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A baker's couche keeps bread dough’s shape intact and its surface uniformly dry as it proofs and rises. We put three mail-order couches to the test, as well as one common substitute.
What We Learned
Before putting baguettes into a hot oven, professional bakers tenderly tuck each loaf of shaped dough to rest in a specially folded, floured cloth called a baker’s couche (pronounced “KOOSH”). Always made of loosely woven linen, the couche (from the French word for lying down or sleeping) keeps the dough’s shape intact and its surface uniformly dry as it proofs and rises, helping de...