How do you make those swirled flour patterns on top of a loaf?
Which is called a brotform
It does needed to be floured to keep the dough from sticking.
Brotform from German, Banneton from french, and the slovakian ones from Fantes are a good deal
From what I've read, traditional French bannetons are lined with linen and made from willow. No pattern is produced because of the linen.
The brotforms (German tradition) shown at Fantes are made from coiled reed, which causes the pattern in the dough.
I know that most people use either term to describe a proofing basket, but I wonder if there are any recipes which call for specific use of one or the other.
I don't have a banneton but I do have a brotform. Applying the Alton Brown multi-tasking philosophy, I can make a linen insert and have the best of both traditions!
I think TMB baking and/or FBM bakery machines (two diff. companies) carry linen covers with elastic bands that will fit over the coiled brotformen. They give you the flexibility you want for the look you might prefer on any given loaf variety, and they also make keeping the baskets clean a cinch.
I use either type of basket for any type of bread I choose, but it's fair to say that the French generally use the linen-covered baskets for almost anything that needs the support. The extraordinary amount of flour you'll see on the loaves from Poilane's bakery (http://www.poilane.fr/) are a result of needing all of it to keep their sticky, wet levain loaves from adhering to the linen.
If any of you come across an inexpensive source for the ring-shaped baskets, please let us all know! I've seen wholesale prices ranging from 70 to over 120 dollars each. I already own a couple, but I'd like to have at least four for special occasions.
If that's what you seek, check out fantes.com. How does $27.99 sound?
This is terrific.
At brotform.com they have several sizes of round and oval cane baskets. Rounds ones go for $16.99 for 9" and $20.99 for 10.5". They also have cotton liners for most sizes.
Thanks for the tip, Casey.
those look great...not sure I am going to dish out the cash for them, but we'll see.