The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Do you use Bannetons for all of your breads?

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mabaker's picture
mabaker

Do you use Bannetons for all of your breads?

Hi!


 


I usually make breads with prefermented dough- like Pain Paysan, French Bread, beer bread etc...


These doughs are pretty stable...after reviewing this forum I saw that many of you are using the proofing baskets.


Do you use it for any bread or mostly to high hydrated breads like the sour dough.


 


Just curious....


 


Going to do my first order from FSBI so if you have some recommendations...please do!


 


Thanks!!!

hutchndi's picture
hutchndi

 Hi.


 I have gotten into that habit of using my bannetons for most of my bread lately, but for reasons not really associated with how much they are necessary for making "highly hydrated"  doughs. For the most part I prepare my boules as if I would even if I were planning to do my final rise with no external support. If you do not properly prepare your boule before placing it into the banneton, the pretty wicker bowl is not going to magicly make up for it. I made quite a few fairly wet dough breads that did their final proof without any bowl with just as good results, due to good dough development and shaping. Now I mostly use the bannetons because I like to do a fridge retard and and they make it easier, but before I had them I used little dollar store plastic colandars lined with floured cloth that worked just as well for that purpose. Here is a pic I have had for awhile, showing a couple plain sourdough loaves that proofed in the bannetons and two sourdough oatmeal breads proofed in the colandars:



the little pilsbury doughboy guy belongs to my wife. I don't know why he looks so happy, the breads were made with King Arthur flour...the dancing kokopelli guy is just something I was having fun with

mabaker's picture
mabaker

I love the dancing man :-)


I ordered some Bannentons so I'm looking forward to try using them,


From what Iv'e read they are mostly used for the more hydrated doughs but


I will give it a try! thanks!

hutchndi's picture
hutchndi

My kokopelli dancing man bread stencil fell apart some time ago unfortunately, and I am trying to find Dave Bell who used to post at rec.food.sourdough to see if he can make me another one. I see no reason why you couldn't use the bannetons for other breads as well. Have fun!

Bertel's picture
Bertel

Hello Bannetons,


 


Interesting to read you do/did high hydrated doughs with only a cloth. I wonder if you could give me the basic formula. I use about 80% hydration, no way I can do them without any help.

hutchndi's picture
hutchndi

Sorry, I used mabaker's term highly hydrated to describe some breads that while they start out surprisingly wet to someone accustomed to firmer dough like I was, not really something as wet as ciabatta. When I was new at this I was shocked at how good gluten development and shaping without breaking that gluten cloak could transform a dough that would almost run through your fingers into nice boules that could stand up on their own. Cool proofing, good technique in stretch and folds, good shaping combined works for  me.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

There are 3 basic types of bannetons, wicker, plastic and linen lined. And as hutchndi said above people use inexpensive baskets or bowls lined with a flour covered towel as needed.


The effect of the banneton on the dough varies depending on the material it is made of. A well floured fabric lined basket has a drying effect on the outer skin of the dough and I think adds some strength to the dough structure plus it seems to make it a little easier to slash. If you see the video of the Poulane baker loading boules into the oven, he is not gentle in any way dropping the boule on the peel.The classic linen lined basket provide a place for the dough to ferment and expand before they are dropped onto the peel.


A plastic or even coiled wicker basket doesn't have that same drying effect. I suppose the wicker does to some extent dry the dough as it establishes that coiled pattern on the crust. Plastic bannetons transfer the pattern but obviously don't absorb any water from the dough. Plastic is easy to clean. Depending on where you live and the temperature range, flour bugs or weavels like to grow in the old flour remaining in the basket. I like to take a kitchen brush and scrub my bannetons every now and then to remove residual flour.


I have all 3 kinds of baskets. As hutchndi put it so well, once you know enough about shaping and dough strength to make a free form loaf, the banneton becomes a tool you use out of convenience for proofing rather than trying to keep your dough from pancaking on the peel. I used to think I needed a banneton, now I use them when I want to shape the dough and leave it for a while. It's a lot harder to refrigerate a sheet pan for most of us than it is to find a spot in the fridge for a couple baskets.


Not to belabor the point but to some degree, the need for a proofing basket in a bakery depends on the situation and your oven. The old wood fired oven in the basement of the bakery presents a different challenge to the baker than a modern deck oven maybe with a loader or even a typical home oven. I think it comes down to convenience of handling the dough more than anything else for me. I usually end up buying 2 of each new size/shape so I can make my standard 2 loaf batch.


 


Eric

mabaker's picture
mabaker

So I understand is you are using them for any dough?


 


What I was trying to understand if people use the Bannentons only for sour doughs for example or other doughs like


Beer bread, country bread, etc....

hutchndi's picture
hutchndi

I agree with Eric. I hate boule weavels.

will slick's picture
will slick

Being a casual albeit frequent home baker I use the cheep plastic bread baskets mainly to get a nicer looking product. I would say it's all up to you. Make a free form bread or a basket proofed one have fun with it.


 THis is the best looking bread I have made so far.


mabaker's picture
mabaker

What kind of dough is it?

will slick's picture
will slick

This was a fast an easy straight dough, enriched with a little butter and a little milk. From what I understand about Maltese bread It is very similar to breads from southern Italy. Which makes sense Malta being so close to southern Italy. I found the formula online and wanted to try making a bread from the land of my forefathers. I was very pleased with the outcome. It was crusty with a light fluffy crumb perfect for sopping up gravy's. Next time I will try using a biga in the formula.

will slick's picture
will slick

If your interested you can find the formula and some info on Maltese bread on my post in this thread, at the bottom.


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/13987/hello-switzerland


Enjoy Will

Bertel's picture
Bertel

Thanks. I have been a bit lazy and made loads of no-knead breads. Might bring some folding back into it. There is good gluten development but might be able to improve it with some foldings.