Whenever I see the breads made by the baker at Kyle's Kitchen, I couldn't help admiring the beautiful loaves made in Brotforms. These baskets are quite difficult to source in this part of the world. They are available in the US and Australia but they cost up to US$30.00. If you include shipping and handling costs, each basket may set you back by as much as US$40.00.
These Brotforms are made with willow or cane. Since cane is a very sturdy material and is easily available here in Singapore, I decided to make some myself. The search for the raw materials was an adventure itself but that is another story. Unfortunately, I was not able to complete the basket as I had run out of nails.
The Brotforms were nailed together with stainless steel nails. It was not as difficult as I had feared. However, the bending of the cane was tricky and it was only after some experimentation that I managed to coax the cane to stay in position. After one week of waiting, I am finally getting another box of stainless steel nails. With some sanding, I think the brotform might just worked. I was already thinking of making some insignia in the brotform itself. The resulting bread would have a distinctive imprint when baked.
There is more than one use for a baby's bath tub. The cane is soaked to make them more pliable.
Finally, the wait is over. A new box of stainless steel nails. The Brotform was polished and washed thoroughly. It will be dusted thoroughly with rice flour. I had made many mistakes in the process but it was not too bad as a first attempt. It also made me appreciate the value of the store bought brotforms. As I will be needing a few more brotforms, I will probably buy them online.
After weeks of waiting, my brotforms are finally here. I ordered them online in a moment of exasperation when I was trying to make one on my own. A few days after ordering them, I decided to continue on my homemade Brotform project and persevered in making an oblong Brotform. I decided to make another round one with the remaining cane. Total cost for 2 Brotform: S$10/-. Experience gained: Priceless.
I am waiting for the weekend to give the imported ones a good wash and start using them. I ordered 2 types, a round one for boules and an oblong one for batards. The prices were stiff indeed but I realized that the homemade ones took too much effort to be a cheap alternative.
I made a round brotform with the remaining cane that I bought. The color difference is due to the use of different species of cane.
I started using the oblong one which I made. It is coated thickly with flour. I was surprised that the dough didn't stick but without the flour coating, there won't be a pattern. After my oblong one arrived, I realized that the one I made was too big. Big enough for a baby to sleep in!!
This site was last updated 05/24/07