Congratulations, you’re the proud new owner of a banneton. To find out how to care for it, we talked to several professional bakers and educators, including Kristen Dennis, a baker in Chicago who runs the popular Instagram account Full Proof Baking; Tara Jensen, based in Virginia; and Dan Riesenberger of Dan the Baker in Columbus, Ohio.
How to Use Your Banneton
- Before every use, dust the banneton (or liner, if using) lightly with flour. This prevents your dough from sticking. While you can use all-purpose flour, all the bakers we talked to recommended using at least some rice flour, as it helps the dough release more easily. You can use rice flour exclusively, but it can be more expensive, so we recommend a 50/50 mixture of rice flour and all-purpose flour.
- To get your dough out, let gravity be your friend. If all goes well, your proofed dough should come out easily when you upturn the banneton. But if it doesn’t, don’t fight the dough, advises Dennis. Keep the banneton upturned over the parchment and let gravity do its work—the dough will come out eventually.
After Every Use of a Banneton
- Knock out excess flour: This prevents the banneton or liner from getting too crusty. Jensen recommends using a brush with stiff plastic bristles to remove any caked-on bits.
- Dry the banneton (and liner) well: All the bakers we talked to stressed the importance of this step. Bannetons and their liners can develop mold if they don’t dry thoroughly between uses. A good way to do this is to leave your banneton on top of your oven as your bread bakes. You can also put the banneton and liner in the oven after the bread’s out and the oven’s a little cooler.
When to Clean Your Banneton
- Keep an eye on the crust: A layer of flour is considered good “seasoning” for your banneton or liner, helping dough release more easily. When that seasoning becomes a stiff crust that chips off onto your dough, it’s probably time to give your equipment a wash. Just be aware that once your banneton or liner is clean, you’ll have to start seasoning it all over again.
How to Clean Your Banneton
- Scrub rattan bannetons with a stiff brush under cold water to remove buildup. (Riesenberger recommends using the sprayer on your sink, if you have one, to blast off dry bits.) With wood pulp bannetons, use a damp cloth to remove any thick buildup. Soak cloth liners in warm water and a little dish soap, and then scrub to remove buildup. Dry both bannetons and liners thoroughly after washing.