Test Kitchen tips: Proofing baskets for bread
There are a number of bread recipes that suggest proofing your dough in a banneton, or brotform. A banneton is a type of basket, usually wicker, used to help shape the dough and give it structure as it rises.
A banneton is wonderful if you bake a lot of bread, but can be expensive, and might not (yet) be worth the investment if you're new to breads.
The solution? Use a basket you have on hand. A colander and strainer could work, too.
Find a basket roughly the size you need for your loaf, flour a linen or heavy cotton cloth and line the basket with the cloth, then add the dough. The flour will keep the dough from sticking to the cloth as it rises. You could also flour the basket directly for more of a textured appearance on the finished bread, but make sure the basket and any finish on it are food-safe.
-- Noelle Carter
Photo: Noelle Carter/Los Angeles Times