I just ordered a few bannetons, and got a cloth liner for one of them, not knowing if that were necessary or not.
When do you use one, and why?
They are used for proofing your dough after shaping to give it some structure as it rises so your dough doesn't spread and you get a taller rather than wider loaf. I use the cloth liner inside the banneton for doughs that are higher in hydration/stickier and harder to handle, and just the plain banneton otherwise. I can't point you to exact hydrations, but if a dough is easy to handle, tacky or at most slightly sticky, I do the plain banneton. I also dust whatever surface I'm proofing the dough in with a mix of wheat flour and rice flour: you don't need a lot, 1-2 tsp should do the trick but I never measure it. Semolina and cornmeal also work well in place of rice flour.
I used my new benneton for the first time this week, I had some minor sticking issues even tho I had used what I thought was a lot of flour. I was pleased with the result of a more structured loaf that did not flatten out as much as previous attempts.
I've done it both ways. I've found that there is less sticking with the cloth. I did like the lines from the baked banneton though
I always use a separate cloth liner (dusted with rice flour) when proofing my bread. Good results. Added ability to un-stick a wet loaf -- just mist the outside of the cloth and gently pull it away.
(Wonder how sticking-loaf problem is resolved when using non-lined banneton ?)
I never used the cloth liner and just use a dusting of rice flour in the banneton and some on the dough itself. I’ve not had any problems with sticking by doing this.
Benito do you make high hydration[75+] dough? And did you have experience with sticking when used overpoofed dough?
Yes most of my doughs that I proof in a banneton are > 75% hydration, I can’t remember a recent one that was < 75% hydration. You’re right overproofed dough is stickier than well proofed, however, even with those I’ve had no problem removing them from the banneton.
I usually use wood pulp bannetons but have also ordered some rattan ones that should be arriving soon. I was curious about prep, and found this video, which says (according to Internet wisdom) to lightly mist the banneton, coat with flour and allow to completely air dry. Another site says to do this at least one day before you plan to bake with it. Cheers!
This thread is making me wonder, because I gave away some used bannetons recently, do you wash your bannetons? Are you supposed to? Mine have this nice crusty coating of flour that makes them stick-free. It's dry, doesn't smell, and I can't see anything growing on them, but the person I gave the bannetons to did seem a little skeptical when I said I rarely clean mine (I did try to de-crust/clean the ones I gave away).Thoughts?
I don’t wash mine and so far have been fine. After use the rattan is slightly damp as is the rice flour. I typically let it dry in the sun, although someone here mentioned that they place it in the oven when it isn’t too hot to fully dry and they use a brush to brush out the dried flour.
I usually don't 'wash' mine, but every few weeks or so I will give it a good scrub (no water) with a stiff potato brush, just to get some of the small crusty bits out of the crevices.
This spawned into a good discussion. Thanks to all!