the dough from sticking to the basket before transferring to oven stone or baking device.  Yes, Mini Oven, I may be over thinking this and granted there are many home solutions to bread baking that does not require an internet connection and credit card.  However, what what fun would it be if we could not do things to improve our outcome in any endeavor?  I laugh at all those with calorie counting aps on their smart phones, or heart rate monitors, etc.  But people do these things for a reason, whatever floats one's boat you might say.   Personally,  I like the look of bread having the little circles on top and would pay extra to get that effect.   I love how the dusting flour works it's way around the crust to create a visually stuffing look.  You gotta admit... it is cool!   Still wondering if using the cloth will mitigate the circles.  Perhaps better to go directly onto the brotform.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

you will not get spirals, that comes from floured naked cane.

but you can lay out a cloth, sprinkle with flour and take your finger nail and trace a spiral. Plop the dough on it (and into a basket) and come out with a decoration.  Also a rack or stencil can be laid on the top of the risen loaf and dusted with flour, stencilling the loaf.  

If you have an electric stove nearby, the one with removable coils (to clean or whatever)  you are in luck!  Ready made stencil right there in the kitchen!  Pull that sucker of a coil out, flip it upside down over your shaped (risen?) dough and dust with some flour, instant coil look!   Are not I fun?  Oh, tap, wash and dry it well before sticking it back into the stove sockets.  :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

there are plastic baskets that also make the spirals or lines.  You can always drape with a floured cloth or stitch up a liner to fit it.  

Look at the baskets under the ones sold with cloth, more often than not, the baskets are not designed to be used without the cloth.  Yes, the idea of all this cloth and basket stuff is to hold the dough while it rises, in a shape, and dry the skin of the dough.  How you get there with your credit card is up to you.  I love the spirals, cut up the bread and you do not see them anymore.  So how much "show" do you want?

yy's picture
yy

Functionally speaking, removable cloth liners are an extra insurance policy against sticking. A lot of my higher hydration loaves stick after a few hours despite ample flouring. When I flip over the lined basket, the loaf and liner come out together. I can then carefully peel the liner off the loaf without tearing the surface. 

Bob Marley's picture
Bob Marley

Those liners are usually made of raw linen and can be purchased cheaply at TMB Baking of San Francisco.

clearlyanidiot's picture
clearlyanidiot

Isn't linen considered the best fabric for proofing bread in due to it's physical properties?