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.
E L R A says
I love youuuuuuuuuuuuu, thank you! It helps a lot!
So simple when you see it. So easy to not get when reading it!
Wow, those are beautiful. I’d love to see the finished result. You must have a wide oven for such long loaves!
That was perfect! What recipe are you using for the baguettes? Also as Astrid said, could you please show the slashing and the transfer to the oven and back out , each in video form ? It would be so instructive. What size is the plywood that you use ? Also the size of your stone? Sorry for all the questions but you have such a great informative site…I find I check in here every day . THANK YOU, Caroline
Now I have to look for a flipping bord or I ask ourcabinet maker to make one for me.
That is so simple yet so effective. I must get one!
Thanks for the video!
Susan, when I saw this video I laughed, not that your style or even skill is lacking, far from it, your a pro. It’s my apartment in NY is so small I have to balance my pizza peel on my bench and stove when I go for oven entry, my stove is not only my cooking medium but storage too!
So jealous, when are you firing some loaves in that stone oven???
Hope your well, Jeremy!
You make it look so easy! Wish I could fit baguettes as lengthy as those in my oven.
Awesome! And I had the same thought as Astrid when I saw the length of of your baguettes!
Such beautiful, long baguettes. I have never used a couche.. I cheat and use the chicago metallic french bread forms that hubby bought me.. I should learn to make them traditionally one day.
Madam Chow says
Good heavens – just how big is your oven? Do you have more than one? Great video and very helpful. I’m lucky to fit one long baguette into my oven, and at a very awkward angle!
Thanks for posting the video! It makes it so much easier to understand how to transfer the loaves to the peel. To echo a lot of the above comments, I soooo want your gigantic oven.
Hi Susan, wish I could view your video. Do you have it posted at youtube? I cannot view it on my computer for some reason. Teresa
Susan, thanks for the video. You make me think that I can do it too!
Thanks for the info on where to purchase the board…can you also share where you got your couche? I have a small one, but your lovely item leaves me wanting. (By chance, did you get it from the same e-retailer, and if so, may I ask the size?)
As always….I LOVE your site!!!
These baguettes are about 22 inches long but even smaller ovens can accommodate a 15-inch loaf, which is still a really nice size (and fits much better in the freezer).
My oven is fairly large but it may seem even larger than it is because I have a stone that takes advantage of its full size (the oven is a 36-inch range and the stone is 24 x 14 inches). Medium-sized ovens can fit larger stones than the standard 14×16 inches. If your stone is smaller than your oven cavity why not extend its size by adding some unglazed terra cotta tiles (available at building supply stores; many stores will cut them to size for you). Make sure you have an inch of free space on all sides of the stone.
I will try to try to get together more videos (e.g. of the slashing and oven transfer) but I’m still a novice with iMovie so it may take a while.
Caroline, the dimensions of the flipping board are 4 x 27 inches. The dimensions of the plywood I used as a peel here are 18 x 26. (It is the proofing board from TMB Baking. Obviously you could cut your own plywood to whatever size. Me, I’m not good with power tools.)
Maggie, yes, the couche is the linen canvas from TMB Baking (aka SFBI). I like it because it is quite stiff and the folds hold up well. Hmm, maybe I should have titled this post The TMB Baking Equipment Ad.
Teresa, I’m sorry you can’t see it. I put it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hpk0R5tR-pw&feature=channel_page
Thank you Susan. I thought that the site looked like SFBI’s site…I had not ordered from SFBI previously since they didn’t have an on-line store…now I will. What brand is your range? I have the double Miele ovens and love them but they will not take anything longer than 20″ by 15 “wide. They are listed as 30” wide units but you know how that goes !
My proofiing board is my Grandmother’s wooden cutting board that my Grandad made for her….lots of memories there. It is quite large so all I need is the flipping board. And some canvas. Have you tried painter’s canvas from the hardware store? I wondered if it would work if it was washed and dried a few times.
BTW my wild yeast is growing very well and is ready to start using in the AM. I am also going to try waffles with the discard. Somewhere on one of the links here I saw sour cream sourdough waffles…do you happen to know who had that recipe? Sorry to go on so long. Thank you again…I just love your blog.
Thank you for such a great recipe. I am a new baker and made this today and it turned out beautiful and tasted awesome!!! I hope to take some classes at SFBI sometime in the near future!
Nothing seems to be easier than seeing someone whom you can help but not helping.
I suggest we start giving it a try. Give love to the ones that need it.
God will appreciate it.
Your oven must be huge! So, I just scale the board down to the size I need for my oven? Can I just buy a board at the hardware store? Any recommendations for the type of wood?
Sophia Harrison says
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Light Sensors : says
ther are lots of free ringtone sites on the internet if you just keep on searching on google”.-
I’m just now getting into home baking after @ 5 years off as a weekend baker at a small French bakery in the NW.
What I notice that you don’t do with the hand peel is use it to straighten out the baguette on the board after you’ve transferred it from the couche. This is something that you may have, in the years since you posted this, corrected. But one of the beauties of the peel is that the long straight side of the peel can be used to correct the “wiggles” that many baguettes suffer during their transfer .