The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread Baskets

RachelJ's picture

Bread Baskets

Hello everyone -

I was wodnering something. I've seen on here how people have their dough for baking the free form bread (i think that's what they're called) rising in the kind of wicker, spiral shapped cone baskets. What I was wondering was can you bake in those? is that why some of the bread photo of like the flour rings on the outside of the crust? :) Thanks a bunch!

davidg618's picture

They could be a fire hazard!

The wicker-basket forms (proofing baskets) are usually (always?) lined with floured linen. Consequently, the bread, when turned out, is covered evenly with a light coating of flour. The spirals are formed from flour between the rings of willow that are used to make bannetons (willow baskets). These may be lined with flour linen, or just dusted and rubbed with flour--I use brown rice flour, others use AP flour, semolina flour, or some other of their choice. The spirals you see on the baked loaves come from the flour that fills the indentation between turns of the willow branch that forms the basket. The flour clings to the dough when the dough is turned out.

The San Francisco Baking Institue sell both the wicker baskets, liners, and bannetons at very reasonble prices. You can order, online at:

I suggest you check out the site, even if you don't intend to buy: now or ever.

I would also recommend you check out some of the many videos linked on the TFL, or on UTube that deal with bread baking. There are many showing bread dough final proofing in proofing baskets or bannetons, and demonstrate the "turning out" and slashing from these forms.

Happy baking,

David G.

RachelJ's picture

I see.... so it is just turned out and it has the coil design on it. got it. :) thanks for the help.

jackie9999's picture

I dust my bannetons with brown rice flour as well..even sitting in the fridge overnight in a BIG ziplock bag..they don't stick when I turn the boule out to bake.

For me, the banneton helps in the rise..having those little flour dusted ledges gives the dough something to climb/rise on. Initially, when I free formed my boules they wouldn't hold their shape and kinda flattened on me. I ordered an oval banneton recently from breadtopia for my 'eric's favorite rye' bread and it just makes it that much easier.