Flour or grease to prevent sticking

Flour or grease to prevent sticking

Hello all,


This is a somewhat general question but I wanted to generate some discussion around techniques rather than recipes.  In general, there are two methods to prevent dough from sticking during the proofing process.  One can either grease/oil the dough/container/surface, or one can use flour of some sort. 

Recently, I’ve been making lighter breads from primarily white flours looking for an open crumb which naturally lends itself to a higher hydration dough, but for this reason, most recipes suggest using the greased method to avoid adding more flour to the equation.  However, I’ve run into two problems with this.  First, I really like the look of crust that has been floured and looks a bit drier and crustier (is that a word?).  Second, and probably more infuriatingly, I’ve been having a heck of a time getting these breads into the oven and have ruined a few in the process.  There is nothing more aggravating than spending a week building a sourdough starter, another day creating a poolish, all day kneading and proofing, and then finally, when you’re ready to put the bread into the oven, the loaf sticks to the peel and upon trying to get it off, the entire loaf falls onto the floor of your electric oven around the coils.  (and yes, that literally happened to me recently)

So, getting back to the discussion, assuming the identical recipe, how much of a difference do you think there is between flouring and greasing surfaces?  What kinds of effects do you think each will have on the finished product?  Which do you prefer and why?  And does anyone know of a way to prevent greased loaves from sticking to a peel?

Source: Fresh Loaf