When I first started baking sourdough bread in a dutch oven, I would nervously drop the floured boule into the dutch oven, cautiously slash the loaf, cover the lid and slide the whole thing into the oven as quickly as possible. The first step in increasing my confidence in loading the bread into the oven was to use some very thick oven mitts. That worked great. However, when I saw people using parchment paper I was really happy to adopt this technique.

 

The parchment paper allowed me to drop the loaf into the dutch oven easily. However, the result was a loaf with a rippled edge. This didn’t affect the taste in any way, but it bugged me that the circular shape I had so carefully tended was now being distorted by the parchment paper.

So, I optimized my parchment paper sling by cutting V-shapes into the curve to help it lay flat, while leaving handles that I can still easily grab for safe transfer into the oven.

Parchment sourdough bread sling

This is what it looks like in practice compared to the traditional method:

parchment sourdough bread sling dutch oven

And here’s the result:

parchment sourdough bread sling dutch oven

You can see that the cut parchment has much smoother edges than the uncut parchment. How do you transfer your bread to the oven?  A peel, parchment sling or something else?