The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Moldy banneton

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scottsourdough's picture
scottsourdough

Moldy banneton

When I reached for my banneton this morning I was in for a big surprise. The entire bottom of the banneton was covered in blue mold! Obviously, I decided to hold off on using it for now.


Has this happened to anyone else? I keep my banneton in a a plastic bag, but it isn't sealed like a ziploc. From what I'ver heard, it seems most people allow some flour to stay in the grooves of their bannetons. I leave some flour in the grooves, but not an excessive amount. I'm not sure what caused the mold. The only thing I can think of is that it should have been in a sealed bag.


I think I'll end up throwing out this banneton, but if anyone has a suggestion to save it I'd appreciate it. It's a round willow banneton, with no linen lining. How can I clean it? I'd also take any suggestions about why this happened and how to prevent it in the future.

UnConundrum's picture
UnConundrum

Your plastic bag may make a more desirable environment for the mold.  I'd leave them out in the air in the future.  I read that you can bake the banneton for several hours at about 250F to kill mold spores.


I found the link :)


 


http://www.bannetons.com/index.php?section=help


 

arlo's picture
arlo

When I was at Zingermans they mentioned that bannetons can get blackening on them, which to me appeared as mold. But they promptly stated if it is becoming black, that is perfectly fine occurence from everyday use. Never heard mention of anything blue though


: /


 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi


Quite right to say that storing in plastic bags is a bad idea.   Creates a friendly damp and warm atmosphere for those little microbes to thrive...mmm; yummee!


However, don't be too alarmed, mould growth in bannetons is not unusual, as Arlo seems to be confirming in his comment.


I heard that none other than Lionel Poilane kept his bannetons in an unclean state.


From a food safety point of view, just remember that youer breads are being put into an oven where the heat should be somewhere between 200 and 250*C, depending on what you're baking.   This fierce heat should easily destro any microbes left crawling about the surface of the loaf from its time in the banneton.


Best wishes


Andy

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Occasionally I have fruiit baskets where the fruit in contact with the basket developed a bruise that then molded.I scrape any debris out with a brush and submerge it in a hot soapy water with a teaspoon or so of bleach-not much.I scrub it our,rinse it very thoroughly and dry it in the sun.COuldn't you do the same? Make sure it is bone-dry before you put it away.


In future, I'd just set it in an open plastic container on the pantry shelf (so the flour doesn't go everywhere in the pantry and attract bugs) or even wrapped in a clean towel.


Given a choice, I'd rather have a clean banneton. Just knock out/brush out the excess flour before putting it away.

klmeat's picture
klmeat

wash with white vinegar & water . air dry


 

scottsourdough's picture
scottsourdough

Wow, thanks for the very quick replies! Once my loaves come out of the oven I'll try heat treating the banneton.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

open on a rack.  The bottom of the form is especially hard to dry well.  Then bag it in a paper bag.  When I store it for longer, then in plastic to keep bugs out.  If you can find a way to bang out the flour and hang it, like a hook on the wall, is also a good way to store it between uses.


I would clean it with a brush and vinegar and rinse with water.  A second rinse with vinegar and air dry for several days on a rack.  Sunshine is also very good but it will darken the cane.


Mini

Dragonbones's picture
Dragonbones

I live on a VERY humid, semi-tropical island and am worried that my new couche cloth and bannetons will mold this coming summer. Everything molds here, including human body parts. I'll try the above suggestions, thanks!  I was also wondering whether something like packing it in salt would help.

ananda's picture
ananda

Salt will certainly wick away any moisture.   But won't it rot the cloth?


Andy

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

it would be dripping in no time.  Better storing your basket in a vented closet with a light on or parked hanging under the rafters.  Remove liners from the bannetons, the cloth you can clean and store with the dry goods or in a zip bag in the refrigerator.   If there's room in the refrigerator roll up the couche, put it into a plastic bag and keep cold or frozen.  No refrigerator?  Let me think on it a little longer...


Mini

Dragonbones's picture
Dragonbones

Good point about the salt there! Thanks, I'll try knocking the flour out, hanging it in sunlight, and if it does start to mold, washing with vinegar then baking it. No, no room in the fridge -- unfortunately, in a subtropical clime, all kinds of things have to stay in the fridge (like all my flour, nuts, seeds, etc.) so it's always unbelievably full.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I never had to do this yet but it was always an option, there are these packages of absorbent stuff (you know, the stuff you're not supposed to eat -- charcoal or something similar packaged in breathable bags with the equipment my husband was installing to keep it dry.  Lots of them just lying around in the packaging.  They would be great for such a purpose.  A lock tight box with one of these in the corner, or clean charcoal,  possibly slow dried first in the oven.  Then the baskets and clothes kept inside or on top kept tightly closed.  Or... what about some vacuum sealed bags?  The kind you suck all the air out with a box of soda with a cloth around it.  Hey, I'm trying...  How about a plastic banneton?


Mini