The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Brotforms

qahtan's picture
qahtan

Brotforms

Has any one used a Brotform, and did you have much luck with getting the pattern of the form to stay with the loaf when baked.
Any help would be good, thanks. qahtan

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

Hi. I've just bought some at very good prices - linen lined - at Carrefour, Cité Europe, Calais, France. €5,30 each which is amazingly cheap. So any bakers in UK / France there are bargains to be had!

Kitchen Witch's picture
Kitchen Witch

Here's another site in Canada but they are pretty high, I know that they don't charge shipping on their larger items but I'm not sure about small items. The baskets are at the bottom of the page.
http://www.biosupply.com/accessor.htm

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

I used to be able to access this site too, but it seems to be unavailable now. Anyone else finding the same?

www.brotformen.de

I do like the patterns made by these brotforms, but I wouldn't be able to slash through such a pretty design.

Nancy's picture
Nancy

I think this is offer is still good--I haven't bought one from them, but the San Francisco Baking Institute is offering these proofing baskets as part of a fundraiser for student scholarships. $8, $10, and $12 for 8, 10 and 12" baskets, respectively. They're rattan instead of wicker, but lined with baker's linen; look like they'd work fine.

http://www.sfbi.com/baking_supplies.html

Nancy

rmk129's picture
rmk129

MiniOven...If I remember correctly, you mentioned that there was a potter near where you live...here is a comment I found when I was searching this site for information about oven stones that might be a better option for you!

Submitted by andrew_l on March 11, 2006 - 1:14am.
If you have a potter's supplies near you, there are ceramic sheets to go into kilns on which pottery is fired . These are ceramic and made to withstand high heat and come in a variety of sizes.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I have baked rolls on it, on the lower shelf, preheating the oven for 15 minutes, sliding them onto it using baking paper and a cardboard peel. And must say, that after 12 minutes, I had the most puffy but pale buns yet. The very bottoms touching the plate were golden brown about a one inch (3cm) spot, not burnt. Remembering that rmk129 normally does her baguettes on the bottom first and then raises them to the top to brown, I tried that. The plate was too heavy to move safely.

I didn't think of it at the time but another option would have been to move the buns onto the oven rack and move up to brown. Or move the plate up to the middle just before I put the rolls onto it. Rolls did rise nicely and heat was dispersed more evenly (the coils are 4cm below the plate.) Rolls burn on the bottom shelf if they stay there in a baking pan so with a baking pan I use the middle shelf.

One time I forgot and stuck the pan on the bottom shelf for first 5 min. then moved them up. They were as round as croquette balls. The next time, I put my baking pan on the bottom shelf but upside down thus raising the lower surface by almost 3 cm. Too low for browned buns. When I raise the temp above 200°c, then everything burns and doesn't bake. I would like to avoid opening the oven during baking time but looks like this can't be avoided. The plate stayed hot even after the oven had cooled. It is 4.5mm thick. The walls thin in comparison.

This afternoon, I plan on baking a round barley loaf and will do it on the bottom shelf, on the stainlesstone. What do you predict will happen? Go ahead and guess. I'm just as curious.

Mini Oven :)

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 I was lucky that I finally found some in Toronto Canada, which suites me better as then I don't have to pay exchange on the dollar, plus P& P is cheaper..... qahtan

Squid's picture
Squid

Qahtan, could you tell me where you found your Brotforms in Toronto?

dulke's picture
dulke

I bought the bannetons from SFBI. Very nice quality, shipped promptly. I also liked the idea that it supported students there.

tomsbread's picture
tomsbread

I made some brotforms since they were not available in Singapore and shipping them in was too expensive for me. The cost of the raw materials cost me less than US$7.00. Total time to nail the cane together took a few hours.

 http://www.angelfire.com/planet/tomsbread/index.htm

Tomsbread

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

Wow those are lovely!  Nice job!  Hmmm, I wonder if a crafts store would have that type of cane....

tomsbread's picture
tomsbread

Hi Breadnerd,

I did a search on the net and found this site. Hope it helps.

 http://www.franksupply.com/rattan_poles.html#weavingrattan

It was fun doing the project but I did not have proper tools and work area. I did not even have a work bench to do the nailing. In the end, I gave up after making two and mail-ordered some from Germany. 

BTW, you have a beautiful mud oven. It will not be easy to build one here in Singapore unless you have land and since the country is slightly over 600 square miles for over 4 million people, land is at a premium. Any property with enough land to build such an oven will likely exceed a million bucks. So it's still a dream for me.

Tomsbread

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

Cool--thanks so much!  It sounds like a challenge but I might give it a try. 

 

And thanks for the oven compliments.  It's been a lot of fun and hard work too.  And I do appreciate my little plot of land when put into that perspective!  

beanfromex's picture
beanfromex

Hi there,

 

I went to your site, beautiful pics!!

Could you please elaborate of the making of a brotform. I live in southern mexico and they are not available here either.

I understand the design, but the process eludes me.  I originally thoughtof glueing the strands of rope/twine, but realize that is ot going to be too pretty the first time you use it.

Thank you

Regards from southern mexico 

tomsbread's picture
tomsbread

Hi,

I talked a little more about making homemade brotforms in this link here

http://www.angelfire.com/planet/tomsbread/Brotforms.htm

The process starts with softening the cane sufficiently by soaking them. They stay in shape after they have been heated. I did this by bending them over a stove in the kitchen and nailed them together with stainless steel nails although a stapler gun might have worked better. For the round brotforms, you'd have to taper the end of the cane significantly to initiate the coiling. Its an iterative process of bending, heating and nailing.

Tomsbread

Jerry's picture
Jerry

I have a couple of coiled proofing baskets which I use when I make the No-Knead Bread. They cane from

www.breadtopia.com/

and cost $19.00 each including shipping. There are some good videos to look at there, also, including sourdough starters, NKB and NKB variations. The videos show one way of using the proofing baskets.

 Jerry in Seattle

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

I bought two (pricey) oval brotforms only because I cannot fit two round ones side by side in my oven. Each oval makes 2 lb loaves.  I love the shape.

I find rice flour works really well - even with sticky rye dough. After I invert the dough from the brotform, I dust off the excess rice flour lightly with a brush.

I buy rice flour fairly inexpensively at TADCO.

Diane

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I was very lucky to win 3 brotforms on E-Bay, an oval, round and baguette shape. I had 2 sourdough loaves in the fridge retarding when they arrived. A run to the store for rice flour..this morning at 6AM, rubbing the flour in..this afternoon beautiful loaves! Our digital camera died..wish I could take some pics. They are the very best I've ever made. Anyway, back to my question, do I have to get all the flour out after using? I've rapped the back of them to get some of the flour out, used a pastry brush..but there is still quite a bit of flour in the grooves. I'm a little worried about attracting buggies! Thanks

cleancarpetman's picture
cleancarpetman

I have baked for 20 years and am breaking ground in April for a brick oven.  While the ground is cold and weather wet I am lurking and finding gold here online.  Suggestion:  Google: baskets,  not banneton, brotform or brotformen and watch the prices drop.

 

Example:  http://www.luckyclovertrading.com/trays-c-1_5.html?osCsid=qtksa7ofqninnjble6o9hk5uc7

 

der Hinterhof Ofen

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, cleancarpetman.

Have you ordered from those folks? Do you know where their brotforms are made? The price difference is indeed dramatic.

David

cleancarpetman's picture
cleancarpetman

David,

   I admit I have not ordered from them.  I only stumbled on them today but their reviews are good praising their fast ship times and good customer service and the basket quality.  I, too, was shocked at the prices.  One reviewer complains about shipping costs but how much do baskets weigh?  Higher priced brotforms have shipping charges, too.  I expect if the reviews are to be believed thses folks might notice a surge in business.  I checked on the liners for the round willow baskets.  They are cotton but add a mere .50 to the already low $3.00 tag.

der Hinterhof

SteveB's picture
SteveB

As David is too much of a gentleman to be as blunt as I, since Lucky Clover is a trading company located in California, I would guess that in all probability these brotformen come from China where the quality control (melamine, lead) and labor practices are suspect.

SteveB

http://www.breadcetera.com

 

Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...I'm not prejudiced but that sort of thing bugs me more and more lately.

cleancarpetman's picture
cleancarpetman

Will you ask where your high priced "german" brotformen are made?  Or find out later that you paid top dollar to a savvy European/New York/Californian importer who buys his baskets in the east.  I am currently contacting Lucky Clover to find out the origin of their baskets.  I apologize for rushing to press without ALL the details, I merely thought it was a good price.  Have you ever thought about putting sugar in your tea?  Its sweeter you know! I am new to the forum and want to know why bluntness trumps a gentleman's inquiry.

Hinterhof

mcs's picture
mcs

I use baskets from Lucky Clover for my gift baskets, and they are made in China.  They do have the lowest prices around, and as you may have noticed or posted above (I haven't read this enitre thread), they have a $150 (I think) minimum order. 

-Mark

cleancarpetman's picture
cleancarpetman

Website says $50.00 minimum which allows for a few brotforms instead of two.

mcs's picture
mcs

You are correct.  It must've been the time period that I bought them.  Shipping took about a week and everything came in OK condition.

-Mark

Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...It's the media for the most part. ;-)

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, cleancarpetman.

Welcome to TFL! (Belatedly)

SteveB is perfectly capable of defending himself, but I don't think he was attacking you personally. I believe we have both shopped for baking paraphernalia extensively and find when a price is "too good to be true," there is usually a reason the product is so low-priced.

Generally, I have been willing to pay a bit more to get something from a known, reliable vendor who knows the application for which I will be using the product and will back it up.

David

cleancarpetman's picture
cleancarpetman

How much rattan are they growing now in Dusseldorf?

H.

SteveB's picture
SteveB

Hinterhof, sugar can also tend to mask the true, subtle flavors of a tea.  I know where my "german" brotformen were made because I bought them from the German company that manufactures them back when they sold to retail customers.  Bluntness is always appropriate when one's health and safety are possibly at risk.

SteveB

http://www.breadcetera.com

 

cleancarpetman's picture
cleancarpetman

Dear SteveB,

    I agree that health and safety are important.  You just haven't convinced me on the blunt part.  All the pussy cats I know have claws.  If you meant what I think you meant please show me your purr before you pounce. 

    Back to the real message.  I am new here and I AM glad to meet experienced bakers who know the way around their tools.  I am sure I will learn a great deal here and glad to join all of you.

Hinterhof

 

 

 

bassopotamus's picture
bassopotamus

I just got a round one from Fantes.com and it is great. Ordered a second round and a rectangular. I got the slovakian ones, and the price is right, results are good

johnster's picture
johnster

Now this is a good conversation you've got going on here.  (And, as a HUGE fan of the Bravo Channel, I also love a little drama!)  ;)

 

What sized round brotforms do all of you recommend that I get for a one and a half pound loaf and for a 4.85 pound (2.2 kg) loaf?  

 

Right now, I just raise these on a couche, but I'd like to see them better shaped and with that interesting pattern from a brotform.

 

Johnster

bassopotamus's picture
bassopotamus

7 3/4 inch round for a loaf with about 3 cups of flour, whatever that translates into