What I Use Instead of a Proofing Basket
Bread proofing baskets help your bread rise in a smooth round shape and often have coils around them that add a nice pattern to your bread.
Why a Basket?
However, bread baskets cost money and can be hard to find. Plus, you really don't need one. Try these simple alternatives instead.
A wooden, ceramic, or metal bowl can work just as well as a proofing basket. You'll get an even rise and a nice round shape, but lose the pattern.
A Plastic Container
A large, plastic container can also work well as a proofing basket substitute. You'll get an even rise shaped in a square or rectangle, which can can be a good or bad depending on your goal.
A Bowl and Cloth
By combining a bowl with a patterned cloth, you can get all of the benefits of a proofing basket. Simply line your bowl with a piece of fabric that has a pattern that rises from it.