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If you’ve started baking sourdough bread at home, you’ve probably noticed the term “banneton” or “brotform” come up in instructions when it’s time for the final proof, after shaping your dough and just before baking. These are simply proofing baskets, typically handmade from rattan or wicker and conveniently lined with removable fabric. The banneton bread baskets act as a support for your dough while it’s building up gasses, helping to maintain the shape you’ve worked it into and making it easier to transport your dough to the final baking vessel without deflating it. Here, we’ve rounded up the best proofing baskets for a perfectly shaped final product.
Highly rated, and economically priced, the SUGUS HOUSE 9-Inch Round Banneton with liner is the essential proofing basket for home or bakery use. Made of rattan, this round banneton domes smoothly all the way to the base of the basket, molding your bread to a perfect demi-sphere shape. The 9-inch size is appropriate for most home baking projects and average-sized “boule” loaves of bread.
The additional basket liner makes the dough less likely to stick to the basket after proofing and easier to clean after use. With or without the liner, the basket should be floured generously and the excess flour tapped out to keep your dough from sticking to the bowl. After use, all excess flour should be brushed out of the crevices of the basket with a dry brush. You want to build up a light coating on the inside of the bowl or liner after multiple uses, so washing is discouraged.
Used with the liner, your bread will have an even dusting of flour on the crust. Without the liner, your bread will be imprinted with the circular pattern of the bowl when flipped out to bake.
Oval bannetons are used most often for Italian loaves and “country-style” loaves that are typically longer than they are wide, with one large steam vent scored lengthwise down the center. Ultimately, it’s a matter of preference, but if you’re looking to make bread that’s more uniform down the length of the loaf, the 10-inch oval proofing basket is the place to start. Also popular with fruit and seed-stuffed doughs, the overall shape of the loaf lends itself to attractive gifting.
The Saint Germain banneton is crafted to be completely smooth on the inside without any splinters or staples to snag on your dough. As with the round basket listed above, the oval basket comes with a fabric liner for smooth proofing and release from the basket.
For a more pronounced four-sided rectangular shape, lending itself to sandwich-style breads, the BetterJonny 9-Inch Rectangle Banneton is a versatile basket at a reasonable price. Looser country loaves and more rigid sandwich loaves alike can be proofed in this rectangular basket. If used without the fabric liner, a line pattern will be imprinted in flour down the length of the loaf. The linen liner can be removed, dusted out, or washed for multiple uses.
There are few things as impressive as a massive loaf of miche (a massive slow-fermented loaf of sourdough), flour-dusted, and carved with intricate designs and logos. Typically high in hydration, extra-large loaves of bread are heavy and can use as much support as they can get while proofing, making an 11.8-inch proofing basket a life-saver when proofing and transporting dough to a baking vessel.
Capable of handling 3 pounds or more of dough at a time, a basket this large may not be appropriate for small baking projects. The eoocvt 11.8-inch banneton also comes equipped with a removable fabric liner to reduce the chances of dough sticking to your bowl when flipping out to bake.
Why have just one basket when you can have two? Loaves of bread are typically made at least two at a time, so it’s a reasonable choice to buy a set of two round bannetons. Slightly larger than the 9-inch standalone proofing basket, the 9.8-inch baskets accommodate a wider range of bread sizes and over 1.5 pounds of dough per basket. The price of a two-piece banneton set comes in below the cost of purchasing two individual SUGUS HOUSE baskets—making this set a fantastic addition to your bread baking repertoire.
Sometimes you want a round loaf, sometimes you want an oval country loaf. With this banneton set, you can have both loaf shapes—plus a handy bench scraper for shaping and lifting your dough and a lame for scoring your dough just before baking.
Both proofing baskets come equipped with fabric liners for easy cleaning and years of use. The classic lame comes with five additional blades and a blade cover for safe storage.
The Bighorn Exchange 12-Piece Banneton Kit will get you from mixing to proofing to baking—and it's all neatly packaged in one box that makes a great gift for you or someone else. The kit includes two round bannetons, a 9-inch and a 10-inch, with fabric liners. Additionally, the kit includes a dough whisk for mixing your dough by hand with less mess, as well as a bench scraper to shape, cut, and lift your dough. Finally, the kit includes a classic lame with additional blades and blade cover. All of these pieces individually would likely cost more than double the price of this kit and will have a new baker outfitted in no time at all.
You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for good bread baking tools. But if you want a bread-making set ready to make beautiful professional looking boules the moment your bubbling sourdough starter is ready, the Williams Sonoma Bread Baker’s Dream Set has the banneton and dutch oven-style pot you need to make it a reality.
The main attraction here is the Emile Henry Bread Pot, made of Burgundian clay and designed with a lid to trap steam inside the pot—an essential step for high-rising breads with perfectly bubbly and crunchy crusts.
Additionally, the 11-inch rattan banneton will accommodate a variety of doughs. Included in the set is a black walnut and brass-finished straight edge lame for sharp and crisp scoring, a beautiful addition to any kitchen. It also comes with a coordinating dough whisk to help bring your dough together in style.
While most baguettes are typically proofed on a piece of linen or canvas called a “couche," you will likely be making a much smaller batch of bread at home, and having a proofing basket to support your baguette or French loaf will improve the overall handling and shape of your bread immensely.
Given the length of a baguette—which can sometimes extend over 24 inches—the narrow and long piece of dough can be difficult to maneuver by hand in a home kitchen. In commercial kitchens, these delicate loaves are loaded with large peels or even mechanical loaders into large deck ovens, which is probably not the case in your house or apartment.
Using a long proofing basket like this 17-inch baguette banneton will make it so much easier to move your dough from proofing to flipping out cleanly onto a sheet tray before scoring and baking—even if you’re only making a demi-baguette. Depending on how often you’re interested in baking, you might even want to pick up two.
If you have to choose just one proofing bowl, you’d better make it the SUGUS HOUSE 9-Inch Round Banneton for its reasonable size, approachable price, smooth finish, and helpful fabric liner. If you’re looking for some room to experiment, the TNELTUEB Bread Proofing Basket Set will give you the variety you need to express your creativity, at a reasonable price.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Jenny Kellerhals has been a professional pastry chef in NYC for over a decade, developing an appreciation of professional-grade and high-quality home baking equipment through rigorous use. Her New York apartment kitchen cabinets are tiny, so only the most reliable equipment makes the cut.