Brotform pattern without a brotform!
I've always been a little sad that because I use a linen tea towel to line my baskets, very little (if any) of the pattern of the basket shows through in the flour on the finished loaf. (I do have one small round basket that looks very natural / foodsafe, so I have tried that one without a towel, with good results. But my other baskets kind of look like the wicker may be chemically treated, so I didn't want to try them.)
A little while ago I had an idea how to get the nice pattern without a brotform, and I finally remembered to try it in my last bake! The recipe was the ubiquitous Norwich Sourdough from Susan's Wild Yeast Blog.
My idea was to use a "ribbed" linen placemat to line the basket, instead of a tea towel. I have some natural (undyed, or at least appear so) placemats which have been through the wash several times, so I was pretty sure they were foodsafe. Here's a poorly-lit picture of the one I used:
I sprinkled some rice flour on the placemat first, before dusting with quite a lot of white (AP) flour. This worked very well, the loaf turned out cleanly after proofing, no sticking at all. And the resulting pattern on the loaf was great! Picture:
In the next picture you can see this loaf with its "dough-brothers", one of which was proofed in the aforementioned foodsafe basket, the other three in baskets/bowls lined with tea towels. I kind of like the variety!
(Note: the loaves have a bit of a golden color to them which I attribute to substituting some of the white flour in the recipe with kamut flour, which is an ancient relative of durum.)