The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Banneton Prep

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firepit's picture
firepit

Banneton Prep

I'm just starting to explore the use of bannetons for proofing my dough, and I have a few questions...

Before I add the dough to the banneton I'm giving them (the bannetons) a very generous dusting with rice flour and leaving it at that. After three loaves I've had no problems with the dough sticking, so that's good. But the flour is staying in the grooves between the willow strips and very, very little of it is transferring to the dough. That's not all bad, but it doesn't create the beautiful contrast patterns seen on, say, Dolf's Essential's Columbia loaves.

Do different flours stick better, or is there some other prep trick? Should I be flouring the dough instead? Banneton users, what are your secrets?

dolfs's picture
dolfs

Especially the first time, I put a lot of flour in a banneton (I use KA bread flour, but I suppose AP will do as well), and I move it around the banneton, and make an effort to push it into the "grooves". I do this well before I put the dough in, and repeat at least once more before putting dough in, reusing left over flour from the first time, or adding some. Then, before dumping the dough in, I also dust the dough itself, particularly heavy for wet doughs.

Here's my theory (after some mishaps and experiments). The dough itself will absorb/incorporate flour on the interface between the dough and the round portion of the wicker. This is what prevents (if done right), the sticking. It does not leave (m)any groove marks. Where the grooves are, there is not much, although some, contact. The process of turning the dough out of the banneton (gently flipping it upside down, and lifting, until the dough releases), lets some of the flour from the grooves fall on the dough. Since the dough goes into the oven very shortly thereafter, this flour does not get absorbed/incorporated in the dough, and dries out during baking, leaving the visible groove pattern.

I once tried this with rice flour and my dough stuck so much that it was destroyed trying to get it out (the bread was quite edible, but looked horrible). Since then, I've gone back to the bread flour. I suspect, however, that I just did not use enough. I am not sure, however, that rice flour will be absorbed on the contact points as well, so using rice flour may not leave such nice grooves. 


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It's been mentioned a couple of times and referred to as teflon flour. Try mixing 1 part rice flour (not sticky rice flour) to 4 parts All Purpose flour and dust onto cloth, bannetons, or whatever to prevent sticking.

When the banneton groves are full of caked on flour, bang them hard upside down on the edge of your sink to clear them. I knock out the excess flour and dry first to store my banneton in a plastic bag between uses to keep it and my cupboard clean. Don't wash it if you don't have to.

Mini O

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

brotforms. I rub the flour into the grooves. After use, I let them sit overnight, rap them against the sink to remove the flour. I've found if you try to do it right away there seems to be moisture holding the flour. I think the fresh flour in the grooves each time you use it would release the pattern onto your loaf.

dolfs's picture
dolfs

The rubbing etc. is essentially what I mentioned in my reply above. What I did not mention, and that is a good one Paddyscake, is to let them dry before "cleaning". In fact, what I often do is stick them in the (still hot/warm, but switched off) oven after baking. Dries them real quick.

I do not remove all flour from the grooves, though, and I still get the pattern. Some of it gets so stuck deep in the grooves, that it just doesn't come out. It so deep, however, that there is room for fresh flour on top so it can end up on the loaf. 


--dolf


See my My Bread Adventures in pictures

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I don't make an exceptional effort to rap all the flour out..but the new flour makes the pattern.

firepit's picture
firepit

It sounds like we're doing the same things, basically, but I'm not getting much flour transferred to the finished loaf. I'll try dusting the loaf before I put it into the banneton and see how that works this weekend.

Other than that, at least I know I'm not missing anything big, so I'll keep playing with it and see what I can figure out. On a positive note, I'd much rather be having this aesthetic problem than having the dough stick to the bannetons, so I can't complain too much.

Thanks!

browndog's picture
browndog

It may have to do with how wet your dough is or isn't. If your dough feels fairly firm and not tacky, you might give it a tiny bit of a spritz or brush lightly with water before you put it in the banneton.

If my dough is pretty damp and it is going to sit several hours, I'll use a mix of 50/50 rice and ap flour. If it's not, I use all ap. 

I clean my forms with a small, stiff-bristled brush after they've dried several hours.