Have you wondered how professional bakers get their loaves so perfectly shaped every time? Well, their years of practice do come in handy. But there is also a tool they use to help their loaves maintain shape and structure throughout the rising process. It is called a bread proofing basket – and you can buy one for your own home, too. A bread proofing basket is also called a brotform or a banneton, and it comes in many shapes – round, oval, or rectangular. It helps support your dough so it doesn’t spread out during its final rise. Bread proofing baskets are often lined with linen to give your bread a smooth texture. Alternately, for some baskets, you can remove the lining and the basket will give your bread an imprinted pattern. One note: never put these baskets in the oven. They are for rising, not baking.
Let’s find out about some of the more popular bread proofing baskets available on the market today.
This bread proofing basket is affordable and versatile. It is rectangular, measuring nine inches in length, which means it is the perfect fit for a loaf of sandwich-style bread. It is made of an attractive, hand-formed natural rattan with a high quality linen liner, and complies with European food standards.
This is a sturdy, quality bread proofing basket, so you won’t have to deal with splinters from the rattan, which can pierce your dough and cause it to deflate.
It is a great choice for making healthy artisan bread, and useful for both novice and experienced bakers. It is carefully crafted to always expose the smooth surface. It provides your bread loaf with shape and wicks moisture from the crust. If used without the liner, the basket imprints a gorgeous pattern of floury rings circling the golden brown crust.
If you dust with flour enough, your dough will stay in shape and will slide out smoothly onto your baking surface. For best results, make sure your dough is not too wet; otherwise you may have a problem with sticking.
You can remove the liner for easy cleaning. Simply dust it out or hand-wash it as much as you want.
The package also includes a bench scraper, which you can use to scrape off dough and flour from your workbench. You can also use this tool to cut your dough.
If the nine inch rectangular size and shape is not for you, there are other versions of this bread proofing basket that are round or oval, and that measure to different lengths.
One drawback is, some users find the basket to be too small. Make sure to gauge what size you actually need before buying it.
- Rectangular, measuring nine inches in length, perfect for sandwich-style bread
- Made of hand-formed natural rattan with a linen liner
- Sturdy, quality bread proofing basket – no splinters!
- Useful for both novice and experienced bakers
- If used without the liner, it imprints a pattern of floury rings circling the crust
- Includes a bench scraper, which you can use to scrape off and cut dough
This bread proofing set contains three items: a proofing basket, a cloth liner, and a bench scraper. The basket is round and measures nine inches in diameter. It can hold about 1.5 pounds of dough, which is the perfect amount for a loaf of bread. The basket has ridged edges which can give your bread a rustic, classic look.
It is made of reliable, durable rattan cane. The basket itself will not give off splinters. The linen is also durable and high quality, and it won’t rip. It will absorb excess moisture from the dough, giving it a nice crust after baking.
The main thing to keep in mind is, if the dough is too wet, it will stick to the basket, no matter how much flour you put on it.
The bench scraper can be used for many things. You can use it to cut your dough and transport dough balls from your workbench to the basket. You can scrape off dough from your workbench quickly and efficiently.
- Bread proofing set contains a proofing basket, a cloth liner, and a bench scraper
- The round basket measures nine inches in diameter
- Basket has ridged edges which can give your bread a rustic, classic look
- Made of reliable, durable rattan cane that will not splinter
- Linen is also high quality and won’t rip; it removes excess moisture from dough
This is a set of two round bread proofing baskets, each measuring 8.5 inches in diameter. It is a great choice if you want to make two smaller loaves at the same time. They are compact and don’t take up much room on the counter. Each natural rattan basket comes with a cotton liner.
The set offers good value at a reasonable price. It is perfect for bakers of any level of experience, and for making healthy artisan bread. The dough will have a nice texture after fermentation. The rattan is breathable and wicks moisture away from the dough’s surface. This leads to a more crispy crust.
The roundness of the baskets is great for strengthening the shape of sourdough bread.
These baskets are food grade and comply with the European food standard. They are lightweight to use and reusable.
You can also use these versatile baskets to store bread or fruit.
To clean, simply hand wash with warm water. Make sure to dry immediately and keep your baskets dry after cleaning. The liners can be removed and tossed in the washing machine.
- Set of two round bread proofing baskets, each measuring 8.5 inches in diameter
- Great choice if you want to make two smaller loaves at the same time
- Each natural rattan basket comes with a cotton liner
- The rattan wicks moisture away from the dough’s surface, leading to a more crispy crust
- Roundness of the baskets is great for strengthening the shape of sourdough bread
- Liners can be removed and tossed in the washing machine
This large, round bread proofing basket measures 11.8 inches in diameter. It can help make massive loaves of sourdough bread that you can carve with intricate designs. It is made of high quality natural rattan and has a removable linen liner to make sure your dough doesn’t stick when you take it out for baking. The liner makes it easier to remove the dough after rising but you don’t have to use it.
This basket is ideal for the professional baker or the amateur who wants their bread to look professional. First, knead your dough, flour the basket, and then place the dough in the basket until it rises. Later, take the risen dough and put it on a baking sheet before placing in the oven.
The basket is handy for transporting your bread, as baked goods can get heavy when they are this size. It can hold three pounds or more of dough at one time. It is not useful for small projects.
The basket is easy to clean. Simply brush off the flour and wash by hand in warm water. Make sure to dry it thoroughly after washing and keep it dry. The liner is removable and can be washed separately.
- Large bread proofing basket measures 11.8 inches in diameter
- Great for making super-sized loaves of sourdough bread
- Made of high quality natural rattan with removable linen liner
- Liner makes it easier to remove the dough after rising
- Handy for transporting your bread, which can get heavy at this size
This affordable bread proofing basket is large, stretching nearly 14 inches long. It measures 5.5 inches wide and is three inches tall. It has an oval shape, and will help shape your bread beautifully.
It is handmade from pure natural rattan, and free from chemicals and dyes. It has a comfortable design, with a smooth surface so you won’t get splinters on your hands or in your bread. It has a traditional spiral ring pattern.
It comes with a lame and a linen liner cloth, making it a wonderful gift.
Simply coat your basket with lots of flour. When your dough is in its last stage of rising, place it in the basket and it will double in size. Like other lined rattan bread baskets, it will wick away moisture from your dough, leaving it in perfect condition for baking. Then transfer the risen dough to your baking pan for the oven.
It is easy to clean. Make sure to keep it dry after cleaning.
- Large bread proofing basket, stretching nearly 14 inches long
- Oval shape, which is great for creating large oval loaves of bread
- Handmade from pure natural rattan
- Free from chemicals and dyes
- Has a smooth surface so you won’t get splinters
- Comes with a lame and a linen liner cloth
Choosing a bread proofing basket
Now that you have seen some of the most popular bread proofing baskets, let’s think about how to choose the proper type and size of basket for the bread you want to make.
Type of bread proofing basket
Although this article focused on the most popular material for bread proofing baskets, rattan, there are other materials that they are sometimes made from. Here is a description of the materials that may be used.
- Rattan/cane wicker: This is most common because the wicker has gaps that let air circulate around and throughout the basket. This allows your dough to breathe, which lets it rise properly. Rattan also lets out excess moisture slowly, which helps to form a crispy crust.
- Plastic: The advantage of plastic is you can easily wash it after baking, by putting it in the dishwasher, or you can soak it in the sink. However, it does not have the airy gaps that rattan does, and as a result it can interfere with the rising of your bread.
- Wood pulp: This is popular in Europe. It is a great choice because it pulls moisture away from the dough evenly and thoroughly. If you use wet dough, a wood pulp basket may be your best bet.
- Linen lined: Rattan and wood pulp baskets may come with a lining sewn in permanently. Some have a removable liner. This liner can help prevent your dough from sticking. Your crust will come out smoother if it does not directly touch the sides of your rattan or wood pulp basket.
Size of basket
Bread proofing baskets come in many sizes, to accommodate all different amounts of dough. You don’t want to choose a basket that is too small because your dough will overload. You don’t want to choose a basket that is too large either, as that make your loaf lumpy.
If you are making a round loaf, and you have made one pound of dough, choose a basket that is eight inches in diameter. If you have two pounds of dough, choose a 10 inch basket. This will help ensure the dough does not expand over the sides. If you are stuck between two sizes, you should always choose the bigger size.
How to use a proofing basket
You can follow these steps whether or not you have lined the basket.
- Prepare and knead your dough.
- Prepare your basket by dusting thoroughly with flour. Shake out any extra flour.
- Dust the surface of your dough with flour.
- Invert the dough into your proofing basket. The ‘top’ of your dough should be at the bottom of the basket. You can let your dough continue to rise in this position.
- Preheat your oven.
- When you are ready to bake, dust the dough with flour and invert it again, onto your bakeware.
- Make a slash in the top of your dough and bake immediately.
Now you’re ready to make your first loaf of bread with your proofing basket! Have a wonderful time making this delicious treat for your family.