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Updated September 2021
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Buying guide for best proofing basket sets

No grocery store loaf can compare to freshly baked bread, and once you start baking bread at home, there's no going back. Eventually, you'll want to experiment with sourdoughs and other breads with looser doughs, at which point you'll need a proofing basket set as part of your baking arsenal.

A proofing basket — also known as a banneton — helps dough to keep its shape as it rises, which is essential for wet doughs that would simply spread out into a large pancake if you tried to proof them unsupported. A proofing basket set will contain other useful items, such as a liner and lame (pronounced lahm).

But first, you'll need to decide what size and shape of proofing basket you require as part of your set. You'll need to pick which material best fits your requirements, too. As you're buying a proofing basket set, you must also decide which other items you'd like the set to include.

If you're ready to buy right away, you can choose from one of our recommended proofing basket sets. Otherwise, read our full guide to learn more and make an informed purchase.

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Proofing baskets can work effectively for gluten-free doughs, which tend to be much wetter than their gluten-containing counterparts.

Key considerations

Items in set

Proofing basket sets aren't standardized, so they can contain any number of items. The common denominator is that they all contain at least one proofing basket. The majority of proofing basket sets contain a single banneton and a number of accessories. These accessories include liners (for lining the basket to prevent sticking), stencils (to make a pattern on the loaf), lames (sharp razorlike knives for scoring the loaf), dough scrapers, and whisks. However, some proofing basket sets contain multiple bannetons of different sizes or shapes. These sets may or may not include other accessories.


  • Cane or rattan: The majority of proofing baskets are made from cane or rattan. This is arranged in a spiral or concentric circles to create a bowl shape. Natural and breathable, it’s an excellent and affordable choice.

  • Wood pulp: Although less common, you can also find quality proofing baskets made from 100% wood pulp. The great thing about wood pulp proofing baskets is that dough doesn't stick to them as easily. However, proofing basket sets containing bannetons made from wood pulp tend to be more expensive than their cane counterparts.

  • Plastic: While you can buy plastic proofing baskets, too, we wouldn't recommend them.


The shape of the banneton in your proofing basket set will dictate the shape that your loaves turn out. The majority of proofing baskets are round with a tapered shape for creating round boule loaves. However, you can also find oval proofing baskets for creating longer, narrower loaves, plus some more unusual shapes, such as triangles, diamonds, and figure eights. You may choose a proofing basket set that contains more than one basket, each with a different shape, to give you a greater range of options.


What size proofing basket you require will depend on how many people you need your loaves to feed and how much bread you tend to eat. In proofing basket sets that contain round bannetons, the most common diameter is nine inches, but you can find larger and smaller options available. You might like a proofing basket set with a couple of different size options, so you can bake larger loaves when you have company or more compact loaves just for yourself.

"You'll need something to cover the top of the banneton while your dough is proofing so it doesn't dry out."



Many proofing basket sets include a linen liner that sits inside the banneton while your dough is rising. Liners are optional, however. Some people like to use liners as they keep the proofing basket clean and help prevent sticking. Other bakers prefer to proof their doughs directly in the banneton without any liner, as liners can suck some of the moisture from a dough and give you less pronounced patterns on the loaf.


Some proofing basket sets include stencils. You can use these stencils to dust a pattern onto the top of your loaf. While it doesn't affect the quality of the loaf, it does make an attractive finishing touch. If you're baking a dark loaf, the pattern should show up in white flour. However, if your loaf is already floured or you're baking a white loaf, you can use cocoa powder with the stencil.


You might have noticed that some fancy bakery loaves have a ring pattern all around them in flour. This is naturally created by the spiral shape of a cane proofing basket (when you flour it before adding the dough). If you use a liner, you won't have such a pronounced pattern of rings on your loaf. You won't get this ringed pattern at all with a plastic proofing basket. But wood pulp models tend to be made with ridges to replicate this pattern.

Proofing basket set prices

Inexpensive: An inexpensive proofing basket set, consisting of a single proofing basket and a few accessories, should cost somewhere between $10 and $20.

Mid-range: A mid-priced proofing basket set will either contain a higher-quality basket or a wider range of accessories and should be priced between $20 and $40.

Expensive: A high-end proofing basket set will usually contain two or three proofing baskets and maybe some accessories. These cost roughly $40 to $80.

Expert Tip


  • Think about what accessories you'd like in your bread proofing set. We've already discussed how different proofing basket sets contain different accessories, so you must think about what you need to start baking. A liner is a common inclusion, for example, but some bakers never use liners in their bannetons.

  • Find some reliable recipes to test out your new proofing basket. There are plenty of excellent books about baking bread, as well as huge numbers of free recipes online.

  • Make sure the dough doesn't stick to your proofing basket. There's nothing more disappointing than proofing a sourdough for 12 hours or more, only to find it won't turn out of the proofing basket properly, leaving you with a misshapen loaf. Seasoning your banneton will help prevent sticking, but you should also sprinkle flour inside before adding your dough. A layer of oats is even better at preventing sticking with exceptionally wet doughs.

  • Turn your dough out from your proofing basket carefully. If you let it drop unceremoniously onto your baking tray, the dough may deflate, giving you a flatter, denser loaf.

Other products we considered

The WERTIOO 9-Inch Banneton Proofing Basket Set is a solid yet inexpensive choice. Along with the nine-inch banneton, you receive a dough scraper, lame, and linen liner — everything you need to get started. If you'd like a slightly larger set, the BreadBasics Banneton Proofing Basket Start Kit includes a nine-inch basket, a quality linen liner, a special whisk to mix wet doughs, a dough scraper, a lame, a cleaning brush, and an e-book to teach you the basics. Another firm favorite is the Healthy Home Helper Proofing Basket with Pattern Wood Bottom. This sturdy basket includes a liner and dough scraper. The wooden bottom makes an attractive pattern on the top of your loaves.

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It's best to use a proofing basket slightly larger than you need rather than slightly smaller. It's important the dough doesn't spill out, but it doesn't matter if the dough doesn't completely fill the banneton.


Q. Will I need a proofing basket for baking all kinds of breads?
Not every bread requires a proofing basket to support it as it rises. Lower hydration doughs will support themselves during the proofing process as long as you ball them properly. You may also use a loaf tin if you want a more traditionally shaped loaf rather than a boule or similar.

Q. How do you season a proofing basket?
Seasoning your proofing basket helps prevent dough from sticking to it and, no, it doesn't involve sprinkling it with salt and pepper. Our favorite way to season a proofing basket is to mix up a paste of one tablespoon of cornstarch and one tablespoon of water. Brush the paste all over the inside of your proofing basket and wait for it to completely dry before using it.

Q. Do I need to clean my proofing basket set?
Although you need to season your proofing basket to prevent sticking, you can't leave the same seasoning on it indefinitely or mold will start to form. You'll need to occasionally clean your proofing basket with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush. Let it dry fully before putting it away, ideally in strong sunlight. You'll also need to wash and dry the liner after each use (the majority are machine-washable) and wash up any of the tools you've used.

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