The Fresh Loaf

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Bannetons: What size reeds?

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sonofYah's picture
sonofYah

Bannetons: What size reeds?

I found a source for willow reed nearby that seems to be reasonably priced. The problem is that I need to know what size reeds to buy for bannetons. The source I found has reeds in the following sizes.

1.25mm, 1.5mm, 1.75mm, 2.25mm, 2.75mm, 3.5mm, and 4.5 mm round diamaters.

It appears that they sell the reeds in 1-lb coils for $4 plus shipping.

Also, should I make the bottoms  with the coiled reed or use a plywood form for the bottom of the banneton? I already am aware that I should use stainless steel brads to hold the banneton together.

 Gordon

bakerb's picture
bakerb

I don't know the answer to your question...but may be interested in being a customer...thanks!   Beth

tomsbread's picture
tomsbread

I made a couple of brotforms using cane with diameter of 9mm. It should be interesting to see how yours turn out using reed. I presume the reed is a softer material than rattan/cane. I had to soak them and bend them on the kitchen stove. In the end, I gave up after making an oval and a round one. It was fun but I did not have a proper work bench and gave up after making two.

My homemade brotforms can be found here.

 http://www.angelfire.com/planet/tomsbread/Brotforms.htm

Have fun.

Thomas

holds99's picture
holds99

Tom,

You did a great job making your bannetons---real craftsmanship.  Those should last you a long, long time.  I really like the idea of the oval (Brotform) banneton having the cane bottoms instead of flat wood bottoms.  Yours are the only ones I've seen like that.  I bought a couple of oval ones from Germany years ago and, as you described, they have shafts of wheat cut into the inside bottoms so as to give a relief of a wheat shaft on the top of the loaf when it is baked.  It does add a very nice touch to the loaves.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

KansasGirlStuckInMaryland's picture
KansasGirlStuck...

I don't have a ruler handy, but in my mind's eye the bannetons I used a couple of weeks ago were made with willow reed about the size of a normal ballpoint pen or slightly larger.

 Also the banneton was entirely spiraled reed (bottom and sides).  That way the pattern imparted on your dough is continuous.

I am still pondering purchasing some bannetons.  I am new enough to bread making beyond standard white bread in a loaf pan that I am not sure if I should invest some or not.

Happy spiraling,

Anne 

sonofYah's picture
sonofYah

Would like to say thanks to those who replied. I will see what I can come up with.

 Gordon

tomsbread's picture
tomsbread

Thanks Howard, I had wanted to make more of those as I usually bake four loaves at a time but honestly, it took too much effort especially without the proper tools and a workbench. The only reason why I did that project was because it was impossible to find them at that time. The plastic ones were brought in by a company here only recently.

Tom

 

holds99's picture
holds99

Tom, 

I have done a little woodworking and can only imagine how difficult it was to make those bannetons, especially without some sort of form to use to hold the material in place while you're assembling them.  From the photos it appeared you soaked the cane to soften it for shaping.  Seems like the moisture in the cane would make it a little easier to get the stainless steel nails into the cane or did you pre-drill?  I just bought a couple of plastic oval Brotforms and am going to try them in the near future.  The thing I love about the cane or willow is the flour buildup in between the layers of cane or willow  gives beautiful flour markings to the loaves, which give the loave a lot of character.  I'm curious to see how the plastic ones do in this area.  It also looks like the bannetons you made will handle a somewhat larger loaf than the standard size.  I really think you did a great job on those.  They're the kind of things you hand down to your children.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

tomsbread's picture
tomsbread

The cane is soft and pliable after soaking. It wasn't difficult knocking steel nails into them as the cane is soft enough. The cane has a very interesting property. When bent and heated, it retains its shape. When I was making them, I only had photos from the internet to guide me and those were not terribly detailed. It took me a while to figure out that I had to start off with a taper to get the inner coils right.

Thomas