How to Prepare a Proofing Basket for the First Usage

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Discover how to prepare a wood pulp proofing basket for your sourdough bread. Fully biodegradable and sustainable, it’s a must-have for any baking enthusiast.

When we came to Portugal, I had not a single piece of baking equipment with me. As I thought we were here for a short time, I wanted to buy only the necessary things.

So I bought a round rattan and two loaf tins from IKEA.
I wanted to buy an oval form basket for batard shaping, but couldn’t find any 🤷🏻‍♀️

At long last, I found wood pulp basket for proofing sourdough bread.

Wood pulp banneton

And, of course, I want to try it as soon as possible. I kneaded one of my favourite basic sourdough bread recipes and realised that I need to prepare the bannetons for the first use.

Wood pulp basket (banneton or brotform) is made from wood-fibre only with no glues or other ingredients, these baskets are fully biodegradable and sustainable. [1]

It is free of any chemical additives and is produced in a purely physical way. [2]

You can read more about the use and care of wood pulp proofing baskets here.

The First Use of Proofing Basket:

I couldn’t find any specific information about the first use tips.
These baskets usually are not packed and sold uncovered. Thus they may contain some dust on it.
I decided to take several steps to prepare the bannetons.

Follow Them if You Are Going to Use Your Brand-new Baskets

1. Use a wet towel to clean the bottom and sides of a basket.

Note: Don't immerse them in water or soap water, just wipe them with a damp towel.
Clean a wood pulp basket with a wet towel.

2. Put the proofing basket into the oven with cooking type – Conventional Cooking (or your kind with fan usage), temperature 100℃ for 25 mins.

Wood pulp banneton in the oven

3. Use a glove to remove the basket from the oven and put it into the cooling rack. 
Let it cool down for 1-2 hours for a room temperature. 

Wood pulp banneton

4. Dust the basket with wheat or rice flour before putting your shaped dough. 

Wood pulp banneton

Yay!
Your proofing basket is ready.

The Wood Pulp Proofing Basket After Some Steps of Sourdough Bread Making

The Release of Dough From the Proofing Basket

I attached a video of the dough release from the banneton.
It’s fantastic, sooo easy and quick 😍

The dough release from the banneton

Conclusions:

I loved this type of basket. I’m extremely happy with the result:

  • The dough didn’t stick to the banneton 🎉
  • The dough and the basket didn’t have excessive moisture 🎉
  • The dough wasn’t overcooled in the fridge 🎉

Wood Pulp Proofing Baskets Information Resources:

  1. https://www.bakerybits.co.uk/baking-equipment/dough-proving/wood-fibre-brotforms
  2. https://sourdoughsupplies.com/collections/wood-pulp-bannetons-brotforms-made-in-germany
  3. https://flourside.com/pages/use-and-care
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