The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Transfer to Dutch Oven challenges, parchment paper?

paul0130's picture

Transfer to Dutch Oven challenges, parchment paper?

So I'm having some issues transferring my dough into the Dutch oven. Sounds ridiculous, but it's true :) I've got the dough nicely proofed in the banneton, oven and dutch oven pre-heated to 465, then it's transfer time. I flip the banneton and dough onto my hand, and then carefully place that bad boy into the dutch oven. Bake for 15 minutes, remove lid, another 20 minutes, and I have a dang good loaf. But inevitably, one side of the loaf slightly falls. I'm assuming this is during the transfer.

Does anyone have any tips on transferring to piping hot dutch oven without affecting the loaf? Or, if I first transfer it to a peel with parchment paper on it, then gently lower the dough in on the parchment paper, perhaps I'll have better results. Just wondering if the paper will burn at the 465 temp, or adversely affect by bread. Thanks all!

Danni3ll3's picture

ends up distorting my loaf although crumpling the paper up before using does help a bit with that. I do use parchment paper but I cut rounds that fit in the bottom of the Dutch oven and prevent sticking. 

What I do is flip the banneton over on a cornmeal sprinkled counter and then slip the tip of my fingers of both hands under the dough to pick it up. If the dough is really wet, I jam my fingers into the sides of the dough and gently squeeze. Then it’s s quick motion to gently drop the dough into the pot with both hands. I make sure to keep my hands away from the walls of the pot. 

Hope this helps. 


joe_n's picture

Try making 8 radial cuts , every 45 degrees. Stay about 2-3 inches from the center of the paper for an intact bottom circle.  The pieces fall into place as you lower into the DO.  I haven't had  "crumpling" that distorts the bread shape.

hreik's picture

so clever.  It's what I love about this place.  The tidbits that really help.


Riley's picture

How clever.  Wish I had known that yesterday.  

FiddlinBilly's picture

What I do is flip it onto a peel with a square of parchment resting on the loaf and the peel resting on that. Flip, then ease it in after slashing. I preheat the Dutch oven to 500F then turn it down to 450; the paper isn’t so big as to get in the way. I reuse the parchment paper several times (at least 4) until it gets brittle and starts falling apart. Up to 76% hydration without any ill effects from using the peel. I can’t imagine using my hand without making a mess of things or burning myself more often than I do. :-)

paul0130's picture

You guys are the best! I tried flipping onto peel with plenty of cornmeal, cut the dough, and then picked it up and lowered into DO. First loaf turned out good, but second loaf had issues :) Next week I'll do the radial cuts with parchment paper. Thanks all!!


FiddlinBilly's picture

In my peel method there is no picking up, just a gentle sliding of the parchment and dough into the DO. As of yet, the 'fall' has not caused any issues with the crumb or oven spring. Haven't tried this with anything as high as 80% hydration, but it works for everything up to 77%. You really lay the far end of the loaf into the DO, and with practice you can just about lay the close end in too. 

FiddlinBilly's picture

Or maybe by 'pick up' you meant the peel  Either way, practice makes it better and you could probably practice cold with a bag of beans or something. Good luck. :-D

JeremyCherfas's picture

But I do mind cutting parchment paper every time, so I use a reusable "paper". My DO is an oval Le Creuset casserole, and I cut a strip of the paper that is about the width of the casserole and a bit longer. I flip the dough onto that, slash, and then use the bits of paper that stick out on the long sides to lower into the DO.

I've been using the same strip of paper several times a week for more than a year.

CUISINED's picture

estherc's picture

I found since I switched to a lodge combo cooker using the flat lid side on the bottom its much easier to load the dough. I use parchment paper on a pizza peel.

Smashiness's picture

My dutch oven lid is a pan, I use the bottom which is shallow and cover with the actual pot. I also use parchment paper under the dough. I also never made sourdough but my boules fit in great.

Colin2's picture

Maybe there's been an earlier discussion of why not to do this, in which case my apologies, but:  I'm finding that with a little care I can gently drop the dough right out of the banneton into the dutch oven.  I don't always get it dead center, but it bakes up fine and there's a lot less flour and trouble.  I'm thinking about modifying the bottom of the banneton to get a better grip on it during the transfer.