The best proofing basket

The rise of a loaf of bread is crucial and can make or break your bake – the best proofing baskets can help to produce perfect loaves every time.
The rise of a loaf of bread is crucial and can make or break your bake – the best proofing baskets can help to produce perfect loaves every time. (BestReviews)

Flour, water, salt, yeast – some people might be intimidated by baking bread, but transforming these four simple ingredients into freshly baked bread at home is easier than you might think. In addition to starting with a great recipe, the tools you use can help you get a perfect, crusty loaf every time. One of these tools is a proofing basket. Designed to hold bread as it rises, the proofing basket helps keep the bread in shape as the yeasts do their work.

If you are just starting your baking journey and need all of the tools, the Bread Bosses Banneton Proofing Basket is the best proofing basket for you.


What to know before you buy a proofing basket

A proofing basket, also sometimes referred to as a banneton, is a specialized container that holds fresh bread dough as it rises. Proofing basket sets typically contain everything you need to get started, including the proofing basket itself. The best proofing baskets help even amateur bakers get the crispy-chewy crust and open structure of a perfectly proofed loaf of bread.


Proofing baskets are available in three basic materials:

  1. Rattan or cane: This is the most common proofing basket material, known for its concentric circles that form a design on the bread as it rises. It's a natural material that removes moisture to help bread develop a great crust.
  2. Wood pulp: These composite-type baskets are less common but still produce a great crust. Because the basket is wood, most bread doughs won't stick, even if you forget to flour the basket. These can be more expensive than other choices.
  3. Plastic: Plastic proofing baskets are a last resort material choice. They hold moisture against the bread and can cause a flabby crust.


Traditional proofing baskets are either round or oval, but you can find other novelty shapes, too. The shape of the basket often dictates how much crust a bread will have, but other than that, they function exactly the same.


The size refers to both the measurement of the basket and the amount of bread the basket holds (usually measured in pounds). If you are baking bread for a crowd, a larger basket will better suit your purpose.

Smaller baskets work just as well as larger baskets, but be sure the amount of dough matches the capacity of your proofing basket.

Proofing basket features


Your proofing basket may come with accessories that you need for baking bread, including:

  • Lamé (share knife for scoring)
  • Lamé cover
  • Plastic dough scraper
  • Stencils
  • Basket liner

If you can live without these items, definitely save your money and look for the proofing basket alone.

Prominent rings

The prominent rings on bakery boules come from a pronounced ring on the inside of the proofing basket. If you want this feature on your own loaves, make sure the proofing basket you choose has ridges on the inside.

Recipe books

New bread bakers will appreciate all of the guidance they can get, and some proofing baskets come with bread recipes designed to fit in that specific basket. It’s definitely worth it to try these recipes first.

Proofing basket cost 

Proofing baskets don’t suffer a lot of abuse in the kitchen generally, but you’ll still want a high-quality basket that lasts. Prices for these range from $15-$40.

Proofing basket FAQ

Do you need a proofing basket for every type of bread?

A. No. Proofing baskets are usually best for hearty country loaves like boules. They are also very useful for wet bread doughs that need help maintaining a shape as they rise. If you don't use a proofing basket for these types of doughs, the end result will be a huge, thin mass of bread on the counter or in the fridge.

How do you season a proofing basket?

A. Seasoning your proofing basket before use is the best way to prevent even the wettest doughs from sticking.

Mix a paste of one tablespoon of water and one tablespoon of cornstarch, and spread it inside the proofing basket and allow it to dry before proofing your first loaf of bread. You may need to repeat this if you notice that your dough is beginning to stick.

How do you clean a proofing basket?

A. Clean your proofing basket and re-season to prevent mold from developing. Start by knocking excess flour out of the basket, then scrub in hot, soapy water with a  stiff brush. Allow the basket to dry completely and then re-season.

Which proofing basket should I get?

Best of the best proofing basket

Bread Bosses Banneton Proofing Basket: available at Amazon

Our take: This proofing basket works for even the stickiest doughs and gets high marks from bakers at all levels.

What we like: This nine-inch proofing basket can handle large loaves for proofing. The natural material removes moisture from the surface of the dough to produce a crispy crust. Ridges in the basket create a beautiful artisanal look, and this proofing basket even works with gluten-free doughs.

What we dislike: As with all proofing baskets, you'll need to liberally dust the basket with flour before proofing so the dough does not stick.

Best bang for your buck proofing basket

Kook Proofing Basket Set: available at Amazon

Our take: This is great for people just getting into bread baking.

What we like: This set comes with two sturdy rattan proofing baskets, a dough scraper, lamé and lamé cover. The included liner cloth means you won't have to worry about dough sticking to the basket.

What we dislike: If you are just looking for the proofing basket itself, this set might be too much.

Honorable mention proofing basket

Oval Proofing Basket Set: available at Amazon

Our take: This attractive oval proofing basket creates beautifully shaped longer loaves.

What we like: It's made of natural rattan and comes with an unbleached liner, and the oval shape makes bakery-style loaves of bread. This proofing basket holds three pounds of dough but is available in two other sizes.

What we dislike: Some bakers found this proofing basket to be too narrow.

Suzannah Kolbeck is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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