How To Use a Proofing Basket

Have you ever wondered how bakers get those smooth, perfectly shaped loaves? Bread proofing baskets are a simple tool that has been used by professional bakers for centuries. They help shape a beautiful loaf of bread while it rises. Proofing baskets give the dough support and structure. As the gluten in dough relaxes, the dough itself can spread out. A proofing basket helps the loaf keep its shape. And depending on the type of basket used, proofing baskets can even give your bread a better crust.

Our 9-inch Banneton Proofing Basket is perfect for any recipe, whether it’s a traditional sourdough or a gluten-free nine seed. The rattan material dries quickly, helping to absorb moisture from the dough. The traditional cane design will give your bread an attractive, professional shape. You’ll make bread you can be proud to give your friends.

What Size Proofing Bowl Should I Use?

Bread proofing baskets can come in many different shapes and sizes. They are ideal for fragile or wet dough that will relax into a puddle if left on its own during proofing. Proofing baskets help delicate bread rise up instead of out. Bread comes out light with a very open crumb structure. You may also see proofing baskets referred to as brotforms and bannetons, and they can be oval, round, or elongated. Most bakers will line their proofing basket with linen to create a smooth crust, but some prefer to put the dough in directly, leaving the imprint of the basket pattern on the bread itself.

The size of the banneton proofing basket you use will depend on the dough quantity of your recipe. An 8-inch banneton fits 500g of dough. A 10-inch fits 100g. The most important thing is to go bigger rather than smaller. You do not want the dough spilling out and over the sides of the basket. Even if you use less dough in a bigger basket, the shape and pattern of the banneton will still hold. No matter what size you use, make sure that the finished rise coming out of the basket will actually fit whatever pan or Dutch oven you are baking the bread in since the dough will be going directly into the baking pan and then the oven.

Sourdough is ready to be transferred in the Proofing Basket

Is a Cane Banneton Better?

There are several different materials available for bannetons. The most popular type of banneton is cane made of rattan. The rattan gives your bread a beautiful pattern and shape. It also allows for more air circulation and lets the dough breathe. This will give your dough a slightly dry outer layer, which can be cut easily before going in the oven and which results in a crunchier crust overall. Wood pulp bannetons are also available, which may stick a little less. Bannetons can also be found in plastic, although these are not generally recommended by master bakers. If you are looking to spend a little more money, you can also buy proofing baskets that are pre-lined with linen.

But overall, most professional and amateur bakers choose a cane or rattan banneton. If you are not lining your basket with linen, it is important to make sure you condition a cane banneton before using it the first time. Lightly mist the basket with water, and then dust it with loose flour. Make sure to also flour the dough before putting it in the basket. But not too heavy or your crust will be too floury. The most common complaint about rattan or cane bannetons is that the dough may stick to the cracks, but a light dusting of flour will prevent this.

What is Rattan?

Rattan is a material made from palm trees that is cheaper and easier to harvest and transport than timber. Most of the rattan in the world comes from the forests of Indonesia, with the rest of it coming from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. Because of its lightness, flexibility, and durability, rattan is used for many different applications, from making furniture and crafts to building houses. It is a favorite for proofing baskets because of the extra circulation and moisture management properties cane has.

How to Care for Your Banneton Proofing Basket

Taking care of a cane proofing basket is key to preserving the proper function. Many people recommend never washing a banneton or letting it soak in water. This will warp and distort the basket. It may also promote the growth of fungus or bacteria. Instead, use a stiff, dry brush to scrape the basket clean. Then let the basket sit out to dry overnight before putting it back in the cabinet. Always store your bannetons in a well-vented area. Every few months, protect your banneton against unwanted fungus growth by placing them dry into a 150℃ oven for 15 minutes.

With a few simple storage and cleaning steps, your banneton will last a lifetime of baking. Soon your friends will be wondering how exactly you get those perfect, pretty, professional-looking loaves every time. Whether or not you tell them is up to you.

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