The folds of a couche (a piece of stiff linen) are ideal for cradling and supporting proofing baguettes and batards. But how do you transfer the proofed loaves onto a peel so you can get them into the oven?
Flipping board to the rescue. A flipping board is nothing more than a narrow piece of wood onto which the loaf is gently rolled off the couche, and from which the loaf is then either rolled or slid onto the peel.
In the video below, I use a 27 x 4-inch board to transfer baguettes onto a piece of parchment on my plywood board “peel.” (I will slide the parchment, loaded with three baguettes, onto the baking stone in the oven.)
These baguettes have been proofing seam-side-down in the couche, and I want them to wind up seam-side-down on the parchment. To do this, I lift the edge of the couche to roll the baguette onto the flipping board, so it’s now seam-side-up. Then I roll the baguette off the edge of the flipping board onto the parchment, so it’s seam-side-down again.
[qt:http://www.wildyeastblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/flipping.mov 480 360]
(If you can’t see the video here, view it on YouTube.)
If the baguettes had been proofing seam-side-up in the couche, I would roll them onto the flipping board to get them seam-down, then slide, rather than roll, them off the board onto the parchment.
If the dough is very sticky, you’ll need to rub the flipping board with flour.
I like my flipping board from TMB baking ($15) because it is thin and lightweight and has beveled edges, but it would be easy enough to make your own; even a narrow piece of stiff cardboard would do the trick.