What are proofing baskets?
Proofing baskets have two purposes. The first is to proof dough by allowing it to rest and rise prior to baking. The second is to give pre-baked bread its final shape. This is why LOYAL proofing baskets, whether rattan or plastic, are available in three shapes: round, oval, and long.
Rattan and plastic proofing baskets have several important differences. Knowing these differences will help determine which is best for you.
As the name suggests, LOYAL’s rattan proofing baskets are made from rattan plant – a climbing palm typically found in Southeast Asia. Rattan is a material ideal for proofing baskets: it allows air to circulate and creates a humid “microclimate”.
As for LOYAL’s plastic proofing baskets, the high rigidity of the plastic means the baskets will not bend, flex, or deform. Where plastic material differs from rattan plant, is that it does not ordinarily allow air to circulate. Because of this, LOYAL plastic proofing baskets have 80 small slits, or “vents”, incorporated to allow circulation.
Another difference is that LOYAL plastic proofing baskets are completely food-grade. This means they do not absorb mold or mildew, and are easier to maintain. Both styles of proofing basket should be primed with flour before use.
The most significant difference between rattan and plastic proofing baskets is that plastic baskets offer longevity. Rattan baskets will, at some point, need to be replaced as they absorb mold and mildew over time.
A key difference between LOYAL rattan and plastic proofing baskets is the aesthetic effect they have on bread. Rattan proofing baskets are ideal for bakers more concerned with the final appearance of their bread. This is because rattan will give bread a more rustic, “old-fashioned” look – akin to that of the early 1800s.
Plastic proofing baskets, meanwhile, are ideal for bakers wanting consistency in look.
Rattan and plastic proofing baskets differ in terms of maintenance requirements. Generally speaking, rattan baskets are maintenance-intensive, whereas plastic baskets are maintenance-free.
For example, LOYAL’s rattan baskets come with the following requirements:
- Must be covered with liner cloth, or dusted with flour, before use
- Must be cleaned with a brush, to get rid of excess dough, after use
- Should be dried in the sun after use
- Should be stored in a well-ventilated area to avoid mold and mildew
- Cannot be used in a dishwasher or freezer
Because of this, you will need to buy either liners or cleaning brushes alongside your order of rattan proofing baskets. Plastic proofing baskets need to be primed with a light spray of water and “dusted” with flour before use. However, they are considered more hygienic, being dishwasher- and freezer-safe, and easily cleaned.