The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Seasoning Bannetons

JIP's picture

Seasoning Bannetons

I recently ordered a couple of 1.5 puond oval brotforms and was wondering something.  I have seen somewhere a description on how to properly season them in preparaion for the first bake. From what remember it involved oil and baking them at a very low temp.  If anyone remembers or knows where something like this is I would appreciate a link.  These are the first I have been able to afford and I don't want to trash them right out of the box. 

Judon's picture

the instructions that came with mine are:

Initial treatment:

Spray the inside of the baskets lightly with Baker's Joy, or a similar grease dust.

(Then I dusted heavily with my bread flour, KA AP flour, the dough released beautifully.)


- Shake and brush out excess flour after every use

-Let baskets air-dry thoroughly before stacking or storing them.


-A few times each year, when used on a regular basis, place in the oven at 250 degrees together with a bowl of water, for about 20 minutes.

-Let baskets air-dry thoroughly before stacking or storing them.


-Wash basket with a brush and hot water every six months or so.

-After washing, let air-dry before storing, and spray with Baker's Joy before using.

The brotforms I bought were from Slovakia from They had great prices and I needed a dozen. I'm really happy with them.

These directions came with the baskets and has worked for over a year...good luck with yours!


JIP's picture

Hey thanks for the info!!! I knew it was something like that but I thought there was some initial heating involved when you first get them.  I will be using them probably this weekend and will most likely be posting some pictures iv I get around to taking them.

gosiam's picture

Now, I hope you can answer this question.  Is what you see below a cane-woven brotform?

I came across it in a second-hand store and my heart jumped.  I love old things with character, but this one, I hoped, would also be functional.  I left Pierre Nury's Light Rye Sourdough to rise in it and it did not want to come out.... needless to say, I ruined the bread. I seasoned it only with the mixture of AP and rice flours.

What is Baker's Joy?  Would a spray-pump with olive oil in it work?

Thank you for any help you can extend.


baltochef's picture

In the images, the basket appears to have a finish applied to it..Is this the case??..I would be very reluctant to put wet (relatively) bread doughs into any basket that was finished..The finish could contain any number of toxic substances that the moisture in the dough could dissolve out of the finish and be absorbed into the outer surface of the loaf..Hopefully, the color I am observing is simply a patina, not a finish..

The basket appears to be made from large diameter canes similar to commercial brotforms, although it is a bit deeper than a brotform..This leads me to believe that it was not intended to be used for wet substances, such as doughs..Others may know more than I do, and feel differently..


Paddyscake's picture

it looks like it has some type of finish on it. Lacquer, polyurethane. Not to be used in food prep.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but don't like the finish.  If you seriously want to use it for a baneton,  soak in hot water so the cane expands and cracks as much of the finish as possible, then after the cane has expanded and is soft, take a high pressure sprayer (lowest setting or brush) to it to knock off all the finish.  (The form will have to be fixed onto something solid before spraying.) Let it completely dry to clean between the coils and attack with pressure again until finish is completely gone. 

Show no mercy, cane can take a lot of abuse; alternating wetting and drying (that is why it is used for laundry baskets as well) unlike the finish that is brittle and will flake off, just don't use any solvents or oil.   The high pressure sprayer may leave the cane rough.   This is not a problem as flour will stick better. 

The brass trim doesn't look like a problem if the dough never touches it.  I would be tempted to remove it before cleaning. The hidden rim might need some light fine sandpaper to clean it up.   Drying the form in the sun will also help sanitize it.

I really do like the shape and would go for it!   BTW what's the top diameter?




gosiam's picture

...are very appreciated here.  Frankly, I have not noticed the finish on the basket until you brought it up.  It's hardly visible with the naked eye.  There is none of it on the inside, but I see some (very little residue) on the outside.  I think the camera flash made it all more visible when light reflected off of it.

Mini, I will definitely give the cleaning procedure you are suggesting a try.  Makes perfect sense.  The basket is well-made and worth using if it can be cleaned up.  Its inside top diameter is approx. 27 cm or 10 1/2" and it stands 12.5 cm or 7" tall.

Many thanks to all for taking time to help.

Best Regards,


SulaBlue's picture

Someone had mentioned some place that had brotforms on sale at a very reasonable price. I went and looked and now i can't find it! Not here, or in my history. I'm sure I didn't imagine it.


dmsnyder's picture
SulaBlue's picture

There was somewhere else, which had more options on shapes/sizes - but I do like these prices, too!


I'm curious, when using a linen-lined brotform, does one pick up the design at all, or only when using the naked willow?

Alchemist42's picture

I just picked up  some of the small and medium bowls:

They are all seasoned and waiting for their first run.

SandSquid's picture


I do not wish to offend those offering the well intentioned advice given above, so please take this in that vein, but it is incorrect.

I spent several years as a woodworker & wood-turner, producing hundred of cutting boards and turned salad bowls, and talked to dozens of public health professionals and wood-finishing industry folks.

Unless it is a dusty tin of lead based white paint from the 1950's despite what you've read elsewhere, almost every wood finish should be considered food-safe for contact.

I repeat, any modern commercial finish is safe, once it has dried and cured.

While in their liquid state, most finishes should be considered “toxic” and unsafe for human consumption due to the presence of solvents used to carry the actual finish into or onto the wood surface. Once the carrier solvents have evaporated and the finish is cured, consider these surfaces food safe.  

For example, it is necessary to allow polyurethane finishes to fully polymerize and lose their carrier solvents (essentially making a “plastic” film finish), and to allow soluble finishes such as shellac and lacquer to fully evaporate away their solvents.

Ever notice your apples at the grocery store are:
"Coated with shellac based wax to maintain freshness"

— from Wood Handbook – Wood as an Engineering Material (Algrove Publishing)

Appropriate finishes are varnishes and lacquers, penetrating wood sealers and drying oils, and non-drying vegetable oils.

Many varnishes and lacquers are available, and some of these are specifically formulated for use on wood utensils, bowls, and cutting boards. These film-forming finishes resist staining and provide a surface that is easy to keep clean; however, they may eventually chip, peel, alligator, or crack. These film-forming finishes should perform well if care is taken to minimize their exposure to water. Utensils finished with such finishes should never be placed in the dishwasher.

Penetrating wood sealers and drying oils may also be used for eating utensils. Some of these may be formulated for use on utensils. Wood sealers and oils are absorbed into the pores of the wood and fill the cavities of the wood cells. This decreases the absorption of water and makes the surface easy to clean and more resistant to scratching compared with unfinished wood. Penetrating wood sealers are easy to apply and dry quickly. Worn places in the finish may be easily refinished. Some of these finishes, particularly drying oils, should be allowed to cure thoroughly for several weeks before use.

Non-drying vegetable oils are edible and are sometimes used to finish wood utensils. They penetrate the wood surface, improve its resistance to water, and can be refurbished easily. However, such finishes can become rancid and can sometimes impart undesirable odors and flavors to the food.

Of these finish types, the impermeable varnishes and lacquers may be the best option for bowls and eating utensils; this kind of finish is easiest to keep clean and most resistant to absorption of stains.