I am having difficulty in producing loaves with good shape. I have tried using a proving basket but the dough sticks to it.  If I shape it in a bowl during second proving and then turn it out, the loaf gradually collapses into too flat a shape.

any ideas.

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eb16 2013 December 5

I have found this video helpful:


I also struggled with the banneton at first, the dough just stuck to it. Now I use regular flour, rice flour and whole rye flour to dust the banneton very thickly first, then coat the shaped loaf in more flour, and then the dough doesn't stick. I try to brush some of the flour off the loaf before it goes into the oven. To take the loaf out I do what someone advised me here -  I place my hand over it, then turn the banneton upside down and gently take the dough out supporting it with my hand the whole time. Otherwise the dough will just flatten as it falls out. I use a cookie sheet with lots of coarse semolina to transfer the bread onto a preheated baking stone and cover it with a large roasting tray for the first 15 minutes.

Further suggestions, based on problems I've experienced with sourdough: if the dough is overproofed, it goes very soft and won't stay in shape. If the gluten isn't developed enough, same thing. If I rest the dough in the fridge overnight for second proofind in a banneton (wrapped in a linen cloth and a plastic bag), it develops a drier, slightly harder skin and is easier to slash and holds shape better.

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