The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dough Transfer to the Oven

aly-hassabelnaby's picture

Dough Transfer to the Oven

Hello everyone,

I need help with a rather important issue: dough transfer. I don't have a pizza/baking peel and I don't have a baking stone to leave in my oven. Which means that I have one of two options when it comes to actually getting my dough in the oven:

1- Leaving it to bench proof on a sheet pan and putting the sheet pan in the oven (and relying on how good of a conductor aluminum is). This means that I put a cold pan in the oven so it takes up a lot of heat and mitigates the oven spring.

2- Risking a 'bad landing' so to speak on a pre-heated inverted sheet pan or other ceramic baking dish. This is when I heavily flour one baking sheet, place the dough to bench proof on it and helplessly hope for it to actually move off it when baking time comes.

The closest I've come to a successful transfer was when I was making pizza. Given that pizza is flat and lacks in the vertical, it was easy getting it off my wooden cutting board and into the oven. However, with bread, its much trickier. This is where I need help.

Do I have to have a peel or a cutting board would do fine? Any particular anti-skid combo that I should be trying (corn meal + flour for example)? Can parchment paper help with this issue?

BobS's picture

Try proofing on parchment on one sheet, then sliding both bread and parchment onto another sheet in your oven. This works. 

aly-hassabelnaby's picture

Bench proofing the dough on parchment then sliding the parchment into the oven is working like a charm. However, my problem now is that the parchment sticks to the bottom of the bread and some of it doesn't come off. Has that ever happened to you? What do you do?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You might have used butter paper by accident.  Dab a little water on the paper, let it soak through to the bread and then try to peel off.  A little paper also won't hurt you if you can't get it all off the loaf.  

Bakingmadtoo's picture

I used to remove the oven shelf I wanted to bake on, cover it with a sheet of parchment.  When the oven was preheated, I would turn the dough onto the shelf and parchment and load the whole shelf back into the oven. 

little lemon loaf's picture
little lemon loaf

I went out and bought a cookie sheet.  Its about the size of half sheet baking sheet but no edges, so its just a squareish flat piece of metal.  I then move my loaf to a bit of parchment paper to rest and then onto the "peel" and I just slide it off into the oven.

aly-hassabelnaby's picture

Thanks BobS. I tried your suggestion last night. After shaping the dough (a task I still need to practice a lot), I placed on a piece of parchment to bench proof while my oven came up to temperature. The parchment was on a flour wooden board. When it was time to bake, I made sure the parchment is free to move and loaded the dough without much trouble.

I used a ceramic baking dish as a baking stone and I guess it worked fine. Got some nice oven spring. Still need more practice though, and I guess the area limitation of the baking dish will eventually be limiting.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

You can also preheat the stone or griddle and just take it out of the oven to get the dough on it.  That is easier than trying to land it in the oven.