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...

307 users have voted.


Doughball 2013 October 27

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



Antilope's picture
Antilope 2013 October 28
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.
liztgibraltar 2013 November 4

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?

tasmedic 2013 October 28

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



Emma 2013 October 28

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. 

davo 2013 October 30

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...

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