Does your bread stick to the tea towel? When I let the bread do it's final rise the dough is sticking to the tea towel and making my loaves look so bad! Please help! Do I even need to cover it? Is this what our grandmothers used to do when the windows were opened and flies would have feasted on the dough?
I use a flour sack type towel and I get it wet with warm water and wring it out. It never sticks and the moisture keeps it from drying out. Also environmentally friendly since you are not throwing away any plastic.
Yes, you do need to cover your dough, or else it will dry out. But instead of using a tea towel, try plastic wrap sprayed with Pam, placed loosely over the pans. Or even better, get a really big, deep bowl and turn it over the pan. Make sure it is big enough to touch the counter and deep enough that the dough won't touch the bowl when it rises. You will have beautiful, blemish-free bread!
You don't need to cover it if you've completely coated the top with melted butter or margarine, oil, or Pam. Any one of those will prevent it from drying out. Enjoy!
I use my cake keeper cover to protect the rising bread.