It’s a mystery how artisan bread makers manage to constantly manufacture loaves that are precisely round. A proofing basket, as well as years of experience, are used to ensure that the loaves maintain their form and structure throughout the final rise. Since bread proving baskets are now readily available to the public and are simple to operate, they are no longer reserved for professional bakers alone. There are a few things you should be aware of before purchasing and utilizing proofing baskets, and you’ll discover all you need to know in the next section.
In what capacity should you use a proofing basket, and when should you use it?
Proofing baskets, also known as brotforms or bannetons, are available in a variety of shapes (round, oval, and long), as well as different diameters. You may line the baskets with linen or leave them unlined, and the design of the basket will imprint on the dough as you make the bread. Due to the relaxation of the gluten in the dough during the proving phase, the loaves that are formed spread out and flatten. Make use of a proofing basket to keep the dough stable while it rises to avoid this and enjoy sourdough health benefits.
The Functions and Advantages of a Proofing Basket
Before using the basket (either the naked basket or the linen liner), dust it with flour and brush off any excess before using it again. If possible, bake your bread all the way through to the step of shaping the dough. By dusting the dough with flour and flipping it so that the “top” (or topside) is visible, while the “underside” is concealed, you may use a proving basket instead of proofing it on the counter.
Baked goods should be lined with parchment paper or sprinkled with cornmeal before they are placed in the oven. Before transferring the dough onto the peel, lightly sprinkle the proofed dough with cornmeal or flour to prevent it from sticking. As soon as the loaves are cut into, they should be baked immediately.
The bottom of the dough may need to be supported with one hand when dealing with fragile dough or dough that hasn’t risen as much as you’d like. This will prevent the dough from falling too hard against the peel and being deflated while you’re working with it.
Don’t even think of baking with it! A proofing basket is just what it sounds like: it is a proofing basket, nothing more. Because it is not a baking pan, you will be unable to bake with it. Also, the proofing baskets are not washed; instead, they are brushed clean and dried in a warm, dry environment before being used.
When baking loaves at home, you don’t need bread to utilize a proofing basket to achieve visually pleasing results. Using a clean dishcloth, cover the bottom of a big bowl with flour to keep it from getting dirty. When baking a shaped loaf, you’ll need a baking dish that’s at least twice as large as the loaf itself.