When proofing down in a bread basket (not just a smooth bowl), what kind of flour keeps the dough from actually sticking? Is there a technique that works? Normal wheat flour seems to be to readily absorbed and then its a nightmare to get unstuck.

  • Does it have to be a kind of flour?
    – Mien
    Feb 23, 2012 at 22:02
  • 1
    I suppose not, but liquids won't work in a basket.
    – rfusca
    Feb 23, 2012 at 22:25
  • Never tried it in a basket, but I suspect that semolina will do better than flour.
    – rumtscho
    Mar 23, 2012 at 14:29
  • I've got Dan Lepards book (the Handmade Loaf); I have got the leaven right and good results with baking. But he says use a basket lined with a floured cloth, I swear there was more flour around the kitchen than in the bread: it wouldnt stay on the cloth and the dough stuck like mad to the basket whatever I did. I will get some rice flour and semolina and try out your suggestions but I wish I knew how he does it.
    – user17622
    Apr 2, 2013 at 11:32

3 Answers 3


Regular old flour works -bread or all-purose or even cake- but the dough had best be proofed away from too much moisture, ie no steam. Use an overly generous amount sifted onto the basket and with each success reduce a bit til you find a happy place.

Even spongy rye masses have come out in one piece with a jiggle-jiggle here and a hop hop tip. Think of that as walking the dough out instead of inverting.

Bits may stick but only minor flesh-wounds. Let basket dry and scrape clean.

If the problem is related to brand-new basket, may need to search for some 'seasoning' tips first.


The best seems to be a 1:1 ratio of normal wheat-based flour and rice flour - others agree.

First the wheat flour sticks to the dough and creates a nice smooth surface.
Then the rice flour (which doesn't adsorb very quickly) creates small 'rollers' that keep the dough from dragging, like ball bearings. This is similar to semonlina or cornmeal for working with pizza.

A key part of the technique to a banneton is to sprinkle and rub some flour mix on the surface of the dough first, then sprinkle some flour mix in the basket, then put it seem side up in the basket. No sticking.

This same mix and similar technique works wonders for using a peel as well.


It seems using enough of the flour used to prepare the dough will do. Though, it may be tricky to properly cover the basket with the flour. That is why I prefer to line the box with a cloth and sprinkle the cloth with the flour instead. Much easier and the effect is quite similar.

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