Dough really sticking

Hi Everyone

I've just started making sourdough - made 3 batches so far.

The first and third batch stuck like mad to the tea towel when I tried to turn them out.

Batch two turned out great but there was about half a kilo of flour on the top of the loaf.

My question though is whether a banneton will make it easier to turn out or it'll be a similar problem? Is it just part of sourdough to have a really floury loaf?

Thanks for your help. Apologies if this has already been dealt with previously...


A tray covered with a cotton cloth floured with cornflour works great for my big loafs.

other options here:

Have been making SD for about two years trying various ways to get that perfect loaf. The most helpful tip I stumbled across was to use a linen cloth to which the dough will never stick. I line my banneton with a linen tea-towel, pu the dough in to rise and when I turn it out onto a board to slash before baking it NEVER sticks. Try it! But make sure the material is 100% linen. 

happy baking



I rise and bake sourdough loaves in the same stainless steel mixing bowl. With this method, I don't disturb the risen dough and achieve a maximum risen loaf.
I bake boule's (round sourdough loaves) directly in a stainless steel mixing bowl. It's a 5-quart NSF rated stainless steel mixing bowl from Walmart (part of a set of 3). After kneading, I spray the mixing bowl interior with non-stick cooking spray (usually olive oil), form a boule and plop it in the bottom of the bowl. I place a pan lid that fits tightly on top of the bowl. Then I either place in the fridge for an overnight rise, or let the bowl of dough rise on the counter.
I pre-heat the oven, water mist the risen dough in the bowl and place the uncovered bowl of risen dough in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes. I use a digital probe thermometer to check when the center of the loaf reaches 205F, then I know it's done. This technique creates a perfect boule with a brown crispy crust all over. The baked boule always tips right out of the stainless steel bowl with no sticking. This method eliminates the need for a bread proofing basket or dutch oven. Although I have several dutch ovens I prefer this method.

Thank you for the tip

I am new at sourdough making. My problem has been that once the dought has rissen I place it on the baking try and the bread spreads  it tastes nice the crumb is perfect, but I get a flatish loaf. Your idea of baking it in the mixing bowl seems a good one.  I will try and I do next time. I see pics of other sough dough loafs and they are perked and perfecly round, but mine never come out that way. How do they do it?

Like some others, I find that smearing a bit of olive oil in the bowl before the last proving helps the dough to turn out of the bowl better. 

Also adding a bit of semolina to the flour you use on the bench helps prevent to dough sticking to the counter top.

I haven't tried the "linen cloth" trick but will definitely give that one a go, if I ever get fed up of the taste of olive oil... although that's not likely as I'm 53 years old and still like it!


Best wishes



As Homer very wisely said :


I've literally just had a phone call from a friend that reads my blog  He was ringing to thank me for making his life so much easier by recommending rice flour for flouring his teatowel. (A tip I picked up on this site) He used to have so much trouble with the dough sticking when he used wheat flour. I was having the same trouble with my bannetons until I started using use rice flour to dust them. 

Good luck with your baking. 

Yep Rice flour. i actually like wholemeal rye, so I do a 50-50 rye and rice and haven't had a problem since.

Agree if you use a very hard cloth with little free fibre it will also stick less...

Another thing - it's really hard to get any flour to sit neatly on a folded ridged cloth in any bowl. So put some on the cloth, but also add some to the skin of the loaf before inveting it into the bowl. A modest amount in both areas means you don't end up with a loaf that looks like Mt Blanc in winter...