The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

couch sticking to dough

Klaus's picture

couch sticking to dough

Hi All,

thanks for having me!

I researched in the forum but could not get an answer, even though there was something similar.


The loaves are sticking to the couche.

These are high hydration Ciabattas. I flour VERY liberally ... still.

The material I have is canvas as used by artists ... heavy material, unbleached.

The flour is the same used as fore the dough ... bread flour.


Is it the wrong couche material? ... Is it the wrong flour for covering dough/couch (rice better?)

I've seen some put their Ciabattas right on parchment paper for the final proof ... is that a good idea? ... with flour> .. will it burn/smoke?


Thanks in advance - your advise is very much appreciated.

mariana's picture

Hi Klaus,

in my experience, the couche material does not matter, unless it is non-stick material, like silicone baking mats or Teflon baking sheets, or non-stick baking pans which last fovever for proofing on them and for hundreds of bakes even at very high temperatures if you proof and bake on them.

Parchments are covered with silicone, so they are also good both for proofing and baking and can be reused several times, if you wish. No smoke, slight yellowing is to be expected if you bake some items at very high temperatures, like pizzas. Ciabattas are definitely OK.

What works for me with traditional couches, even if it's just a handkerchief or a kitchen  towel, let alone hand woven linen proofing cloth, is using something with very low protein content and non-glutinous. Wet starch does not stick, only proteins and gluten become sticky when moistened. So, white rye flour, or rice flour, or any pure starch that I have at home, they all work very well on the surface of the proofing cloth and or on the surface of the dough.

You can even proof high hydration doughs on metal, like big baking sheets or wide and deep baguette pans, which come in non-stick versions, or if you make their surface non-stick with PAM spray, Better Than Pam spread, very low fat margarine (30% fat margarine contains enough lecithin to make surfaces completely non-stick) or homemade lecithine+oil blend (1tsp is enough for a big area of the kitchen counter or an aluminium  baking pan to make them non-stick).

jo_en's picture


I also use a light spray of PAM on the  surface where the dough will have contact followed by dusting this lightly sprayed surface with brown rice flour.  Place dough in. It has worked very well for me.

Hope this helps!

foodforthought's picture

ciabatta’s the only bread I don’t proof en couche. I just portion and final proof on a wood counter. Then flip and stretch onto cornmealed peel. Then into oven.