The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

FWSY Pure Levain Sticks to Banneton

mook's picture

FWSY Pure Levain Sticks to Banneton

Lately, I have been baking Forkish's overnight country blonde/brown recipes, and I am having trouble removing the loaves from the banneton.

The loaves have seemed fine up through bulk fermentation, they shape well (slightly sticky but manageable). I then put them in a banneton for 4 hours as instructed.

Forkish says that the finger dent test does NOT work for pure levains, and that his experience is that 4 hours is better than his initial schedule of 3 hours. 

At this point, when I go to remove from the banneton, they get stuck and end up tearing when I try to remove them as delicately as possible.

I am guessing they are overproofing in the banneton, but wondering what I should try first?

I have thought about using rice flour in the banneton as some people have suggested, but I've baked dozens of instant yeast and hybrid recipes and never had a problem, so I don't want to hide any larger issues. Other thoughts:

1) shorten proof

2) shorten bulk fermentation

3) something else?

mook's picture

After some additional research, one other thought was that it has to do with proofing in a grocery produce plastic bag that is essentially sealed by folding itself under the banneton - could this perhaps be keeping in too much moisture?

Danni3ll3's picture

or half rice and half all purpose flour in your bannetons. Seriously, problem solved!

David R's picture
David R

There aren't any larger issues that would be hidden by coating your banneton with rice flour. I mean, "dough sticking to banneton" is just a common irritation, and shows nothing about your dough other than proving that you remembered to put water in it - which yes I sure hope you did. 🙂

Benito's picture

Rice flour is a revelation, at least it was for me.  Before trying rice flour I would always have some issue with the dough sticking to the banneton, now I use rice flour and I'm not having sticking problems.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

If you search on this site for "Country Blonde" or "FWSY" problems, you'll find that a lot of people have had to adjust the fermentation and/or proofing times for Forkish's recipes. Also some people adjust the hydration down a bit, and still make nice bread. The fermentation and proofing times seem excessively long for a lot of people. When your proofed loaf is sticky that's often a sign of over-proofing. Dough shouldn't stick to a well-seasoned banneton (as you said your other dough is fine), but rice flour certainly does help.