The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Improvised proofing basket

Baker007's picture

Improvised proofing basket

Hello All,

I'm looking around for ways I can improvise a proofing basket.

I can't justify paying the money for a Brotform - very expensive being down here in Oz!


The other day I saw a plastic colander/sieve with only very small holes and thought I could sew in some callico fabric. Do you think this would work? Can anyone see any problem using plastic?


Thanks in advance.



bassopotamus's picture

You can buy plastic brotforms anyway. Many books reccomend a towel in a colander. I don't think you even need to sew it in place. I'm not sure fabric wise. You probably want something with a little weight to it, but with a tight weave. I've seen reccomendations for linen because it is less apt to stick to dough than cotton, but I use cotton tea towels to cover my dough while it rises and haven't had serious sticking issues

janij's picture

I use old dish- not terry cloth- towels.  I flour them well and then if need be just wash them.  But a colander will work, so will just an bowl.  BBA shows that and I have used it before as well.  Don't feel you have to buy what is made expressly for bread making.  Improvise and you will still get great results.

xaipete's picture

Drifty Baker's picture
Drifty Baker

I have purchased several plastic baskets that you see in Mexican restaurants.  The are oval in shape.  I then use a piece of linen that I purchased at a local fabric store.  All in all I have five proofing baskets all for the total price of US$3.26.

flournwater's picture

If you have one of those 99 cent stores in your area (or something similar  -  like Tuesday Morning) give them a visit and check out their basket aisle.  You may find something there that stirs your interest; especially if you like the adventure of trying unconventional methods.

possum-liz's picture

I've gotten plastic draining baskets (ricotta comes in them) free from the deli section of my local Coles and Woolies. They're pretty big, but do the job.


subfuscpersona's picture

I use plastic baskets. I line them with a *cotton* or *linen* dish towel dusted with *rice flour*.

The plastic baskets I purchased cost 99 cents per basket. One type is oval and the other is round.


Jw's picture

I just saw a basket in town, with linnen for 4USD. How do I get a pattern on the side of the bread like when I would use this Brotform ? Do you use it for a slow rising bread only?

At the store that was whole range of baskets with linnen already in them.

Thanks for any reply. Cheers, Jw.

Baker007's picture

Thanks for all the great ideas and advice.

I've bought some heavy linen fabric and this weekend will have a better look around the shops for suitable bowl. Will let you all know how I go.



jeb's picture

Is there a handy reference for the size of basket needed for a specific loaf size? i.e. 8" 1 pound, 10" 1.5 pounds, etc

jeb's picture

I continued to search for the info after I'd posted the question, and the San Francisco Baking Institute baking supplies page gave me the answer. The 8" is for 1-1.5 pounds, the 10" for 1.5-2 pounds, the 12" for 3-4 pounds.

xaipete's picture

Thanks for posting this information. I've often wondered about the correlation between banneton size and pounds of dough. Did they happen to give information for rectangular bannetons?