Couche cloths are an even simpler way to prove a free-standing loaf. The cloth is rucked up into ‘gutters’ which hold the rising dough. The dough pushes against its neighbouring gutters and so tends to go upward rather than outward as it proves.
When fully risen, the dough pieces (which can be either long like a baguette or bâtard, or oval) are gently flipped onto a floury ‘slip’ (a piece of stiff card or thin plywood will do) and slid onto the peel or baking tray for placing in the oven.
With basic care, the couche should last for a long time. We send an explanatory leaflet out with each order and full instructions are also available here.