The French word couche (pronounced 'coosh') refers to a piece of heavy linen cloth that is traditionally used for proving long, thin loaves such as the famous baguette. The couche is dusted with flour and each loaf laid on it, with a pleat being raised in the fabric between each loaf to prevent them from sticking to each other. In most commercial bakeries perforated, u-shaped aluminum pans are now used for the same purpose.

Want to find out more? Look at the chapter on rising, proving and fermentation in the book flour and water.

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