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It seems the home-baking craze is showing no signs of slowing down, and if you’ve been churning out sourdough like a pro, it might be time to invest in a few additional bread baking tools to streamline your process. A scale, loaf pan, and serrated bread knife are all worthwhile purchases for any baker, but for pro-level sourdough loaves, bread proofing baskets are a must.
The best proofing baskets, which are also called bannetons (the French term), are typically made from coiled rattan, cane or another wood fiber. Essentially, they help well-hydrated or delicate dough retain its shape when proofing (aka rising), and the basket material also absorbs a small amount of moisture so the dough isn’t as sticky. (If you’ve ever had bread dough spread out into a weird, misshapen blob when you left it to rise, chances are you can see the appeal of these baskets.) Plus, as an added bonus, bannetons typically create that beautiful spiral pattern that you’ve likely seen on rustic loaves of homemade bread.
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