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I suggest getting a peel and using fine cornmeal or semolina if you don't want to use parchment paper. I use If you Care brand natural parchment paper if I don't have cornmeal. Practicing sliding and shaking the dough off the peel makes it much easier!

I, too, am a recent convert to the Bertinet method! But as for fancy equipment, my baking stone is a 40cm x 40cm paving slab from B&Q, which cost something like £5.75 and fits the floor of my oven perfectly (even though it's heavy, I've also used it on a shelf in the middle too). For the person who was asking about a video, as well as the one that comes with the book 'Dough', there's also a really good one online with Richard demonstrating his techniques to Tim Hayward (which includes a couple of minutes on how to 'slash' a baguette!) at http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/video/2010/jul/20/how-to-cook-bread

I just tried making squash buns using Bertinet's method for slapping (my word) and shaping, and they came out Marvellous!!! I have made bread, etc. for years and the texture of this was amazing compared to what i usually get. I will just have to get over the sticky gooeyness of the beginning - hate the stuff under my fingernails.

i too am obsessed with richard bertinet's books and methods so am happy to have stumbled upon this blog. i have some olive dough from his book dough which i am about to shape and proove. i bought some razor blades from the barber and will try them for scoring.

Love your descriptions of Richard's kneading technique! I've just made my 2nd batch from his 'Dough' and am waiting for it to prove. Must admit, I got in a bit of a pickle transferring the proven loaf the first time too! Susie

exerlant book, every recipe that i have tryed so far has come out wonderful.

That should read "I (heart) RB's book". Also: slashing the top: be bold, cut halfway through, it won't do any harm. Other tips from a fellow amateur; handle a proved loaf as little as possible; roll and stretch yr baguettes carefully, try to avoid tears in the surface of the dough; do one big batch a week: I do a big loaf for the weekend, and freeze a load of part baked baguettes for when they are needed.

I RB's book. Nothing fancy required - I'm using a scrap bit of 6mm plywood as a peel, and an unsealed terracotta tile from Fired Earth (order now, while their sale is on - I paid less than £2 for a 12" square tile) as a baking stone. Slashing the top is easy only with a razor blade - old school ones still widely available - you can buy a handle if you must, or make your own. Good luck, ps my current favourite is the standard 70% white bread recipe with about 5% rye and a bit of olive oil (maybe 10% of the liquid content)

I love the way Richard teaches the bread "kneading". all my friends and family are enjoying the different breads that I hve been trying. I am enjoying making the bread and they taste great and look great as well. The only part I still have issues with is the technique for "slashing the tops" of the baguette, etc. Would be great if i can have a quick video of how this is to be done.

thanks

Thanks for that great advice. I shall order some linen towels soon. I have just received my scraper from the site and of course I should have ordered a linen towel at the same time, as I had tried with an ordinary cotton tea towel and they stuck to that. I'd convinced myself that I already had some linen towels, but if I have they are well hidden.

Hi
Glad to hear you are enjoying Richard's book.
The only material that really resist sticking to dough is well floured linen - the stiffer the better. This is what all bakers cloths and couches are made from. You can buy them from our online shop at
http://www.thebertinetkitchen.com/shop.php
You only need a couple and they will last you for years.
As far as a peel as concerned there are some useful alternatives you might want to try - handled wooden chopping boards (preferably with a tapered edge) are one option but should you ever buy or be given a bottle of wine or port in a presentation box - keep the lid! They make perfect peels especially for thin loaves or baguettes. Don't forget you can use fine polenta or corn meal on you peel (board or other stand in) as the grains are round and act like tiny rollers to move the dough into the oven.
Happy baking.
Jo Bertinet

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