Everything You Need To Know About Banneton Proofing Baskets
Know Your Banneton
In this article, you will find:
- What is a banneton proofing basket
- Do I really need a banneton proofing basket
- How does a banneton proofing basket works
- How to prepare a new banneton - First use
- Maintaining and cleaning your banneton proofing basket
- Useful Tips
What is a Banneton proofing basket?
A banneton proofing basket, also known as proofing basket/bread proofing basket/brotform, is basically a basket (that can come in all kind of shapes - round, oval, triangle, etc) made from natural rattan canes which is used to proof bread, support the dough if needed and even to create a nice spiral texture to the bread.
The Banneton basket comes very handy with sourdoughs or any other doughs that are more ‘wet’ consistency than others (Most gluten free doughs for example) mainly because it provides the dough the support it needs while proofing.
Keep in mind that besides of sourdoughs and other smooth consistency doughs, you can still use this basket with ANY other bread loaf recipes (No matter what the dough consistency is) only to have the benefits of the proofing environment, and the nice markings the basket gives to the final bread.
Each Spechef Banneton basket set comes with all of the bread baking supplies you need to make a delicious and healthy bread: 9” bread proofing basket that can hold up to 1.5 pounds of dough, cloth liner, 4 unique bread stencils with a personal touch, dough scraper and a lame bread slashing tool
Do I really need a Banneton proofing basket?
If you love making sourdough bread or any other bread with wet consistency dough, the banneton basket will definitely be handy for the same reasons mentioned above.
Besides, if you ever wondered how artisan bread bakers always created such a perfectly shaped bread loaves and texture, this is the answer.
If baking is your passion, and if you want to make a beautiful, artisan, bread loaves, the answer is yes.
When looked up properly, can last for many years and therefore it is a great investment that can last you for a very long time.
How does a Banneton proofing basket works?
The rattan canes absorb some of the moisture out of the bread and create a slightly humid environment between the dough and the banneton while proofing.
This eventually will give the bread its unique and perfect crust, not to mention the professional looking spiral markings.
How to prepare a new banneton - First use
In order to condition your banneton simply lightly misting it with water, but evenly, then add about 0.5-1 cup of flour (Rice flour OR an even mix of wholemeal flour and rice flour is our recommendation), dust the flour evenly inside the basket, and eventually shake off excess flour.
This stage is basically the beginning of your flour and moisture build-up and after several uses (about 2-4 uses) you will get to the perfect moisture level.
Maintaining and cleaning your Banneton proofing basket
As already mentioned, when looked up properly, banneton baskets can last for years, and the task is really not that difficult as you are about to read.
Please keep in mind that it is highly important to clean your banneton between every use and that is in order to avoid mold and other intruders.
Here are the steps to clean your banneton after your bread loaf is ready:
- Leave your banneton in the sunlight for a few hours so it can dry out completely.
- Once dried, clean your banneton with a dedicated bristle brush, or any other stiff scrub brush, and gently remove any small pieces that might remain from the dough, along with the flour excess. If you still have a little dried dough that won’t come out simply stick it out with your hand or something as a butter knife.
- Remember to place it in a ventilated spot at your house.
When you get to the part you place your dough inside the banneton proofing basket, it is important to put it upside down so the ‘better’ side will be facing down.
Don’t be afraid to be liberated with you flour while coating your banneton before each use because you do not want your dough sticking to the basket while proofing.
The best flours we find useful in this stage are:
- Rice flour
- Rye flour
- Wholemeal flour
- Combination of rice flour and wholemeal flour (50:50)
- Farina 00 flour
- Any other flour that won’t be easily absorbed by your dough
DON’T FORGET - banneton baskets are made from natural rattan canes and therefore it cannot be put inside of the oven!!
The basket purpose is to support the dough and help the proofing process, so once your loaf is ready, simply turn over the basket and slide your bread loaf on a baking sheet.