Why are bannetons so expensive to buy? I cant seem to get one for less than £10.00 in the U.K.
have you come across Mike Batho yet? Why not contact him about his new business idea?
[I don't work for Mike in any way]
Just as anything hand made, it requires more time to make which = $$. I am sure someone like JH or Chad have their wholesale hot prices, but us home bakers have to pay retail. There are some good deals out there. Just keep searching. Good luck.
I found some on ebay for $11.00 Canadain two days ago.
drinkstuff.com in the UK have poly wicker baskets that are for food and very cheap and in the correct size and cost around £1. I am wondering whether I should get a few of those as they are incredibly cheap. I think they are safe, but they are not the original cane versions of baskets which I think is the reason the price is so much for a banneton.
In the end a pro banneton is expensive and ultimately unnecessary, but a basket that keeps the wet dough formed and then is easily freed is the ultimate goal.
I use small baskets I had in the house. They are wicker. Or use a colander. Line whatever you use with a kitchen towel and put plenty of flour on the towel. It works well.
I bought some wood pulp bannetons from a German company (Brotformen I think) that worked out very cheap, £5 or so.
I was initialy concerned that they might absorb moisture in the chiller but not so. They arrived quickly and release very easily. The only downside is they are quite chunky and my hands get sore flouring them! Good for stacking though.