We Tested the Best Proofing Baskets for the Perfect Homemade Loaf

The Sugus House 9-Inch Round Banneton makes the best boule

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best proofing baskets

The Spruce Eats / Donna Curie

Tested & Approved

The Sugus House 9-Inch Round Banneton hit the sweet spot with our home tester, earning it best overall. The proofing basket is a suitable size for most bread, offers a cloth liner, and is affordably priced. If you're looking for a great oval proofing basket, we stand behind the Saint Germain Bakery 10-Inch Premium Oval Banneton.

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.

We sent eight popular models to the home of our tester, who rose bread dough in each and every one to determine which belong on our list. She assessed all of them on their quality, the material, the performance, the size, and the traits of included items.

Here, we’ve rounded up the best proofing baskets for a perfectly shaped final product.

Best Overall: SUGUS HOUSE 9-Inch Round Banneton

5
SUGUS HOUSE 9-Inch Round Banneton

Amazon

What We Like
  • Good size for a variety of breads

  • May include a silicone scraper

  • Reasonable price

What We Don't Like
  • Rattan may splinter with use

Who else recommends it? Forbes also picked the Sugus House 9-Inch Round Banneton.

What do buyers say? 89% of 2,300+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Highly rated and economically priced, the Sugus House 9-inch Round Banneton is the essential proofing basket for home or bakery use. This round proofing basket is made of rattan and domes smoothly to the base of the basket, molding your bread to a perfect spherical shape. The 9-inch size is appropriate for most home baking projects and average-sized “boule” loaves of bread. 

The additional cloth liner makes the dough less likely to stick to the basket after proofing and easier to clean after use. It’s recommended to flour the basket to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl. After use, brush the remaining flour 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. 

We tested this with a 1-pound loaf of bread, although it could have accommodated a larger loaf. The dough rose beautifully with easy-to-score skin and didn’t stick to the basket. Our test banneton came with a free silicone bread scraper with a card that congratulated us on winning it, which was a nice extra since scrapers are always handy to have.

SUGUS HOUSE 9-Inch Round Banneton

The Spruce Eats / Donna Curie

Basket Dimensions: 9.06 x 9.06 x 3.15 inches | Dough Capacity: Up to 1.5 pounds | Additional Items: Cloth liner

Best Oval: Saint Germain Bakery 10-Inch Premium Oval Banneton

4.8
Saint Germain Bakery 10-Inch Premium Oval Banneton

Amazon

What We Like
  • Great size for oval loaves

  • Sturdy flat base

  • Basket is high-quality and should last a long time

What We Don't Like
  • Did find loose fibers during testing

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. They're also popular with fruit and seed-stuffed dough. 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.

The Saint Germain banneton is crafted to be completely smooth inside without splinters or staples to snag on your dough. As with many proofing baskets, this included a linen liner for smooth proofing and release. During our testing, we did find a few loose fibers on the proofing basket, but they were easily removed before the first bake. The tall sides made this great for fitting any standard-sized loaf you could want, and the liner fit the basket like a glove and didn't create any odd crease marks on the final loaf. While we did see the loose fibers, the overall quality is very high and our tester felt this should last you through many loaves.

Saint Germain Bakery 10-Inch Premium Oval Banneton with bread dough

The Spruce Eats / Donna Curie

Basket Dimensions: 10 x 6 x 4 inches | Dough Capacity: 1.65 pounds | Additional Items: Linen liner

Good to Know

Before using a new proofing basket without a basket liner, you'll want to take a few simple steps to prepare it to ensure the dough doesn't stick. With a spray bottle, spray a light mist of water inside the basket and let it absorb for a minute. Then thoroughly cover the inside of the basket with flour, making sure to tap into the cracks between the rattan pieces. Once completely covered, tap out excess flour that doesn't stick and let it dry. You'll lightly flour the basket again before each use.

Best for Large Loaves: Vollum 2-Pound Round Bread Proofing Basket

4.4
Vollum 2-Pound Round Bread Proofing Basket

Amazon

What We Like
  • Makes handling large doughs easier

  • Well-made with no loose fibers

  • Budget-friendly

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't include a liner

  • Product photos are misleading

There are few things as impressive as a massive loaf of miche (a large 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.

When a large loaf of bread is on the menu, this basket can handle it. The stated capacity is 2 pounds, which we made in testing, but it could have handled a bit more with no problem. Since this didn’t include a liner, our home tester checked the interior carefully, looking for stray fibers, and found it smooth and clean, and ready to hold our bread. We loved the look of the spiral pattern on the finished bread, but for bakers who prefer a smooth appearance, this is also available with a liner for a slightly higher price.

The photos we saw of this basket made it appear taller and deeper than usual, but it was more of a traditional wide, low-slung shape.

Vollum 2-Pound Round Bread Proofing Basket

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Basket Dimensions: 10.25 x 10.25 x 3 inches | Dough Capacity: 2 pounds | Additional Items: Not applicable

Testing Takeaway

"I really liked the quality of this basket. I didn't find any loose fibers or flaws, which was important since the dough went right into the basket, without a liner. This one looks like it's built to last."

Best Two-Piece Set: SUGUS HOUSE 9.8-Inch Round Set of 2 Bannetons

4.5
SUGUS HOUSE Set of 2 Round 9.8-Inch Bannetons

Amazon

What We Like
  • Great for multiple loaves

  • Average size for medium to medium-large loaves

  • Reasonably priced for a set of 2 baskets

What We Don't Like
  • One of the liners didn’t fit well

Why have just one basket when you can have two? Loaves of bread are often 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 many 9-inch standalone proofing baskets, the 9.8-inch baskets accommodate a wider range of bread sizes and more than 1.5 pounds of dough per basket. The price of this 2-piece banneton set is comparable to the cost of purchasing two individual proofing baskets around the same size—making this set a fantastic addition to your bread-baking repertoire.

During our testing, this performed almost as well as the 9-inch version, our best overall. The dough rose perfectly and was easy to score before baking. There were some unexpected differences from our other Sugus House pick. First, our test set included one liner that didn’t fit the basket as well as the other. It was still useable, but still a little disappointing. It also included a different style scraper, this one being hard plastic. Neither was a dealbreaker, but something to be mindful of.

SUGUS HOUSE 9.8-Inch Round Set of 2 Bannetons

The Spruce Eats / Donna Curie

Basket Dimensions: 9.84 x 9.84 x 3.35 inches | Dough Capacity: Up to 1.5 pounds (per basket) | Additional Items: Two cloth liners, plastic scraper

Best Kit: TNELTUEB Bread Proofing Basket Set

4.2
TNELTUEB Bread Proofing Basket Set

Amazon

What We Like
  • Great kit for novice bread bakers

  • Includes two basket shapes

  • Includes a lame and metal dough scraper

What We Don't Like
  • Dimensions might be smaller than expected

Sometimes you want a round loaf; other times, an oval country loaf. With this rattan banneton set, you can have both loaf shapes—plus a handy metal dough 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. 

We tested both baskets using a single batch of dough with a 2-pound yield (one pound for each basket). The round basket lived up to expectations, creating a great space for your dough to rise. Our home tester did note that there were rough edges in the oval basket. If you use the liner, that shouldn’t be an issue, but if you don’t, you’ll have to keep an eye out for loose fibers. These also could have made slightly larger loaves. Our baskets were slightly smaller than the expected dimensions, which can happen with handmade products.

TNELTUEB Bread Proofing Basket Set

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Basket Dimensions: 9.6 x 6 x 3 inches, 9.6 x 9.6 x 3 inches | Dough Capacity: Up to 2 pounds (per basket) | Additional Items: Two linen liners, one metal dough scraper, one scoring lame, five blades, one blade cover

Good to Know

After several uses, you might begin to notice your proofing basket liner becoming caked with flour or picking up an unpleasant odor. This is completely normal with repeated use, and it’s perfectly fine to clean the basket liner occasionally. You should always hand-wash and air-dry the liner to avoid shrinking it. Rinse and wash the liner in warm water with a detergent or dish soap. After it has completely dried, it’s all set for more use.

Final Verdict

If you have to choose just one proofing basket, you’d better make it the Sugus House 9-inch Round Banneton for its reasonable size and price, as well as its smooth finish and cloth 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.

Other Options We Tested

  • BetterJonny 9-Inch Rectangle Banneton: We previously included this as an option for a rectangular proofing basket, except our tester realized this is more of an oval shape. Our tester didn’t feel this was as well-made as other proofing baskets, with many loose fibers found inside and a liner made of rough cloth (though that texture didn’t affect the final loaf). It was also on the smaller side and wouldn’t be able to hold more than a 1-pound loaf.
ill-fitting BetterJonny liner and proofing basket

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

How We Tested the Proofing Baskets

We sent all of the bannetons on this roundup to our seasoned home tester, who tried each out with a fresh batch of bread dough ready for its final rise. Each was rated on material, quality, the included items, size, performance, and overall value. Our tester then offered additional insights on each proofing basket’s strengths and weaknesses.

What to Look for When Buying a Proofing Basket

Size

Proofing basket sizes can be confusing, since some list the dimensions and others indicate the weight of the loaf it can accommodate. While a larger basket can be used for a smaller loaf, it’s best to choose a basket that is a good fit for the loaves that are baked most often. A good rule of thumb is an 8-inch round or oval banneton should accommodate 1 pound of bread dough. A 10-inch round should be able to handle 2 pounds of bread dough, while a 10-inch oval will work for 1.65 pounds.

Shape

Round baskets are the most common to create the classic boule, but other shapes are available as well. With a little creativity, a round basket can be used for oval loaves, but considering the affordability of proofing baskets as well as the many sets available, it may be easier to have multiple shapes and sizes of baskets to fit the loaves that will be baked.

Liner

Many baskets come with a linen liner that fits the basket, but it’s also possible to buy the baskets alone. If you prefer rustic loaves with lines from the basket, a liner isn’t necessary, so you can eliminate it and save the cost. In a pinch, a lint-free kitchen towel can be used in place of a linen liner. If a basket does come with a liner, there should be elastic to keep it in place during the proofing, and while most just need a simple brush-off afterward, you can gently hand-wash them with cold water.

Baked bred after it rose in Williams Sonoma proofing basket

The Spruce Eats / Donna Curie

FAQs

What is a bread proofing basket?

When baking artisan breads, and particularly sourdough breads, a proofing basket, also known as a banneton or brotform, is often used for the final rise before the bread is baked. Made from wicker, cane, rattan, or other porous materials, the basket lets the surface of the bread dry out just enough for that style of bread. 

Is a bread proofing basket necessary? 

No. There are plenty of breads that don’t require a basket for rising. However, if you’re looking for the attractive spiral pattern you often see on rustic loaves, you’ll need a proofing basket.

Proofing_Baskets_TNELTUEB_02

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

How do you care for bread proofing baskets? 

Since proofing baskets are made from natural, porous materials, they should be kept dry so no mold develops. After proofing, they’re likely to be slightly damp, so they should be left to dry completely before storage, particularly if they will be stored in an enclosed space. 

How do you clean a proofing basket? 

Many bakers simply shake out the excess flour before storing their baskets, letting the leftover flour act like a “seasoning” for the basket. A soft pastry brush works well to clean out excess flour, if desired. However, if wet dough has stuck to the basket or there’s excess flour that has gotten crusty, the baskets can be gently hand-washed with plain water. They shouldn’t be scrubbed hard, lest the natural fibers begin to fray. After washing, they should be dried thoroughly before storage. The linen liners should also be washed by hand without soap, and left to air dry before storing.

Bread that rose in the Vollum proofing basket

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

How do you keep bread from sticking to a bread proofing basket?

Whether a basket is used alone or with a linen liner, flour is used to keep the dough from sticking to the basket. Bakers all have their favorite kind of flour to use, and it may also depend on the type of bread being baked. While rye flour can be used, white rice flour is also quite popular since it retains its pristine white color on the bread, it’s very nonstick, and it adds no flavor that could be a distraction.

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. 

Donna Currie, who tested and updated this roundup, specializes in product reviews and recipes and is the author of the cookbook “Make Ahead Bread." Her search for the best cooking and baking gadgets is never-ending.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. 6 Bannetons & Bread Proofing Baskets For Rustic Homemade Loaves. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-personal-shopper/2020/06/01/bannetons-bread-proofing-baskets-for-rustic-homemade-loaves

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