The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sticky banneton!

bca's picture

Sticky banneton!


As you will see, I'm not very experienced...  but here's the thing.  I've been working on this bread for over 24 hours (well, if rising time, etc counts) and have just finished proofing it in the banneton basket, which, as best I can tell, I have prepared correctly (rubbing lots of flour into it).  Still, the time came to remove the carefully proofed bread from the basket and it's as stuck as anything.  Using floured tea towels was sticky, but this is way worse - and of course it's destroyed my nicely shaped and proofed bread.  Any advice for avoiding this? 




KayDee1's picture

I have used parchment paper, and lift if from the proofing basket to the DO that way. Now, I'm not accomplished at all! I'm struggling to turn out a decent loaf, but the parchment does keep things from sticking. 

bca's picture

I like the idea, except (and I know this isn't the main thing), I really love the stripey effect that the banneton is meant to provide! :) 

lepainSamidien's picture

Rice flour. Liberally. That should keep just about anything from sticking. 

Good luck !

joc1954's picture

I was experiencing the same problem and then bought some flax fabric and problems simply vanished. Put flax fabric inside banneton and dust it with flour. You will still have those concentric circles on your bread, but they will be less pronounced. Using more dusting flour will make them more pronounced. Actually with flax fabric you can reduce dusting to a  minimum. Cotton tea towels are usable but can't compete with flax linen.

Happy baking,



jimt's picture

Curious about what you said about rubbing flour into the bannetons? I believe they should be lightly dusted rather than rubbed in, so maybe they will work fine with an adjustment. Also, the directions I saw were to use a fine mist of water before dusting the first time. I too use rice flour.

Only video I know of that shows this is posted below...he says lightly dusted but uses more than I would have thought needed...his are lined but I believe the technique should probably be the same.

Check at about the five minute mark...

High Hydration dough Shaping

bca's picture

Aahhh... well this might be really useful!  I may have assumed the "rubbing" bit, because otherwise it doesn't stick.  But, if a fine spray of water is advised... also I think I will use a liner next time.  Thanks for this - fingers crossed! 

Food Anorak's picture
Food Anorak

What is the dough hydration and the flours used? High hydration with a high percentage of rye or spelt, for example, will be very sticky. 

Rice flour works great, it's like tiny ball bearings. The rice doesn't absorb moisture as quickly as plain flour, hence it helps prevent stickiness. 

Also, sometimes overproofed dough can become very sticky all of a sudden, when the gluten structure collapses - I doubt this is the problem at hand, but it's worth mentioning.

Food Anorak's picture
Food Anorak

(I meant rice flour for dusting!)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

with part rice flour, part AP and dust liberally!  Rye flour will also work well in bannetons.

The other thing is to roll the shaped loaf or dust it liberally before it goes into the banneton.   (or both)

Another is to forget the banneton and gently lay a round cooling rack over the oven ready dough and then lightly dust the loaf.  That will also make concentric rings.  We have an archive picture somewhere, a trick from the San Fancisco Baking Institute. 

If the dough is a very high hydration... really wet wet dough, it will stick in a banneton if left to sit more than two hours.  Try to keep the dough's stay in the banneton short to prevent sticking.

bca's picture

Seems like most are in agreement about rice flour... I think I will try this.  I can't say exactly what my dough's hydration is (I am learning... very new!) but that it's really sticky, it's from the Ken Forkish book and I may well have overproofed it.  My house is very, very cold (no warm spots!) and so I have also been experimenting with timings... very long ones!


Anyway... will post again here if I have success! Thanks!

Food Anorak's picture
Food Anorak

We all have to begin somewhere and make mistakes in order to learn, so keep at it! 

In order to know the hydration, divide the total quantity of water by the total quantity of flour (all types of flours added). 680g of water with 750g of white wheat and 250g of rye (total flour= 1kg) will give 680/1000=0.68 and that means 68% hydration. 

If you find the dough too sticky, maybe start with lower hydration recipes (68% is a great all-rounder and easy enough when you're getting started).

Good luck! :)

BurntMyFingers's picture

When I'm making high-hydration recipes I like to peek inside the banneton just before I transfer the bread to my cooking surface. Gently pull back the edge of the dough and use a bread knife to detach any spots where the dough has stuck to the wicker, then sprinkle a little flour on the spot. Repeat as you move around the circumference of the loaf. This almost always eliminates sticking in my experience. Be sure to be gentle, so you don't deflate the dough.

Southbay's picture

Some AP or whole wheat might stick to the banneton more easily as a base, but rice flour really works. Rub some in, sprinkle some on. And when you think you've added enough, sprinkle some more. If there's excess left on the bread, gently scrape or brush some off before baking. I like to scrape the excess off with the back of my scoring knife. You kinda lose the rings that way, but I have been spraying liberally with water before scoring anyway.