The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tips Needed

ciabatta's picture

Tips Needed

So, I've been baking quite regularly again after some years away from doing it regularly.

Doing lots of sourdough, maybe 6 x 500-600g loaves every other day. plus other types of bread here and there. I have a list of questions that keeps popping up and i'm looking for some tips on these:

1. I do give away most of my bread to friends and family.  can anyone recommend what types of bags are best for this?  I am trying to stay away from plastics as much as i can.  Right now i'm leaning toward Duro brown paper bags #12 (they come in bulk pack of 500 for about $18-$25, i think)

2. What kind of bags can you recommend for bagging the dough for cold retard in the fridge?  this is usually in a banneton or cloth line bowl for me. i am using some supermarket produce bags right now and they're quite flimsy and i would like to reuse plastics as much as i can.

3. How often do we need to clean my bannetons and cloth liners?  i usually brush out the rice flour after each bake from there, but it seems like perfectly good rice flour going to waste.  they do get a bit moist, not sure if i can just keep them on there since i bake so regularly. I do put them into the compost bin, along with any other bread waste i might have.  we are getting some ants as it's warmer here, but they dont seem to care for wheat or rice flour. i think whatever remaining flour i have on these are safe, from ants, at least.

4. Washing my mix bowl and other tools always leads to lots of flour specks in the sink that are hard to wash off.  i can imagine what it's also doing to my kitchen drain pipes. It's not that i'm dumping flour down the sink. but i wonder if whatever is making it down there will cause problems.  anyone have issues with that?

5. more of a tip.. i generally put my kitchen aid mix bowl in the sink and fill with some water and never use soap until i'm done with bagging up the dough for the fridge. i soak my starter jars in there,  I dip my hands in there to wet them before handling dough for stretch and folds, dip my scraper in there. and rub off dough stuck to my hands in that bowl of water so that i'm not constantly running the faucet. 

Any other tips anyone care to share along these lines?

MTloaf's picture

2. I buy a lot of bags of ice in the summer and carefully remove the staple and reuse them. I figure they are food safe and not flimsy and the right size for oval baskets. I put cloth over the dough because it sweats otherwise. I also cut them open to make a sheet to cover the dough on the bench resting.

Another way to reuse plastic are these.


ciabatta's picture

i just bought a big box of Milano cookies from Costco because the container that is comes in would be perfect to proof my loafs in...

Benito's picture

I have a few shower caps, I use these instead of cling film to cover the dough during bulk fermentation. I then also use these to cover the banneton while the dough is in the fridge.  I used to use new kitchen garbage bags but I find the shower caps do the job and they are obviously reusable.

I’m not sure if the rice flour would develop mold eventually in the bannetons if not cleaned out but I allow the banneton to dry a bit either in the sun or in the cooling oven and then use a brush to brush them out.