Couche Vs Baguette Pan: Which Is Better for Baking?

Making baguettes is a challenge indeed. The ingredients you use, and how much of them you use have an impact on your baking. Not just that, the pan you use can affect the baguette as well.

So which is better for making baguettes when it comes to couche vs baguette pan?

Between the couche and baguette pan, couche maintains a strict shape of the dough. Whereas the dough baked in a baguette pan has small bumps. Also, baguettes made in the couche have smoother bottoms. However, you will get a crispier surrounding if you make baguettes in a baguette pan. Lastly, couches are cheaper than baguette pans.

Still, confused about what you should use for making baguettes? We have a detailed comparison between couch and baguette pans in this article.

Just follow us through the article!

Short Overview

Now the comparison we are going to look into is between two resting places of the dough. Baking baguettes isn’t easy and having the wrong tool might affect your baking and eating experience.

Couche literally means “bed” or “resting place”. A couche is a thick canvas or linen that provides support for the baguette. Couches can be folded around baguettes if needed.

Baking baguette
Source: kingarthurbaking.com

Now a baguette pan looks like a cookie sheet or a baking pan. Doughs are left for about an hour in baguette pans.

Now that we know what baguette pans and couches are, let’s look at some of their differences.

DifferenceCoucheBaguette Pan
Shape and sizeThich canvas Like a baking pan
Effects on baguetteMaintains the shape and gives a smoother bottom  Crispier crust and gives small bumps in the bottom 
Taking off baguette Easy to take off the coucheHarder to remove from the pan
CostCheck Price on Amazon!Check Price on Amazon!

This table just shows the general differences between the two. The differences between couches and baguette pans are much more complex.

In-depth Comparison Between Couch And Baguette Pans

We already mentioned the differences between couche and baguette pans. But the table mentioned above is not enough to see the full picture.

We have to understand how the differences affect the baguette we are going to bake. And to understand that, we will need to know more details. Details about where couches and baguette pans differ.

Shape And Size

The first thing we see about either the couche or the baguette pan are their shapes. Their shape and size might seem insignificant. But their shapes help in their functionality a lot.

So let’s see how the shape and size of the couche and baguette pan will affect your experience.

Couche

Couche is a thick canvas. It may be made of linen. Couches are kept folded to house the dough of the baguette.

The best baguette couche is made using 100% flax linen. The linen is natural, unbleached, and untreated. The linen absorbs moisture.

The shape of the couche helps the dough maintain its shape. Couches can be folded around the dough as well.

Baguette Pans

Baguette pans look a lot like cookie sheets or baking pans. The difference is that baguette pans have two or three long and slender half-moon shapes. The shapes are all joined together.

Each of the mentioned half-moon shapes or cylinders can hold a baguette. And works as a baguette shaper.

So a baguette pan can hold two or three loaves of baguette together. The baguette pans are also wide enough. You can store the extra baguettes in the refrigerator just like how you can store custard in the refrigerator.

Not all baguette pans make good baguettes. Some tend to leave rough edges and stick to the dough too much. Here are some baguette pans that I’ve found to work well with sticky doughs:

Baguette Pans Where To Get
Amagabeli Nonstick French Baguette Pans for BakingGet Now!
Baguette Pan for Baking – 15″ x 6.5″ Nonstick Perforated Italian Loaf MoldGet Now!
Non-Stick Baguette Pan 15″ x 7.3″Get Now!

Baguette pans are usually made of stainless steel or aluminium or a combination of these two metals. The bottom of each cylinder has small holes in it.

Winner: The shape of baguette pans wins this round. The shape and size of baguette pans are much more suited for making multiple baguettes at a time.

Effects on Baguette

The purpose of our comparison is to find out which is better for us for making baguettes.

There are many factors impacting the decision. But the effects they have on baguettes might be one of the most important parts.

So let’s see how a baguette may differ due to being made in a couche or a baguette pan.

Couche

Couche helps maintain the shape of the dough of the baguette. The couche will maintain the integrity of the dough after it has been cradled. You will not have to worry about the dough spreading out or even flattening.

The wicking property of the linen lets it absorb the moisture on the surface of the dough. This is done without drying out the dough. This makes the baguette have a chewy, thin, and crunchy crust.

Baguettes made using couches also have a smoother bottom. No pores or small bumps can be seen in them.

Baking couche
Source: shop.kingarthurbaking.com

Authentic french baguettes are made in couche. This is how baguettes have been made for generations. So, if you want to try making authentic baguettes then get the couche.

However, I’ve found that a lot of couche present in the market aren’t necessarily authentic. As a result, my baguettes didn’t rise properly.

After a lot of searching and testing, I’ve made a list of couche that actually gets the work done. I’m listing down all of my go-to couche down below so that you don’t have to go through the same hassle as I did.

Couche Where To Get
Premium Professional Bakers Extra Large Couche 35″x26″ from FranceGet Now from Amazon!
ANPHSIN Large Professional Bakers Dough CoucheGet Now from Amazon!
Walfos Professional Proofing Cloth, 29″x17″ Heavy Duty Bakers Dough CoucheGet Now from Amazon!

Hopefully, now your precious baguettes will not get ruined.

Baguette Pan

The bottom of the cylinders of baguette pans have small holes. The holes let the steam or air circulate around the baguette during the baking process. This creates the crispy crust that we all desire.

Moreover, the holes of the cylinder end up creating small bumps in the bottom of the baguette. The bumps are like ping pong paddles but a lot smaller. A lot of people prefer the bumps, but a lot of people don’t.

Winner: There is no definite winner of this round. Anyone that prefers chewy baguettes without holes will say that couche won this round. Anyone that prefers the bumps and a crispier baguette would crown the baguette pan as the winner.

Taking Off the Baguette

Now probably one of the most annoying parts after baking is taking off what we just baked. We have all had our baked goods stick to the pan. The hardship needed to remove it without doing damage needs not to be mentioned.

Which one is less sticky to baguettes, couches, or baguette pans? Let’s see.

Couche

Baguette couche is made of linen and inherently non-stick. The linen does not stick to the dough of the baguette during the baking.

The couche is very absorbent and does not need extra flour to be not sticky. The couche dries the surface of the baguette leaf. Making it really easy to remove the baguette from the couche.

Baguette Pans

Baguette pans can be both sticky and non-sticky. Getting the baguette off of the non-stick pan is pretty simple.

But the baguette might get stuck in the holes of the baguette pan. In that case, the baker can gently pry the baguette off. A spoon or a fork or a dull knife can be used.

A parchment paper can be used to deal with the problem. Here are some baking parchment papers that will work in this case:

Parchment PapersWhere To Get
Reynolds Kitchens Parchment Paper RollGet Now!
Unbleached Parchment Paper for BakingGet Now!
SMARTAKE 200 Pcs Parchment Paper Baking SheetsGet Now!

Adding flour can sometimes help but most of the time flour can’t control the stickiness of the dough. It doesn’t matter whether you use semolina flour or bread flour the dough will stick either way.

Winner: Couche wins this round. Couches are not sticky at all and taking the baguette is really easy.

Cost

The price of the tool is a really important factor regarding the purchase decision. So let’s see how the costs of working with couche stack off against baguette pans. 

Couche

Couches are relatively inexpensive. Using them requires nothing else, so the operating cost is zero. 

Moreover, lined couche can even be made at home. If you have the linen needed that is. 

Baguette Pans

Baguette pans are made of stainless steel or aluminium. So, they are relatively more expensive. 

Baguette Pans
Source: kingarthurbaking.com

While using baguette pans you might also need to use parchment paper to make it non-stick. That just adds to the expense of using baguette pans. 

So you might be wondering, are baguette pans worth it?

Baguette pans are worth it for beginners and those who still haven’t mastered the art of making baguettes. By using baguette pans you can easily make multiple baguettes in a short time. So many beginners prefer this over the couche. Even professionals use this as it is convenient and easy to use. 

Some people just find using baguette pans easier as you can see here-

There are also some people who stick by the authentic way of baking bag

uettes which is by using couche. It all varies from person to person. 

Winner: Couches win this round because they are cheaper and cost less to use. Are baguette pans worth it depends on your specific necessities. 

Final Verdict: Which One to Choose?

The final decision of choosing between the two depends on your preferences. Both of these items can make exceptional baguettes. However, the right choice will be how you like your baguettes to be. 

To make this decision easier, here’s a table that summarises the whole debate:

ProductFeaturesWhere To Get
CoucheGives a smoother finish and non-stickGet Now from Amazon!
Baguette PanCreates small bumps and gives a crispier outer layerGet Now from Amazon!

Couches are enough for just about all bakers. They are cheaper, easier to use and non-stick. They don’t even create bumps that many do not like. 

But if you are someone that likes the bumps in baguettes and want the crispiest baguettes. Then you should go with a baguette pan. 

That’s it all about couches and baguette pans. 

FAQs 

How To Deal With A Baguette Stuck In The Pan?

Try to gently pry off the baguette of the pan. You can use a dull knife, or a spoon or even a fork for this. Using parchment paper beforehand can make the pan non-sticky. Any bits of baguette stuck in the pan can be removed by soaking the pan before washing. 

How Can I Make A Couche?

Making a linen couche for a baguette is pretty easy. First, get a linen sheet of the right size. Then proceed by sprinkling a little flour on linen. Then try using your hands to rub the flour into the linen. Then just fold the linen into a couche shape. 

Difference Between Baguette And Sourdough?

The main difference between baguettes and sourdough is in the ingredients used to bake them. Sourdough bread is leavened using a natural pre-ferment. On the other hand, baguettes are leavened with the help of yeast fermentation. Sourdough also has higher levels of vitamins and minerals.  

Conclusion

And with that we know so much more regarding couche vs baguette pan. Both make really good baguettes but there are differences between the baguettes made. Which is better for you depends on the kind of baguettes you like. 

If you’re still not sure then try using both and seeing which one works the best for you. 

That’s it for today!