Oblong Rattan Proofing Basket
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At Breadtopia we have a little bit of a fetish for bread proofing baskets (also called brotforms and bannetons). So we’re constantly looking for the ultimate proofing basket and we have tried all of them. For a time our favorites had been the European-made, coiled rattan baskets that we’ve carried in our store. They are very good quality, but also a bit expensive.
We’ve looked at lower cost samples from Chinese suppliers, but the quality is noticeably inferior (both the rattan quality and the manufacturing quality) and we didn’t want to use them ourselves so that means we couldn’t sell them to you either.
The best rattan in the world comes from Indonesia. In fact, Indonesia is the world’s leading exporter of raw rattan and some of that raw Indonesian rattan is what the European proofing basket makers are using. But when an Indonesian rattan farmer is standing in his warehouse deciding which rattan to send to Slovakia and which to send next door to his brother’s basket making workshop, where do you think the best stuff goes?
And speaking of that basket making workshop next door, the culture of Indonesia is inextricably linked with handcrafts. Small craft shops are literally everywhere in Indonesia, and you could make a strong argument that the artisans of Indonesia (which is a huge percentage of the population) are the best in the world at making things with their hands.
All of which came together for us recently when we were very fortunate to connect with a small Indonesian handcraft company that specializes in rattan furniture and baskets who are now employing a group of native artisans to make all of our proofing baskets by hand from the incredible quality rattan supplied by local farmers.By working directly with our Indonesian colleagues and cutting out virtually all of the middlemen usually involved in the process (including the expense and extra carbon footprint of shipping rattan to Europe only to then ship that same rattan in basket-form to the U.S.), we are able to bring these truly exceptional quality, hand-made proofing baskets to market at much better prices than similar, machine-made coiled rattan baskets from other parts of the world.
We get great baskets at great prices and at the same time help to support a native handcraft culture engaged in producing sustainable goods. What a win-win!
More Capacity Range Specs:
- Recipe dough weight: 1.5-2.5 lbs or 680-1130 grams
- Recipe flour volume: 3-4.5 cups
- 12″ x 5 ¼” inside dimensions at the rim
Keep in mind that whether the dough is made of refined flour or whole grain flour will impact how much it expands in the basket, and if you’ve arrived at the dough weight with additions like nuts and raisins or actual dough — so the ranges above are approximations.
How to Use: Dust the proofing basket with flour and the risen dough drops easily onto your baking surface. For proofing very wet doughs, as called for with the popular no knead bread recipes, for example, the optional cloth liner (see below) is the simplest solution. Working flour (rice flour is particularly effective) into the cloth liner will release wet dough.
Inside dimensions: Approximately 11″ x 5½” at the rim. Sides of basket taper down to the base which is approximately 10″ x 3¾”.
Cleaning the Brotform proofing basket is usually just a matter of tapping it on the edge of your kitchen sink. If necessary, rinse it out with hot water with your faucet in spray mode. Shake off excess water and place upside down over still warm oven to dry quickly. Don’t use soap.