Decorative dough baskets can add a touch of rustic charm to a table setting or holiday gathering. Dough baskets can be created out of bread dough, salt dough or other craft dough. Most patterns are interchangeable. Dough is an easy, inexpensive way to allow adults and children alike to express their creativity and experiment artistically. You can create a dough basket with or without baking, depending on the type of dough you use. In addition, dough baskets can be painted, decorated and sealed for use year after year.
Mix the bread dough according to the recipe. Bread dough intended for breadsticks works best.
Roll out the dough so that it's about one quarter inch thick and use a knife or pizza cutter to cut it into strips. One-inch-wide strips can be used for larger projects. One-half- to one-quarter-inch-wide strips work better for smaller projects.
Turn the oven-safe bowl upside down on the baking tray. Cover the bowl with a layer of aluminium foil. Spray the aluminium foil with non-stick spray.
Weave the dough strips together on a flat surface. The easiest way to do this is to lay out all the vertical strips first, then weave in the horizontal strips.
Carefully lift the woven dough and place it over the bowl. Adjust the weave as necessary to accommodate for the curvature of the bowl.
Trim away the excess dough around the rim of the bowl.
Roll out two strips of dough. Wrap one strip of dough around the rim of the bowl and the other strip around the base of the bowl. Use a little water to adhere the strips into place if necessary. Pinch the dough of the borders, or use a fork to give it texture.
Place the baking tray with the bowl in an oven preheated to 177 degrees Celsius. Bake for 30 minutes to one hour, checking every 10 minutes. Larger projects will require more baking time than smaller projects. When the bread becomes golden brown, it is ready to be removed from the oven.
Carefully remove the dough basket from the bowl. Turn the dough basket over so the rim is at the top and place it on a baking tray.
Return the dough basket to the oven and cook for an additional 15 to 30 minutes, or until the inside of the basket is the same golden brown colour as the outside. Allow the basket to cool.
Spray your basket with a spray-on acrylic varnish to preserve it. You can find varnish at most craft stores. If you intend the basket to be edible, skip this step.
Mix the salt dough according to the recipe.
Roll out the dough so that it's one quarter to one half inch thick.
Flour the rim of an oven-safe metal bowl and use it as you would a cookie cutter to cut out a round base for your basket. Set the base aside to air-dry for at least 24 hours or until hard to the touch.
Place the bowl upside-down on a baking tray and spray it with non-stick spray.
Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes for the sides of your basket. The shapes are up to you. Using the same cookie cutter for all of the side pieces works best.
Line the cut-out shapes around the bowl on the baking tray with the edges touching. Adhere the edges of the shapes together using a little water. For example, if you are using a gingerbread man cookie cutter, adhere the hands and feet of the shapes together. Completely surround the rim of the bowl with your cut-out shapes. Set the bowl and cut-outs aside to air-dry for at least 24 hours or hard to the touch.
Carefully remove the cut-out shapes from the bowl. Adhere the ring of cut-outs to the base using a small amount of craft glue.
Blow up a balloon so that it will fit comfortably in your basket and place it in your basket.
Roll out two or three strips of salt dough and twist or braid them together to create a handle for your basket. Alternatively, you can create shapes such as leaves or flowers and adhere them together using a little water. Place the handle over the balloon and adhere the ends to the top rim of the basket. Allow the handle to dry for at least 24 hours or until hard to the touch.
Pop the balloon and remove it.
Paint your basket, if desired, and seal it with a spray-on acrylic varnish to preserve it.
You can use the inside of a bowl as a bread dough basket mould instead of the outside. Using the inside of the bowl sometimes helps when working with small projects. For a sturdier handle when creating a decorative salt dough basket, try forming the handle around a piece of craft wire before attaching it to your basket. Roll the strips of dough for the traditional bread dough basket instead of cutting with a knife for a safer, more child-friendly project. Experiment with different types of dough, different weaving methods and different shapes.
Adults should be in charge of all cutting. In addition, adults should be in charge of any baking involved. Always use paint and varnish in well-ventilated areas.