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Proofing Basket Help Needed - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

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Proofing Basket Help Needed

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  • Proofing Basket Help Needed

    I bought a few of the $2 baskets from Empire Baking Company and tried to use them this past weekend. I am an inexperienced baker on all accounts, so I downloaded the e-book, and read up as much as possible.

    Well, apparently, I missed some crucial step, as every loaf that I prepared stuck in the proofing basket and had to be scraped/dug/cursed out when the proofing time was up. I made sourdough and a simple white bread and had the same results on both types.

    I dusted the baskets with flour before loading the once risen, shaped dough. Please help me, what am I missing? My wife thinks the whole proofing basket thing is crazy, but I've seen some awesome photos on this board.

  • #2
    Re: Proofing Basket Help Needed

    Back to the basics!!!

    First guess is your dough was too wet or not adequately floured. I think there is a tendency to try to have too little flour in the basket - or on the bread. Either can work, with really sticky doughs I often do both. But there are more issues than that. You may not have adequately worked the dough to get it manageable. And at forming you do want to tighten the skin on the dough. That tightening seems to help prevent sticking. The basket makers suggest spraying the baskets with oil (Pam). I am not convinced that helps much (I have the baskets too!)

    I am about to upload a video from Peter Reinhart folding an 80% BP (baker's percentage) ciabatta dough that you should take a look at. It may inspire you!

    And finally, if you have trouble with sticking - back down on the BP a bit until you get a manageable dough. Then as you get success and expience add back some water. You didn't indicate what your BP was. My norm is 68 for bread flour boules. About 64 for AP pane Pugliese. Those RARELy stick to the basket on me. If they do I know I screwed up a bit.

    Hope that helps!


    • #3
      Re: Proofing Basket Help Needed

      I used some of those for the first time this weekend and they stuck a bit for me too. I usually proof in a basket with a cloth and then of course I have no sticking problem...I am going to give them another try with more flour, and then I am going to go back to my cloth lined ones. Mine did not stick completely, but enough that I deflated the dough significantly when I got them out...

      My Oven Thread:


      • #4
        Re: Proofing Basket Help Needed

        I found the sticking early on also. I have found a bit of cooking spray before you dust them with flour works well and for some of the wetter doughs I even roll them in a bit of flour before I put them in the basket. When it comes time to load them we dust them(what will be the bottom of the loaf) and then gently pull the egdes back to release the top edges of the dough from the sides of the basket. Then you just kind of turn them over and out onto the peel. Hard to describe, maybe I can post a video
        "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
        "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch


        • #5
          Re: Proofing Basket Help Needed

          Thanks for all the tips, sorry I haven't responded sooner!
          I'm back to working on the enclosure, but will definitely try some of these suggestions on the next batch. I will not give up, especially since my wife is convinced that it won't work.


          • #6
            Re: Proofing Basket Help Needed


            Thanks for mentioning it Dutch! I ALWAYS flour my boules before I put them in the baskets so I usually have spray, dusted flour on the basket, and flour on the boule. I adjust the amount of flour on the boule to how wet the dough is!

            No wonder I don't have as much sticking problem!