The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Home made bannetons

JERSK's picture

Home made bannetons

round banneton   I think I finally figured out how to post pictures. A while back kippercat requested to see pictures of my homemade bannetons. Here they are. Made from dollar store wicker baskets and discount store cloth. Cost a little over a buck each. Also a picture of breads made in them. I call it thirds bread. 100% flour equals 1/3 whole wheat, 1/3 rye, 1/2 A.P. flour. 1/3 sourdough starter, 2/3 hydration. plus 2% salt. an easy workable recipe. Cooked in electric oven on a thirds breadstone in a cloche.

oval banneton

weavershouse's picture

Great looking breads and I like your easy formula. The bannetons are perfect. I like to see simple homemade solutions to expensive store bought items. One dollar compared to $ it.                               weavershouse

KipperCat's picture

Bannetons and bread both look great. The round one especially looks as good as any I've seen. Guess I need to check out the new local dollar store. Thanks for posting, JERSK.

spodg's picture

What kind of cloth did you use to make the banneton?   And do you use rice flour or regular flour in it when you prep for bread?



MickiColl's picture

 beware shopping for rice flour ! the Mochiko brand you see in your Asian section is a sweet, glutinous rice flour. it may or may not work for dusting your bannetons but it does NOT work in bread dough (been there, done that) most natural food stores and I think all Whole Foods carry both white and brown rice flour in their bulk foods section, and it's cheap.

JERSK's picture

  I'm not sure what kind of cloth it is exactly. I would describe it as a kind of neutral colored, fine sack cloth. You don't want something too coarse or too fine. Also avoid cloths that could become "linty" or are heavily dyed. I use A.P. and whole wheat flour. I would use rice flour if I could find some around here at a reasonable price. It supposedly works best. In my formula for bread I meant to put 1/3 A.P. flour, hence the thirds.

sourdough newbie's picture
sourdough newbie

I'm new at this and am wondering if there is any way I can transfer the proofed loaf directly from the banneton to the hot oven brick without needing to get a peel?

Also, the cloth in the banneton looks like unbleached, inexpensive muslin. 

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

I'd of course recommend getting a good peel - they are fairly inexpensive if you actually shop around.

That said, you can substitute for a peel by using parchment paper and the back of a cookie sheet. I've heard of people cutting their own 'disposable' peels from thick cardboard pizza boxes, etc. After a few uses, toss and cut a new one. Anything flat will work. The parchment paper makes sliding it easier. You can remove the parchment after about 10-15 mins of baking and re-use it.

- Keith

Henry's picture


What I’ve found handy is painters drop cloth, made of cotton which I bought in

 a hardware store. After you cut the size desired, it’s best to sew the edges so they won’t fray.

As for dusting flour, there is also “grey “ flour to consider.

you can go with:

  • two parts rye flour and one part white wheat flour, or
  • one part rye four, one part rice or corn flour and one part white wheat flour

Spread on a baking sheet and leave in the oven at about 100 f overnight to dry out.

I’m using rice flour but for the longest time used rye and white grey flour

which works really well.


 painters dropclothpainters dropcloth
spodg's picture

Thanks for the suggestions JERSK and Henry!  I do not know where you live JERSK, but WinCo Foods carries rice flour in their bulk bin section and Red Mill started to package it which I found at a SaveMart.  The asian aisle at my grocery store also carries rice flour in a small white rectangular box, I think the brand is mochiko.

 Henry, did you also make a couche out of the painter's cloth?  That looked awesome!  When you talked about drying the flour first, was the painters cloth in the oven with the flour on it or were you just drying the flour?



Henry's picture


basket, no clothbasket, no clothThe flour gets spread on a baking sheet, then baked in the oven at very low temperature overnight.

The cloths are to support the loaves, do not get placed in the oven but hung up to air dry after use.

As for bannetons, I bought a dozen inexpensive baskets in Chinatown for about $1.19 each. I don't line them with cloth, just dust with flour. After use, I clean them out with a stiff brush


Onexpresso's picture

I think all of these ideas are good! I'd been looking around my home trying to decide if I had workable baskets around and was considering doing the same things. Glad to see they worked out good. I was going to post and ask what kind of cloth the bakers banneton clothes were made of?

Here in this youtube video, he shows how he preps the dough into the couche, but I had trouble understanding what all he said, if some else can figure it out and let me know. About the shaping, and type of flour he used: Looks like it if folded  and a heavy cloth.

 Baker's Couche (from
Artisan bread bakers use a canvas cloth to create their fabulous, crusty baguettes; you can, too.

  • Untreated, unbleached 18 x 30-inches
  • Imported from France
  • Made from 100% natural flax fibers.
  • Place shaped baguettes in the folds of the floured cloth; when risen, roll them onto a peel, then off the peel onto your hot baking stone.
JERSK's picture

  This might be a bit too frugal, but I made couches from the legs of some old jeans. Washed well of course. They actually work quite well, as do my homemade bannetons after several months. I cut back some willow bushes on my property and noticed they were growing some nice shoots. In the spring I'm going to try my hand at willow brotforms. I've got plenty willow on hand.

subfuscpersona's picture

JERSK - I used the legs of old jeans too!. Only I would have been to embarressed to admit it if it weren't for you.

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

beautiful breads and basket JERSK.


I also made my own bannetons, the kind that imprint flour patterns like the willow ones, from old wooden whisky and wine boxes, and wooden dowels. I used dowels that had about the same diameter as the coils of willow in a typical brotform. The whisky and wine boxes are plain wood, the kind with the sliding lid. Then I just cut lengths of the dowels with my Felco pruners to match the length of the box, and laid them parallel inside the wine and whisky boxes. 


I learned by error (aka dowels flying all over the kitchen when I took out my first loaf) to glue the dowels down.  I used edible, non-toxic children's glue so it would be foodsafe. 


It's handy to have some smaller ones, I make Nancy Silverton's sour cherry-cocoa bread in one from a whisky bottle.  Some of the wine ones are bigger (one from a large bottle I forget what that size of wine bottle is called, not a magnum)  and one of the wine boxes used to hold two bottles side by side, so it's a hefty size too.


Another bonus (besides the fact that they were FREE and made with things I had lying around) is that you can slide the lid on while your loaf is proofing if you like.  I also soak the lid for a little humidity.


JERSK, I'm chuckling at your using old jeans as a couche.  New meaning to the expression "Apply directly to your hips."  ;)

Heidyth's picture

I am concerned about placing dough in a basket from a thrift type shop without cloth. I am afraid of chemicals on the baskets. I found an old basket that needed washed to get the dust off. The chemical smell was very strong. I decided to just put a linen dish towel on it after it dried. What are others thoughts?

Danni3ll3's picture

that I found at one of our chain stores. I think they were meant to hold bread slices or rolls but they look just like a wicker basket except they are made of plastic.