Like a number of culinary tasks, bread making is intimidating until you try it. That’s not to say that it’s easy, but its more than doable, especially if you have the right tools. And, if you plan on making your own loaves of bread, one of the tools you’ll need is a proofing basket.
Proofing is one of the key steps in making yeast bread and other baked goods. During this period, the yeast ferments and the dough begins to expand, or leaven, as gases are produced. Because the dough you’re using is usually soft and wet, you’ll want to use a proofing basket, or a banneton basket, to shape it. These baskets are usually made from a lightweight and porous material that absorbs moisture as the dough expands, making it easier to deal with, should more shaping be needed. Once the proofing is done, simply remove the basket, make any final adjustments, and put it in the oven to bake.
If you’re looking to start baking bread at home, or if you’ve already made a loaf or two and want to make the job a bit easier, then it’s time to invest in a proofing basket, or three, of your own. Here are four of the best on Amazon.
1. RHXX Proofing Basket Set
As you become a more experienced at-home baker, chances are you’re going to start experimenting. RHXX understands this, which is why the company’s set comes with baskets in three different sizes: 9, 10 and 12 inches. This means that whatever kind of loaf you want to make, chances are you’ll have the perfect-sized container for it. The company’s baskets are also easy to use and clean and come with a bread cutter.
2. EGCLJ Banneton Proofing Basket
There’s something particularly classic about EGCLJ’s oval-shaped proofing basket. Handmade from lightweight Indonesian rattan, it has a woven design that feels traditional—but in a good way. It measures 11.8 inches in length, making it the perfect size for a substantial loaf. It also doubles as a serving basket. Best of all, it comes as a set of three, identically-sized baskets.
3. XRXRY Proofing Basket Set
If you’re the type of baker who wants to work on multiple loaves of bread, or if you just always want to have a clean basket at the ready, then XRXRY has the perfect set for you. The company’s collection includes six circular seven-inch baskets. And these are top-notch bannetons, too, made from 100-percent Indonesian rattan that’s free of any dyes or chemicals. The easy-to-clean baskets can also be used for storage and serving as well.
4. Patelai Proofing Basket Set
Patelai’s proofing baskets are perfect for someone just starting to bake bread at home. It includes three identical circular baskets made of rattan that’s free of dyes, chemicals and features a smooth, splinter-free surface. The rattan will absorb moisture without your dough sticking to it, too. Finally, each basket comes with its own liner cloth, which promises to make cleaning even easier.