Preventing Wet Couche

When working with wet doughs, bakers will often encounter difficulty with the coucheing during production. Far too often, the shaped loaves will stick to the couche or lined banneton. One way to prevent this is to excessively flour the banneton or couche with your bread flour—but let’s not do that! Some bakers prefer using a bread flour/rice flour mixture for dusting the couche or banneton. A small amount of rice flour added to your bread flour will do wonders to keep your couche dry enough to release the proofed doughs. A 4:1 ratio is sufficient and small enough not to alter the flavor of your bread.

Another option is a bran/whole wheat mixture. This will prevent any sticking and add a rustic look to your breads. We have also found that a semolina/bread flour mixture, commonly used with ciabatta, also adapts well to any wet dough.

San Francisco Baking Institute