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- What size of proving basket do I need?
The weight given in the name of the proving basket is the nominal dough weight. A 1kg proving basket will take 1kg of dough, based on a white dough. Other flours will make the loaf denser but will still work in the chosen proving basket. So if your favourite recipe uses 300g flour and 200g water, a 500g basket is the one to go for. If you need to adjust your recipe to neatly fit your proving baskets, use our Dough Calculator.
- What should I do to avoid my dough sticking?
Proving baskets, both lined and unlined, should be dusted with rye flour (alternatively rice or potato flour) as this works much better than wheat flour.
- How do I choose between the different types of banneton?
We supply home bakers, bakeries, restaurants and production plants with all types of bannetons. The lined wicker and spiral cane bannetons are by far the most popular with home bakers, restaurants and bakeries, the two styles coming from separate traditions. The spiral cane bannetons give a signature pattern to the finished loaf which many go for, otherwise the difference is largely aesthetic. We have wood-fibre bannetons which many beginners find useful as they are the easiest to use when tipping the risen dough out. The dishwashable baskets are typically used in production processes but some home bakers like them as they can be thoroughly washed between uses.
- Which of the lined wicker bannetons should I choose?
Of the lined wicker bannetons, we have 3 quality grades, from our standard wicker, suitable for home bakers, heavy duty (Matfer) bannetons, suitable for heavy-duty or frequent use and the Vannerie baskets, the cream of the crop which are handmade and will last for many years.
- Do I need a liner on my cane banneton?
We sell liners for these baskets as an optional addition. Some like to use them when using a recipe that contains ingredients such as tomato or garlic that might stain or taint the baskets, but many choose not to worry.
- Can the removable liners be washed?
The removable liners for the cane bannetons may be hand-washed in warm detergent-free water.
- Can the baskets be washed?
In general, the baskets do not need to be washed. Traditionally proving baskets are not washed but the excess flour is knocked or brushed out and then the baskets are kept in a dry place. The swirled cane baskets can, if necessary, be run under a tap for a short while provided that they are not soaked and are allowed to dry out completely. The plastic dishwashable ones can, of course, be dishwashed.
- How can I clean the couche cloth?
Most of the time, the cloth can be shaken to remove the lose flour, folded and put away, provided that it is thoroughly dry. If you need to give the cloth a wash, it is important to only hand wash in cold water and to avoid using detergents. When dry, you may like to iron with a full-steam linen setting to restore the smoothness.