If you’re a baker you know how important it is to proof bread before baking. Whether preparing sourdough for home or your bakery, one must prove them for the best results. But what is bread proofing? It is simply rising of the dough due to a common process called fermentation that makes use of yeast. And using a bread proofing basket will give the dough nice shape and texture that will enhance its overall appearance.
How does a bread proofing basket work?
Bread proofing basket or bannetons comes in different size and shapes. However, a 9 and 10 inches are common for household use. Using a 9-inch basket you can prepare enough sourdough for a filling recipe. But it is important to know that how does a banneton basket works and why you should use one?
Brotforms is a mold that gives a beautiful shape to proving bread. Generally, these wooden baskets are hand made so they will not have an exact shape. However, this is not a big issue as long as you get beautiful texture outside the dough.
Proofing begins by dusting a good amount of flour inside the banneton basket. Then you gently place tucked round dough ball in the center and cover it with a cloth. As the dough rises it gets support from the sides and its soft texture will mold accordingly. After proving the dough for certain hours, you’ll see the beautiful coil-like design on the exterior after unmolding it. Thus, your beautiful dough is ready to bake.
Best Bread Proofing Basket
|Bread Bosses||9 Inch||Round|
|WERTIOO Proofing Basket||9 Inch||Round|
|Bread Bosses Banneton||10 Inch||Oval|
|Saint Germain Bakery||10 Inch||Round|
|BB Baking & Beyond||9 Inch||Round|
Here are our top 5 best bread proofing basket that you can use to bake the perfect bread.
1) 9 Inch Bread Banneton Proofing Basket
Bread Bosses offer you a budget-friendly banneton proofing basket with two additional accessories. First of all, this 9-inch round basket is great for both novice and professional bakers. Thanks to the excellent craftsmanship and use of natural rattan cane material. It is a handmade unit whose crafted ridges and depth give your dough a floury ring pattern. The shape and pattern remain intact while you bake it.
Quality of this 9-inch proofing basket is what makes it famous among bakers. Instead of going cheap, Bread Bosses use high-quality natural rattan. This rattan is mold-free, splinter-free, and odor-free. Therefore, you’ll not see any wood shavings or splinters in your proved dough. And if you see any splinter or mold in your basket upon arrival then inform the company and the defective product would be taken care of.
Then there’s a plastic dough scraper which is very helpful while baking bread. This high-quality white bench scraper lets you scrap off the remainings from the bench to blend in the primary dough. Although it might not look sharp like your regular kitchen knife, the scraper is best to divide the large dough into smaller balls. You can then bake the balls in batches or use them as per the recipe demands.
If you’re baking your first sourdough then you’ll take all measures to prevent sticking. And to lessen the sticking of dough, Baker Bosses provides with a washable linen cloth. This cloth sits perfectly inside the 9-inch banneton basket that you can moist a bit before dusting with flour. Doing so will ensure your sourdough rises well without sticking from any side.
2) 9 Inch Proofing Basket – Excellent WERTIOO Bread Proofing Basket
Baking only one kind of bread can be quite boring. And different types of bread demand different mixtures and have different textures. So let Wertioo’s 9-inch rattan proofing basket help you. It comes with all the tools that you might need as a beginner. Therefore, the accessories include bread lame, scraper, and linen liner cloth. While scraper and liner cloth are common with every use, you will need lame to bake special variety.
The green plastic lame comprises a sharp razor on the front. This double-sided blade is ideal to make a slash on the top of the dough just before you keep it inside the oven. Or you can also use the curved part of lame for shaping the top. This will make your baked bread look professional and appetizing.
Particles of wood are common with cheap banneton basket. But you’ll never see any wooden chips stuck to the content inside. Credit goes to the use of pure rattan for making this 9-inch unit. Apart from being sturdy, the wood has a smooth surface that will not stick dough. Also, it is free of dye and chemicals. So, not to worry as your proofing dough will not incorporate any odor.
Round proofing basket features a traditional spiral ring pattern. If you want deep spirals then coat the basket with plenty of flour and then directly place the dough. Or you can cover rattan with included liner cover if you feel your dough is too sticky.
3) Oval Bread Banneton Proofing Basket – 10 Inch Baskets – Great As A Gift
Bored of round shape? Then give a try to Bread Bosses 10-inch banneton basket. It is a beautiful oval rattan basket perfect for home use. If you’re a beginner with zero baking experience then gear up as the unit provides a sourdough stater e-book. Once you get your first sourdough right, your hands are ready to experiment with baking different types of bread.
Its natural rattan can is ideal for proofing various types of loaves. No matter what recipe you make, the only thing to be taken care of is hydration. The dough must not be too soft or thick. Extremely soft texture will leave the beautiful spiral shape as soon as you lay it on the baking sheet. Whereas the tight texture will not bake evenly and feel chewy. But you can avoid these situations by following the standard dough hydration which is around 58-65 percent.
Similar to the above units, Bread Bosses brotform proofing basket also includes a linen cover. You can either cover the content or lay over the basket. But it is important to note that, placing dough over the cloth will not give you those deep spiral patterns. And if you want those patterns then dust plenty of flour inside the banneton basket. You can replace the white flour with semolina or rice flour.
Moisture is common while making sourdough or similar. And too much moisture on top will not give that bakery-like crust. But thanks to excellent quality this 10-inch proofing basket is proven to wicker moisture from dough’s surface. As a result, it bakes a tasty and thick crust that every baker loves.
4) 10 Inch Premium Round Bread Banneton Basket with Liner – Best Basket for Making Beautiful Bread
Chemical layering over the wooden surface no doubt prevents it from splinter but at the same time incorporates the smell into the bread. And no one loves to have a bite full of chemical smell. But odor is not going to be an issue with this round 10-inch proofing basket. This beautiful handmade rattan unit is entirely made of natural material and is free from dye and chemicals. Therefore, the content you keep inside will be safe and free from odor.
The smooth exterior is safe and convenient to use. It provides results similar to the bread you’ll see in the bakery. This extraordinary result makes it the best banneton basket for use in artisanal bakery. To top it off, each basket comes with a washable liner. This liner soaks off excess moisture in order to make the exterior crunchy and inside soft like a sponge.
Using a liner will definitely reduce the cleaning of the proofing basket. But you can also put the dough ball directly on the rattan surface dusted with flour. Even after dusting flour in good quantity, you will not have to spend more time cleaning it. Simply shake the excess flour out after each use. And if you observe any dough stuck on the surface then wait till it dries and then take it off using a stiff brush.
5) Baking & Beyond Banneton Proofing Basket (9 inch) – A Novel Bakers Gift
If you do not want the plastic to touch your food at all then you will love this 9-inch bread proofing basket from Baking & Beyond. Instead of a plastic scraper, it features a metal scraper with a sharp edge. Take advantage of this sharp blade and easily divide the large dough into small balls. Also, the handle of the metal proofing scraper is made of wood so by no means any plastic parts come in contact.
The crispy crust is the desire of every novice baker when they try making basic sourdough. And with this 9-inch bread proofing basket, a crispy crush is possible. The rattan bowl wicks moisture away from the surface of the content while it rises. This, in turn, creates thin skin that turns into a crunchy layer when baked. While bread on the inner remains soft for better soaking and easy chewing.
The best part about Baking & Beyond 9-inch sourdough proofing basket is it is FDA approved. Therefore, which means food going inside does not come in contact with the chemical. Besides, the wooden basket is 100% natural and non-toxic.
Handcrafted with a traditional spiral ring pattern, you’ll get beautiful texture every time you use the rattan proofing basket. Not only that, but you can also enjoy authentic artisan baking with its dough lame. Just like the metal scraper, no parts of the lame are made of plastic. Besides, the razor-sharp blade lets you slash the loave top easily. This way you can give an artisan touch to a regular sourdough.
Do I need a bread proofing basket?
Love baking? Then you'll definitely love to have a bread-proofing basket in your kitchen. A proofing basket provides great shape and patter to your dough which when you bake, makes wonderful bread. But do you really need it? Well, in my opinion, you must have a proofing basket if you really love to bake your own bread. But there are other alternatives to proofing a basket if you do not have one.
Instead of a basket, you can use a metal or plastic bowl. Sprinkle flour generously before placing your dough in them. I, personally do not prefer to use such bowls because sometimes the dough sticks to side even though I sprinkle a lot of dough. And then it becomes really hard to get it out from the bowl. Also, too much sprinkling of flour might make your dough look ugly.
So rather than going for alternatives, it is best to proof bread in a proofing basket. A god basket will not only risen your dough with a great pattern but also prevent sticking. Plus, you do not need to empty a whole sack of flour to prevent the dough from sticking on the basket sides. In short, get the best bread proofing basket and stay away from time-consuming alternatives or failed DIY practices.
Is proofing the same as rising?
A common confusion of new bakers. Is rising of dough same as proofing? And if not what is the difference? While they almost seem the same, there is a minor difference between proofing and rising. It is hard to tell for a beginner but a professional baker can easily spot the difference.
Rising of bread is the process when the dough begins to rise. Here, yeast plays an important role in rising. They basically eat sugars and release carbon dioxide which helps in rising of the dough. And gluten helps to hold these tiny bubbles which create beautiful textures as well as help with proper rising.
Proofing is the final shape of your dough. This is the final form that goes in the oven. Proofing is often called fermentation. Now an important thing to remember here is proofing does not change the internal composition. It only gives a good shape and pattern to your rising dough. Once you give it enough rest, empty the dough from the basket, give a beautiful X-cut on top and place it straight into the oven. A well-rested dough will be softer and attractive when cut into slices.
How can you tell if bread is Underproofed?
Under proofing and over-proofing of bread is common if you've just begun baking. However, it is hard to tell by looking at the sourdough itself whether it is under-proofed or not. So what you need to do is, indent your index finger in the dough about half an inch deep. Now observe its reaction closely. If your dough springs back quickly to the original position or near it then you can say it is still underproofed. Check the sourdough several times on small intervals while it is proofing. Once you see it takes time for the dough to rise up then you can consider your proofing done.
Can you wash Banneton?
Bannetons are made of natural material and mostly, manufacturers and hand-weavers use the cane or lined wicker. It is because they are sturdy and easy to shape. These materials provided slight moisture to your rising dough. Always dust the banneton before proofing as it will prevent the dough from sticking into curves. And when its time to wash simply grab soft bristle brush and clear off excess flour from the basket. Then simply keep it in the sunshine.
If possible, avoid washing banneton as the material will start puffing or in the worst case, it will splinter. And you will not love splinters in your bread. But if a good part of sourdough is stuck on the basket then try to collect with your fingers as much as possible. Or else, you can either let it dry and then dust off with a stiff brush.
You can use cool water to clean the basket. Make sure not to soak or wash with cool water for more than 2 minutes. Also, do not make use of abrasive scrubs as it will chip off the material. Dry with a soft cotton cloth immediately and leave the proofing basket in the sun to airdry naturally.
How to use a bread proofing basket
Many novice bakers do not know exactly how to use a bread-proofing basket. And using them is a brainer. All you need is a good quality proofing basket for bakery-like results at home(1). Get the basket(round or oval) and some flour. Now there 2 ways to use the banneton basket, with liner and without one.
- Using a liner will prevent dough from sticking to the basket surface, however, you might not get deep textures.
- Arrange the cloth inside then spray a little amount of water using a sprayer.
- Then dust a good quantity of flour on the liner. Spread it with your hands for even results.
- Now place the dough in the center and leave it to prove.
- This method will give you a beautiful pattern but at the same time increase your cleaning effort.
- Here you need to sprinkle a good amount of flour on covering the bottom and sides.
- Now you can keep the dough in and cover it with the liner provided or any linen cloth will work.
- You're ready to bake bread once it gets double in size.
Get yourself the best bread proofing basket and you'll be able to make bakery-like bread at home. This is a must-have tool in your kitchen if you love to bake your own bread. They are easy to maintain, store, and wash. And the coiled texture leaves beautiful spiral marks on the dough exterior that look appealing. And everyone on the table loves to eat bread that has appetizing spiral marks and is baked perfectly.