I rarely have buyerâ€™s remorse. That sinking feeling that comes after you have purchased something, usually something a bit unusual and relatively pricey, and you suddenly wish you hadnâ€™tâ€¦ Sometimes, the regret turns into mild irritation, the kind that you hit yourself on the forehead with a fairly strong whack every single time you see the item in question. In this case, the items that continue to vex me are two authentic banettons for proofing baguettes, or the long loaves of French bread. The banettons are made of woven wicker and are lined with a natural thick linen, almost like burlapâ€¦ My understanding is that these baskets help the bread rise better, while drying out the surface of the dough, to help crisp up the crust when it bakes.
The shop was Dehillerin, in Paris, that temple of all things devoted cooks wish for and that they had millions in disposable income to blow at the cash register. It isnâ€™t a glitzy store, but with nearly a 200, yes that is a 200 year history, they have an incredible selection of the finest cookware and kitchen doodads. I LOVE DEHILLERIN. I had already spent an hour going down every single aisle and had a mini-mountain of goodies piled up on one of the countersâ€¦ and just as the kind salesman started to ring up my purchases, I spied several banettons on a shelf behind the counter and without thinking, told him to throw in two banettons thinking I would be making all this brilliant French bread and I would definitely NEED these baskets. As a last minute impulse purchase, and because everything else I picked up seemed well priced, I didnâ€™t even bother to ask the price of the baskets. Letâ€™s just say, the total bill was significantly higher that I had mentally calculated, but I was too embarrassed to check the bill at the store, and I decided to just pay and review my purchases back at the hotel.
It turns out these darned baskets were some 50 Euro EACH, and that was over 5 years ago! What a royal rip-off! And worse, I have NEVER used them for the purpose of proofing dough, instead they have lamely served as a bread basket for sliced French bread instead. So every time I see them when I go to the beach (where I had exiled them in hopes of forgetting about the incident), I have serious buyerâ€™s remorse. But I promise that the next time I see them, I will indeed use them. I figure I will have to proof at least 800 baguettes in each banetton to justify the cost of this item. They better be pretty darned fantastic baguettes! â˜º