Frequently asked questions about using a proofing basket

The handling of a proofing basket (whether made of rattan or wooden fabric / pulp) is simple, yet you can do a lot wrong. Therefore, we would like to give you a tried and tested guide and also address common mistakes.

Before the proofing basket is used, it must be prepared. Flour or starch are absolutely necessary as release agents. Fats and oils, on the other hand, have no place in the proofing basket.

Mehl ist ein Muss beim Gärkorb (Foto von steffen heinz (caronna) - steffen heinz (caronna), CC BY-SA 3.0,
Flour and proofing basket [Photo by steffen heinz (caronna) CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia]

Step by step to great results

The use of the proofing basket is basically very simple. The most common mistake: no flour is used.

Three steps are necessary for a well-formed loaf:

  1. Flour the proofing basket and the dough piece.
  2. Let the dough rest and then turn it out of the proofing basket
  3. Clean the proofing basket

Flour the proofing basket

Before the first use, the banneton basket should be dusted with really a lot of flour. Less flour is needed for later use, as there will always be some residue left over when tapped out. In practice, rye flour has proven its worth. However, this is not to everyone’s taste, so of course you can also use spelt flour or wheat flour. In crafts, flour and starch are often mixed. In the end, it is important that the dough is well floured and the inside of the proofing basket as well.

Let rest and turn

The dough piece can be placed in the proofing basket to rest and rise. Now you just have to cover the dough with a fresh tea towel and give it the time it needs.

After that, the dough must be turned out of the mold. In principle, this is not a big deal, but simply tipping the dough can cause it to lose the shape and structure it has just gained. To avoid this, you should cover the dough that is still in the basket with baking paper and place the rack from the oven on top. Now you can turn the dough completely.

Cleaning the proofing basket

After that, the proofing basket should be cleaned directly.

In our instructions, we go into this again in detail. A solid cleaning brush (e.g. all-purpose brush from Fackelmann) is more practical for cleaning, especially for baskets made of peddigree cane.

Common mistakes with the proofing basket

It can happen that the dough sticks to the inner wall of the proofing basket. This is usually because too little flour has been dusted into the proofing basket. It can also happen that the so-called proofing was still too moist – then the dough also sticks to the basket wall. The flour should not be used sparingly. Remedy is the right amount of flour and the use of a linen cover, which is also included with many proofing baskets. For large proofing baskets, however, it must often be purchased separately.

Alternatives to the proofing basket

If you only want to bake bread or rolls occasionally, you may consider the purchase of a proofing basket superfluous. Of course, this depends on your own requirements. However, it is clear that you can achieve beautiful baking results even without a proofing basket. Alternatives to the proofing basket are, for example, a large bowl or a pasta strainer. Both should be lined with a tea towel (better: linen cloth) and sprinkled with sufficient flour.

In the long run, however, proofing baskets are more practical and easier to handle overall.
In addition, they give the bread a uniform shape and a beautiful pattern.