Baking supply stores sell nice bannetons, lined with Belgian canvas or made with wicker spirals, for $20 - $30. You can make a quick and dirty banneton by lining a basket or small mixing bowl with a tea towel, but for $2.00 you can make your own dedicated, cloth-lined banneton and start baking better loaves today.
Step 1: Material
The dollar store or a yard sale are the best places to score a cheap basket if you don't have any lying around already. For the lining, I used some fabric labeled "flour sack linen" which seemed appropriate, but you can used anything that is a bit porous and won't shed little fibers into your bread.
- An oval or round basket, 8- or 9-inches in diameter, at least 4-inches deep
- A sheet of canvas, flour sack fabric, or other linen that won't shed fibers, big enough to cover the interior of the basket with a few inches to spare.
- Kitchen twine
- A tapestry needle, which should have an eye large enough to thread the twine
Step 2: Sew the base
- Thread the twine onto the tapestry needle and make the first stitch, starting from the outside. I was able to secure the end with a simple knot, but you can just leave some excess twine for trying at the end.
- Continue stitching at one- or two-inch intervals, taking care to ensure the fabric is smooth and somewhat taught on the bottom.
- Your last stitch should go from inside to outside. Take a moment to tighten the twine from beginning to end, and then try the twine off.