The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Difference proofing seam side up or down

mutantspace's picture

Difference proofing seam side up or down

quick question. What's the difference between putting ciabatta from seam side down in couche to seam side up on peel and into oven and the other way around - some people do one or the other?

jimbtv's picture

The seam is usually somewhat unsightly and when it is the location of a split, it is usually uneven. With the seam side down during the bake there a couple of advantages.

First, you create the score how and where you want it. The lines can be clean and even decorative. Second, some folks like that rustic baked flour look to their bread. If you dust your couche or banneton with flour before placing the loaf seam side up, the flour will adhere to the dough and create that effect. The brotforms I use leave a really cool lined circular pattern and it is visually appealing.



HansB's picture

Usually placed seam side up on the couche, then you can flip it onto the peel seam side down and bake seam side down.

I have not seen ciabatta scored.

MonkeyDaddy's picture

to shape his ciabatta.  He lays the mass dough out on the work surface and trims around the edges to make it square.  Then he cuts the mass into individual loaf portions and places a piece of the trimmings on the loaf before he flips it over to proof upside-down.  When he flips it back right-side-up to bake the loaf naturally splits along the seam where the trimming was attached and it gives a nice effect without having to score it.  You can take a look at the YouTube video here.


mutantspace's picture

That's a great video but I think I prefer no seam on a ciabatta I just love the wrinkles :)

mutantspace's picture

thank for all that - in Maggie Glazers book she proofs in couche rightside up and then flips and bakes seam side up. Bakers apprentice they do the same and in many recipes also. Thing is it goes against all my logic as im used to proofing in bannetons upside down and baking with seam on bottom. I think the reason is that because your NOT scoring the seam on top allows gas release but im not sure.

thanks for the comments 

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I usually letter fold mine and then put it fold-down on floured parchment. After about an hour I flip it fold-up, stretch it out a bit and let it proof some more, then bake it. I like the flour pattern that results as well as the marks and texture from the folding.

kendalm's picture

'tourne a gris' as its called in French is usually applied to dry out the crust just enough to give the bread a crisper crunch factor - as for ciabatta I think its more a logistical thing when dealing with such gooey dough :)