The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Warped Banneton

  • Pin It
alexp's picture
alexp

Warped Banneton

Hi all,


I recently ordered a rectangular cane banneton, it arrived today but it is warped (does not sit flat at all on counter). Should I send it back? My round bannetons don't do this. Is it common with this shape and material or is it a fault?


Any advice much appreciated!


Alex


 


 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Definitely send it back, if you don't incur shipping and other charges. If you have to pay shipping, maybe that changes. Most places usually cover shipping for defective returns.


I have not used them so don't know if it can be somehow straightened, or still useable as is? Maybe, even if warped, the loaf will "correct", when turned out?


Where did you buy it?

alexp's picture
alexp

I'm in the UK, it was from bakerybits.co.uk. It was not particularly cheap compared to say brotform.de but they have a minimum order and this was all I wanted.


I imagine the loaf might "correct" once turned out. I'm just wondering if this often happens with cane in this shape and if there is a simple way to "unwarp" it, or if I should just get them to replace it. 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Maybe someone will chip in on the correctability issue, but you should still contact the vendor right away to start documentation of the defective item.


Looks like they will probably replace it free of any additional costs to you, or they will pay for return shipping and issue you a refund of the items cost.

alexp's picture
alexp

I think you're right. Was hoping to use it tomorrow, oh well!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

You could try placing it in a roasting pan with a small amount of water and elevate the form above the water and steam it for a few minutes. Then lay it face down on the counter with a heavy weight on it while it cools. That's the procedure the maker would use no doubt.


Eric

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Yes, or maybe just immerse it in water for 24 hours with a weight on top to push the base down level. Only theorising though - have never done this.


From memory, once upon a long long time ago during a couple of cane weaving classes at primary school we soaked the cane to get it to mould to shape more easily. So be warned: that dodgy memory is all I'm basing that suggestion on.

copyu's picture
copyu

...how many 'quid' you paid for it.


If it were mine, and I didn't want to get rid of it, I'd just stand it on a crumpled towel when transferring the dough and proofing in it.


Actually, I have some vaguely 'oval' or 'oblong' ones, and they sit just fine on their own...but, to be honest, I've never really seen a 'rectangular' banetton or Brotform, come to think of it...it could be a worry. (My oval ones have straight lengths of cane for their 'bases'. They sit quite well on the counter.)


Email the company first, if you want to return it, to check their returns policy.


Good luck!


copyu

alexp's picture
alexp

It's described as oval, but it is more of an oblong shape(?) Including postage it was fifteen quid :P


I have emailed them to enquire about replacement, if they are happy to pay the postage I will return it, otherwise I shall try steaming it...


 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

If you scroll down to the bottom of their home page, you will see a link to their returns policy. They are responsible for return shipping on their defective items.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

If you do keep it, before you try to straighten it by steaming, try just using it warped a few times.


I'm curious how it would perform.

celestica's picture
celestica

 


The steaming then setting it on the counter with weights inside sounds like a great idea.  It probably got warped during shipping from something heavy sitting on top of it. 

alexp's picture
alexp

So I have received a reply, he reluctantly said he would replace the banneton but also said that he had "never heard of a warped banneton". When I asked how he would refund my postage he said "I probably won't". Or specifically:


"Probably won't: the bannetons are made from a natural material and are subject to variation and a degree of movement."


He says if it is "very warped" he will refund the postage, which I imagine he will say it is not. I think that's quite rude, he could at least say "I regret that we only refund postage on defective items and I believe this to be a natural property of the material" rather than "probably won't".


I might just keep it and try steaming it, I shall not purchase from there again though :(


 


 


 


 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

How did you pay? There are credit card dispute resolution measures. They seem to be pretty consumer friendly. You might contact them(cc) to see what they have to say about it, just as an exploratory measure. Also, whatever the outcome, make others aware of your experience on ratings services, like resellerratings.com.


Again, if you do decide to keep it, try using it first(before trying to correct), to see if there is any noticeable effects on the loaf.


Post pictures of the warped basket and loaves, if you can.

alexp's picture
alexp

I have a loaf proving in the basket now out of curiosity, so I'm going to forget about returning it and try to correct it. Thanks for the suggestion though. I shall make others aware as you suggest, I definitely won't buy from bakerybits.co.uk again.


I took a couple of pictures but it's hard to see really clearly. The closeup of the bottom shows it best, the way it is sloping off to one side. If the basket is turned around it does this in the other direction, so the bottom is permanently twisted around the long axis and it is never stable. One side also "bulges" compared to the other as you can hopefully see in the second picture (counter top is completely flat).

copyu's picture
copyu

It's probably useable, but that cane on the right side of the photo is way 'out of whack'. (Tell me that it wasn't made in Germany! Looks as if it wasn't even made anywhere in Europe, quite frankly...) The irregularity of the top looks acceptable to me, but the base does NOT!


The price you paid is the price I paid for my small, round ones, here in Japan, where most Euro stuff is very 'pricey'. Mine were mostly made in Slovenia(?) and a few larger and varied shapes I bought online from Germany (at about 35-45% extra in price.) I think you were 'ripped-off' a bit...


Still, I like the Brotform for the 'rustic look' it gives to my bread. Yours might look even MORE rustic than mine! Your Brotform DEFINITELY looks more rustic than any I have at home, just FYI...[I meant this to cheer you up, but I might have failed ;-) ]


I hope you can get satisfaction from that crowd who sold it to you, but I suspect you won't, now that it's been used. They're obviously not that good at business—I read in a British business case-studies text-book that it's about SIX times harder and more expensive to get a new customer, than to keep an existing customer satisfied. Your revenge will be publishing your experience here.

Glare Seethe's picture
Glare Seethe

I have to admit I ordered a round banneton from BakeryBits Thursday evening after reading this thread. copyu is right that they're slightly overpriced compared to other websites but for me it actually came out cheaper with shipping costs taken into account.


Possibly a bit foolish on my behalf not to wait and see what response you would get to your email... I am curious now if mine will arrive safely.

copyu's picture
copyu

how yours turns out, upon arrival, Glare.


I don't think you'll have any trouble at all, because the 'rounds' are produced completely differently from the oval/oblongs. The rounds are just a large 'coil' with a few 'scarfing' joints to make the extreme hairpin bend at the bottom and to extend the length of the willow or cane used.


The oblongs have [or are SUPPOSED to have] a flat base, made from straight pieces of cane, stapled together, side-by-side.


Alex did not get the flat base he was expecting. I'm almost certain you'll be happy with the round Brotformen you've ordered, but awaiting your judgment. Good luck!


copyu

alexp's picture
alexp

Copyu,


It did cheer me up a bit to know that at least my banneton is more "rustic" than any you own :) Thank you!


So, the loaf I baked yesterday... I had more difficulty releasing it from the basket than normal - I suspect this is because the base is not flat. The dough was not particularly wet (it wasn't literally stuck). It came out with a gentle twist of the banneton.


Looking at it on the counter, the loaf was fairly wonky as I expected. However, after about 10 minutes of sitting on the counter (the oven was still not hot enough) it seemed to correct a little (thank you gravity). I slashed it with one long slash across the length, and into the oven.


The final result was actually not particularly warped looking as I had expected. A couple of slices were taken from the finished loaf before I took pictures but it still shows the shape quite well. I will upload these shortly... 


Next I shall try and steam the basket straight and let you all know how I get on :) 


I think Copyu is right that the round baskets are simpler in structure and so I think yours should be fine Glare.


 


 


 


 


 

Glare Seethe's picture
Glare Seethe

I hope so, though if yours was damaged during shipment maybe it could happen to a round one too. I find it hard to believe that BakeryBits would ship a banneton that was clearly warped, but maybe I'm just naive - I guess you never know. Disappointing that you had a negative experience with their support, I would think if they're willing (albeit reluctantly) to replace it it's essentially admitting that it's defective and thus should fall under their return policy of covering the shipping charges. I mean, either it's defective or it's not, right?


Hope the steaming works out!

alexp's picture
alexp

They said it was "natural variation" and not defective and that they had "never heard of a warped banneton". 


I suspect it happened it transit, but that's really not my fault :(


Anyway, I'm kind of intrigued to see how the steaming works out now (I'm odd like that).


Hope yours arrives in better shape, in general round bannetons seem pretty tough in my experience. Let us know :)  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I have seen worse warping and still the forms were used.  It can be that when the cane has absorbed some moisture, it straightens.  The warping could be from the cane drying out.  Mine warp a little too when I dry them in the oven.  I was expecting far more warpage.  This is not a problem for forming bread.  Use it and do not worry!  It might even dry better as the air can circulate under the form a little bit even tho I dry mine on a rack.


When it is has been used and has absorbed a little moisture, try bending it a little to straighten out a few bent nails or staples where it helps to re-form the shape you desire.  Be careful not to separate the spaces between the cane rows.


Mini

Glare Seethe's picture
Glare Seethe

Well for what it's worth, my banneton arrived safely today, as you all predicted. Think I should've ordered a smaller one, though, but oh well.