Baking Linen, French
French Baking Linen (Washing Not Recommended)
Linen canvas for proofing bread is mainly used in France and is called couche meaning: layer, diaper, lay down or verb go to sleep (coucher). Made of natural flax fibers with no chemical color used, linen is the best material for proofing bread. Linen is very durable, but flexible and light. Shaped loaves of bread are placed in between the folds of linen to help the bread maintain its shape during proofing, reduce the amount of space needed in between the loaves, and prevent the loaves from proofing into each other. Linen will absorb the excess moisture of the dough and minimize stickiness during proofing, but will not dry the loaves out out. The fabric can last forever if scraped or brushed after every usage, and then hung to dry before using again. CAUTION: We do not recommend washing the couche. To keep the moisture away just scrap and let the couche dry out. If you really want to wash the couche, wash it with cold water and no soap. Since it is natural linen it might shrink.