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How to use a Banneton and where to find them

Close up of Bannertons and bread made with them
Sourdough loaf showing the rings left behind from the banneton.

When I started the cooking school you couldn’t get a cane banneton from anywhere but patisserie suppliers.  They were pretty costly, (and some still are), so I decided to import some directly from Germany.

They were still pretty expensive way back then, but now, you can get them from good homewares stores at a reasonable price but make sure you pick the right size. Read on to find out why they are so handy when making home made bread.

Classes if you are local (Melbourne) or Zooms from anywhere 🙂

When to use a Banneton?

We use Bannetons in our sourdough bread making class.  The results you can achieve with such little work is very appealing, and just about everyone wants one after the class.  They do such a brilliant job at making your loaf look amazing with no real effort, so I thought I’d share how we use them.

French boule sourdough loaf.

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is prepare a mix to pop in the mould.   This mix is used to stop your dough from sticking.  Don’t Skip this step it is essential or you’ll be cleaning your Banneton for ages.

To prepare your banneton (or some people call them a Brotform).  I like to make up a mix of 50/50 Plain Flour/Fine Semolina or 50 / 50 rice flour (the gritty one). I know some people say use rice flour because the dough won’t stick to it but try my method it’s much nicer, it will give you those lovely lines.   You don’t have to weigh this; just rough measurements are fine.  Pop into a jar, then give it a good shake to mix.   I use around 1/2 a cup of each and keep topping it up as I need to because you’ll need to use it every time you use the mould.  You’ll use this as a barrier to stop your dough from sticking to the mould.  Some chefs only use flour, but I like to add the semolina for two reasons,

  • It’s added protection to stop the dough from sticking
  • The semolina will help make a better crust on your loaf.

Step 2

Put at least a couple of tablespoons of the mix into the banneton.  Then with your hand, massage it in, working it into all the creases.  You can use a dry pastry brush to help get it right in if you like.  Make sure you have a good coating of flour/semolina all over the cane.  Now it’s ready for you to add your dough for the final proving stage.   Cover it with a clean tea towel or freezer paper, and leave to prove.  When it’s ready to bake, just gently tip the loaf out onto a prepared baking tray (or semolina-dusted baking stone if you have one) and bake.  You’ll end up with a beautiful looking loaf (hopefully a bit like our pictures).

Step 3

The clean up is simple.  Just give it a tap (or brush it out with a dry brush if necessary). I have a nail brush set aside for just this job.  Then leave it somewhere warm to dry out before storing it away.  Don’t store it away till it’s completely dry or your banneton could go mouldy.  You can do what I do, and once you turn off the oven and it’s dropped in temperature a bit, you can pop it in there so it will dry as the oven cools.  Just prop the door open with a wooden spoon handle to let the steam escape. The oven door only needs to be open a little for this to work.

Where do you get them?

Just google “bannetons near me” and loads will come up. One thing I would say is, make sure you don’t buy a banneton that is really wide. Think about how and where you’re going to bake it off. If you’re going to use a pot to bake your bread in, make sure the banneton fits in there. The other thing is to make sure you’ve got the correct amount of dough for your banetton. You’re better to be on the smaller size than the large. Better to have the bread rise above the rim than to be wide and flat. Unless that’s the sort of loaf you’re going for that is. ?

Here’s a video to help.

This video is just one of the many videos in my online course.

YouTube video

Want to know more?

This bread made using a yoghurt starter, tastes just like normal sourdough

Sourdough starter in 6 days

Or perhaps you would you like to learn how to make Easy Overnight Sourdough?

Easy Overnight Sourdough

4 Comments

  1. I use silicone bannetons. I love them because you can wash them by hand, in the dishwasher or simply brush clean with a sturdy brush. Never had a problem with mould or sticking. I use rice flour made in the TMX.

    1. It’s your choice whether to use the fabric liner on your Banneton or not. I personally choose not to use one because I love to see the beautiful design left by the cane rings.

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