Do you use a banneton ?

celia's picture

Do you use a banneton ?

Just noticed Graham has these on sale at the moment, and I'm wondering if I need one.  I've never used them before - I shape everything in a floured tea towel, and have generally been pretty happy with the results.  My big concern with bannetons is this - once you've dredged them with flour, how do you clean them afterwards ?  I know you can't wash the cane - or can you ?  And secondly, if I use a really wet dough, won't it just get stuck ?  I'm worried about growing mould in the banneton, and it going all green - I'd never use it again then. :)

Just in the last few days, I've pulled my black steel loaf pan out - forgotten how nice that was to use.  And rising in the pan doesn't result in flour all over the bench to clean up, though the end result isn't nearly as rustic looking.

TP, didn't you get some paper bannetons a while ago ?  How did they go ?

Cheers, Celia
305 users have voted.


Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2008 April 12
I use bannetons and also use a linen canvas from my painting days, actually it's silk linen!

celia's picture
celia 2008 April 12

Jeremy, do you line the bannetons ?  Or just dredge them in flour ?  Not 100% sure how they're supposed to work..
TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2008 April 12

with your floured towels.

I love my bannetons, both cane and pulp. There's really no sticking problem if you flour it WELL....I use rice flour, but, some people use rye. Apparently, just plain flour may not work so well, especially with a high hydration bread. This bread was proved in my pulp banneton. My only complaint is the patterns are not deep enough. I don't wash them each time after use...more like after 3 uses. After each use, I stick it under the sun for an hour, some people pop it in a low temp oven. I clean both pulp and cane under a running tap with a soft brush.

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2008 April 12
(Having difficulty editing in the comment box. Can't bring my cursor under the image.)

I use loaf pans (14 " long) for breads that I sell. I sell by the slices/weight and the uniform slices are more 'fair'. I find that I have to oil the pan very thoroughly or the bread sticks. How do you treat your pans?

celia's picture
celia 2008 April 12

Just a light canola oil spray, TP.  No flouring.  These were some real nice "black steel" tins I bought years ago - the outside is black, but the inside is shiny silver.  They're really heavyweight, and brown the loaf well.

Questions - where did you get your pulp bannetons ?  Are they single use only ?  And how do you clean your cane ones ?  If you don't have a problem with mould in the tropics, then I'm far less concerned about it.. :)

Thanks, Celia
TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2008 April 12

I clean both pulp and cane under a running tap with a soft brush.

I got them from here. The minimum order is 5 pcs. Single use? Oh no...that would be too wasteful! It's made from dense pulp and is re-usable, but, I'd get the cane ones; I did get a bit of mould in one of the pulp ones, as these take a long time to dry.

Ooh...I'm coveting your loaf pans....
celia's picture
celia 2008 April 12

... I wasn't paying attention... (are you sure you didn't add that in as an edit after ? :))

Will think about the bannetons now, that DOES sound promising...

Thanks TP !

Cookie's picture
Cookie 2008 April 12
I have never had problems with bread sticking in tins.   I used to have some heavy tin bread tins, but eventually they went rusty and I threw them out.   Now I have a heavy non-stick bread tin which like Celia I just spray with olive oil.  

Didn't realise bannetons were cane, now that's an interesting thought.   Perhaps one could get a new bread shaped cane hanging basket from the plant nursery.
Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2008 April 12
I dust them with flour if really sticky, bran is also a rustic look, and the linens with flour, white usually.

Working on the 100% Spelt this morning, don't know but think I will retard it too?
jacklang 2008 April 13

I use banneteons and linen couches, I never wash them and they build up a non-stick coating. Instead I put them in a low oven to sterilise. I believe they were traditionally put in the retained heat of a brick oven after the bread was drawn.
Danubian's picture
Danubian 2008 April 13
I use baskets most of the time; if the dough is very slack I usually line them with cloths designated for that purppose 'couche' - bed clothes - with plenty of 'dust' it usually solves the sticking problem . However, I clean my rattan baskets with a brush after every use.

celia's picture
celia 2008 April 15

I found some polyprop (plastic) baskets at the kitchenware store yesterday, which looked perfect for rising bread in.  Perfect in shape, and perfect in price (the round one was $1.50, the long oval one $4.50).

Used my usual bread recipe :

400g starter (166% hydration)
712g filtered water
100g EVOO
1250g white bakers flour
130g dark rye flour
30g Tidman's sea salt
3g ground dark malt

The dough was mixed at 7.15am, and given a few folds during the morning.  First rise 8 hours - longer than normal, but we had dentist appointments !  It really does seem to enjoy a long rise, because it was beautifully responsive to shaping.

Exploded in the oven - I cut two long slashes on the baton, which was probably a mistake, I should have stuck to my diagonal slashes.  I'm really crap at slashing - would love some advice on how people get the pretty designs on the top of their loves.  I'm using a scalpel, albeit probably not the sharpest.  And my dough is at about 65% hydration.

Anyway, the dough released from the floured polyprop baskets without a problem at all, with pretty fine marks, some of which stayed there during baking.  Overall I'm pretty happy with the result, especially since I could give the baskets a quick rinse under the tap and put them on the rack to dry ! :)

Some pics :

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2008 April 15

I hereby conclude that you will produce awesome breads no matter if you use bannetons of any kind or go free-style. The baskets don't look plastic at all...I thought they were wicker, and the dusting looks pretty minimal compared to the fair amount of flour (rice, rye, or oatmeal) I rub into my bannetons. Congrats on your find!
Ginger's picture
Ginger 2008 April 16
Hi all, I am brand new to this site and could use some advice.  I bake only with spelt as I can't eat wheat.  I have a spelt sourdough starter ready and waiting.  I seem to have trouble getting a nicely risen loaf but am going to look into bannetons to help with that.  I know someone mentioned adding malt to a pure spelt loaf.  I can't add regular malt, but I do have some liquid sorghum malt around for brewing beer.  Doesn't anyone know if a liquid malt would do (ie concentrated enough)?  Of course I would have to add more flour, spelt esp soaks it up.  I could find a rice malt too at the brew supply shop and that might have more of a neutral flavor. Maybe a malt addition would help with the browning too as when spelt is finally brown, it can be a little over baked.  I am relatively new to bread baking as before when I ate wheat, I would just buy delish loaves of bread. 
TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2008 April 16

[quote=ginger]I seem to have trouble getting a nicely risen loaf but am going to look into bannetons to help with that. [/quote]

A banneton isn't going to help you get "a nicely risen loaf", Ginger. What a banneton does is provide support for the dough as it proves. Could you let us know your usual formula/recipe and how you handle the dough from start to finish? That would help us to work on why your bread doesn't have a good rise.

Someone else would have to chip in on the use of (liquid) malt, never having used it myself.

Yay! More spelt breads for The Bake-off! Do jump in soon....
Ginger's picture
Ginger 2008 April 16
I have been using the directions in the "Spelt Healthy" cookbook and follow the directions pretty closely (which is hard for me to do!).  I knead the spelt less, add more spelt (than I would regular flour) or less water, let it rise less, all per instruction and it works out pretty well, but tends to flatten out when baking.  I even set a timer for the rise time as I am easily distracted by work - he he.  I work out of my house most days.  I haven't done it enough yet to have a usual formula, but am baking a loaf of 100% spelt sourdough today and plan to convert a small colander with a towel into a banneton to give it that support and then plop it onto my baking stone.  I am going to try to add a bit of the liquid sorghum malt and see what happens - I just don't want my bread to end up sweet.  I think my starter is a bit too liquidy as I got lazy and started adding 1/2 flour and 1/2 water.  I am thickening up the remainder starter as I type. By not risen, I mean my baguettes are about two inches high, but they taste great, just flat.
bianchifan's picture
bianchifan 2008 April 16
in addition to TPs beloved challenge one further thread..
[url=]Some things I found out about Spelt..[/url]
..this one is for wooden style tins only ;)
so quick and dirty
- don't reduce water
- be careful with malt, spelt plus malt is highclass baking

some stuff about malt
[url=]Diastatic malt....[/url]

coming summer I wanna work on a special one - "König-Ludwig-Brot"
Spelt, rye, malt - rye and spelt based


Bart's picture
Bart 2008 April 16
I got mine there too.  I ordered 5 pulp ones and I only dust them with rice flour and sometimes flour.  After use I let them dry and use a brush to clean them.  I like them a lot!
Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2008 April 16
You have peaked my interest in mad Ludwigs Brot. I googled and found a picture on what I believed to be a Finnish sight of all places?

Do share some secrets!
Gabby's picture
Gabby 2009 June 26

Hmm..i was thinking of buying some bannetons, but have made myself a couple of makeshift 'bread beds' by hanging some washed calio in various tins or bowls!! It doenst give that nice pattern, but it does help stop my free form loaves from spreading too much!

I use fine polenta to dust with, which i think gives a lovely rustic look, and a crunchy crust.

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2009 June 26

Could we have a picture of that set-up, please? Sounds cosy (for the breads).

Thanks for the fine polenta tip!



TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2009 June 26


I don't think facebook pix can be linked as it's sorta a private thing where viewing is limited to friends. Do you have them online elsewhere?



Gabby's picture
Gabby 2009 June 26
Hi TP! Nope...i dont have my snaps online elsewhere, but i will add them to my album you can see them.

I really wanted to work out how to load them into the comment body...bummer!
TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2009 June 26
Well, once you upload them into the gallery here, copy and paste the url into the image entry boxes within your comment box. Clear as mud? Not. Thanks for your efforts, Gabby.
LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2009 June 27
Ok here is the crazy idea that I have been using to make some of my breads with.  I use beach mats rolled up to form a counche which I line with parchment paper.  Works great for me.  Here is a picture of a beach mat just in case you don't know what they are.
beach mat
dukegus 2009 July 30
I use not a bought banneton but a made one. I find retardation overnight in banneton amazing from my sourdough bread. I use bowls to mix the dough, then hand knead it on a table and then again on the oiled bowl for folding. Then I shape it and but a towel over the bowl with some ****(things than hang washed clothes to dry) and I transform it into banneton :)
dukegus 2009 August 1
After some exhausting tests on my university, that I passed 2/3 classes and after a week vacations in Zakynthos Greece I'm back! I'd like to share my current fenugreek-bread recipe but I will make a new post! The only thing I hate on vacations is not being able to make bread!!!!
Mr_Punchy's picture
Mr_Punchy 2009 November 9

how much I love this forum and the wisdom that all you guys share here.  The question of sticking doughs to bannetons was one I wanted to ask and post up here myself, but then I remembered Maedi saying it's always worth doing a search in the forum for your questions, cos they've more than likely been answered before, and alas... whoala!   Thankyou all, I've been using white flour on my bannetons, and they've been sticking like toffee to a blanket.  I'll be heading out to get some rye or rice flour in the morning.  Anyone have any opinions on which is better?  Rye flour isn't the cheapest thing down here in Warrnambool, Victoria.  Must be a country town thing, cos it was cheap in Melbourne when I was there.  Oh well.  Thanks all for your help.


Mr P.


TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2009 November 9

Here's my 2 sen:

Rye - $$$$$, flavour, coats ok.

Rice Flour - $,  flavour, better coating efficiency because of its fineness.

Goodbye to sticky banneton problem.......:)



Johnny's picture
Johnny 2009 November 9

 I picked up this exact same tip thanks to TP some time ago. Ever since I have used rice flour not one dough has stuck. 

jacklang 2009 November 10

Its the lack of gluten that makes rice flour non-sticky.

You can use other flours without gluten such as tapioca, cornstarch, polenta etc. I sometimes use bran for wholemeal loaves

Mr_Punchy's picture
Mr_Punchy 2009 November 10

Ah, the gluten, that makes sense to me.  Thanks for the tip.  I have some polenta in my cupboard (I love baked polenta and napoli!), so i'll give it a shot on today's loaf.  Last nights sticky loaf was a disaster.  Came out with as much height as a foccacia after it had stuck to the banneton!  

Thanks again all.



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