The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to cover for final rise?

terabull's picture

How to cover for final rise?

My every week bread is a basic white bread in a bread pan.

For the final rise I usually just spray plastic wrap and stick on top but sometimes it sticks to the sides and prevents a full rise.  I've tried  parchment, doesn't stick to the sides but does the top. I never seem to have a clean towel around but wouldn't that be too heavy?

So what does everyone else do? 

Ramona's picture

I usually just mist mine with some water and then put them into the oven with the light on and let them rise.  Sometimes I use a wet light linen towel, but I prefer not to cover them.  Some people here put their pans of dough into a very large plastic bag. 

mcs's picture

For breads that I really want to rise up higher on the final proof, I use a similar technique as Ramona. However, I blip my oven on for about 30 seconds to warm it up, shut it off, then put my pans in the oven. On the lowest rack I have a pie tin that I fill with about a cup of water that I just nuked in the microwave. It provides the humidity. If my house is cold (like now), I do all of my fermentations in the oven in this manner.


subfuscpersona's picture

Get some good quality ziplock bags and cut them apart to make plastic rectangles; use them (sprayed) instead of the lighter plastic wrap; I find a heavier plastic is less likely to stick to a wet dough as compared to plastic wrap. Have a light hand when removing the covering from the dough. These can be used over and over.


Jillian's picture

I've had this struggle before as well, and found that using a clear plastic (Rubbermaid type) storage container turned upside down (without the lid :) over my pan of dough works excellent. These plastic containers seem to do a great job of retaining the dough moisture without interfering with its surface while it rises.

I use a large, shallow tub over my sheet pans of rolls, or a taller, bigger container will cover 2 or 3 loaf pans.

bwraith's picture

Someone suggested this a while back, and it's definitely my favorite method. I put my loaves, whether in pan, banneton, or couches, into a "Ziploc Big Bag", which are gigantic Ziploc bags. They come in Large and X-Large and are almost as big as a lawn bag. I put in a bowl of warm water, and then seal the bag. The bag can be used over and over. I've used one bag for over a year now. I've washed it a few times to remove any flour, but most of the time I manage to get the loaves in and out without leaving any flour in the bag. I place it over a chair back to dry it out after a proofing session.

A large cooler can be good used in a similar way.


JMonkey's picture

I hate dealing with and buying plastic wrap, so what I've taken to doing is:

  • For the bulk rise, I cover the bowl with a plate or a big pizza pan. I've never had a problem with the dough crusting over.
  • For the final rise, if it's a batard or boule, I just wrap it up in baker's linen dusted with rice flour, though if you don't have the real thing, a linen napkin will do fine.
  • For pan loaves, I just invert an empty bread pan on top of the one I'm using. Works great.
terabull's picture

Thank you for the suggestions.

The tupperware/empty bread pan seems like the most simple way to go.

JMonkey I  would think the risen dough would stick, even sprayed,  to all the sides of the inverted bread pan.


Maeve's picture

I use the plastic dome/top thingy from my cake carrier.  I just set it over the loaf pan and let it rise.  But I only make 1 loaf at a time.  I also dislike putting plastic wrap on the dough for the final rise.


I use that top as a cover for first rise of ciabatta or french bread, too.