The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cleaning cane bannetons

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AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Cleaning cane bannetons

Today for the first time ever I found some bannetons in a thrift store, $3.50 each! I bought the best two but even they have dried dough/ flour? and what looks suspiciously like mildew spots. Would it be safe to wash them, and how can I get rid of the little "freckles"? Any advice will be gratefully received, A.

indiesicle's picture
indiesicle

in warm water with a plastic scrubber. Towel dry and put in a 250F oven for 1 hour or until completely dry. It works great. Mine had mold on them when I first started baking and didn't know how to clean them properly. The first time I cleaned as stated above it killed the mold and it hasn't returned. Now I only clean them this way after 20 or so uses. I just scrape them down with a wooden skewer between everyday use.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

indiesicle, thank you for the speedy reply. I think I could gently scrape off the worst of the dried on stuff but it's good to know that I can wash them - and dry them carefully, A.

indiesicle's picture
indiesicle

Hope it helps :D

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

If you are not going to use them very often, then when you do use them and after you put the bread in the oven, take them outside (less mess) and brush the insides with a stiff brush to get the damp flour off and let dry first without stacking to avoide any new molds. Mine are usually OK to put away just after the bread comes out of the oven.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Hi pjkobulnicky, once I have got rid of the mold spots I will follow your directions, thank you, A.

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Scrub the baskets clean with soap, water and a scrub brush removing all caked on flour and mold/mildew and rinse well. Spray the baskets with a Clorox and water spray and leave to dry in bright sunlight [or dry slowly indooors]. After they're dry rinse thouroughly with clear running water - set out to dry in sunlight before using [or dry in 250 dF oven].

Wild-Yeast

 

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Wild-Yeast, I'm glad you offered the 250* oven alternative - not much sun to be seen here, just torrential rain. Thanks for your suggestion, A.

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Very interesting thread; thanks all.  I have been using my bannetons for over a year and up to this point the dough has never stuck to them.  I always rub a combo of rice and bread flour onto them, but lately the loaves have been partially sticking when I invert them over the stone/clay baker.  I have never washed them to clean them but have always brushed off the flour with a stiff vegetable brush and left them to dry before putting them away.  Is this the time to give 'em a good scrubbing and sunbath?  

Joyful

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Pick a nice sunny day for the event...,

Wild-Yeast

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Thank you Wild-Yeast.  We've been having lots of those days lately.  There's no mold on the bannetons, but maybe a little mild dish soap and then a rinse, non?

 

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

A mild soap scrub and rinse is appropriate if you're fairly certain that there's no problem with mold or fungus. Strong sunlight [UV light] is enough to keep any colonies present under control.

C'est ce que je ferais..., Wild-Yeast

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

I use the hotest water and just spray the banneton with a hard spray and all the flour comes out and the hot water kills mold and then I dry it and I've never seen mold.  I hear that soap leaves a perfume odor which is hard to get out and you don't want that in your breads.

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Stuart's right. We use only unscented soaps.  

While on the subject the following site has information on mold remediation using hydrogen peroxide here

Wild-Yeast

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

soak with vinegar and hang out to dry.

Some stains from mildew will never come out because they are stains.  So if stains remain, it doesn't mean the mold is active.

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Thank you, Wild-Yeast, Stuart, and Mini.  I think the hot water and the UV rays should do it (don't have scentless soap but will check it out).  There's absolutely no mold, just the beginning of sticking, even with the rice/bread flour rub.  Today's cloudy, but there's plenty of sunshine ahead.  --Joy

storandelli's picture
storandelli

I bake 2 or 5 times a week and have been using bannetons for about 7 years. the clorox and water works well for me. The trick is to keep them clean and you won't have a problem and they will last for a long time.

That said...If all else fails and the spots are too big, or they get chipped or cracked inside; this is what my wife does when I can't use them anymore.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Gee, I don't know whether to laugh or cry!   

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

That photo represents over $100 worth of bannetons.

suave's picture
suave

Poilane, apparently, used moldy bannetons and said that's the way it should be.

G-man's picture
G-man

Pardon the culinary blasphemy I'm about to commit, but the French don't know everything about food. They also claim you should never, ever wash a pan you use to make omelettes.

Sometimes, "the way it should be" isn't the way it should be. Just sayin.

suave's picture
suave

On the other hand, in this country people go a bit overboard with sterility.

G-man's picture
G-man

N/T

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

After Life: The Strange Science of Decay

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b012w66t

(I was holding a pillow to my face the entire hour, as if I could smell the smells he was smelling!)

-

The most depressing part of the program came at the end: everything had decayed, absolutely everything but the white flour and the Chips Ahoy cookies. All the forces of decay over weeks and weeks of time could do nothing to white flour.

-

If you don't live in the UK, I guess the copyright police can't stop you from downloading the program here (it's a torrent file): http://kat.ph/bbc-after-life-the-strange-science-of-decay-x264-aac-hdtv-t6045694.html

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

...but I'd pay 2x more for used bannetons/brotforms than I would for new ones. (Ditto for used ski boots).

As for the mold, I'm with Jacques Pépin re: chicken bacteria: "That chicken is going into a 400 F oven for 90 minutes. If bacteria survive that, then they deserve to live!"