$2 Banneton for Better Bread Loaves

Picture of $2 Banneton for Better Bread Loaves
A banneton is a wooden basket used to shape bread loaves prior to baking. By mixing doughs wetter than usual, bakers can develop improved texture and retain moisture in the crumb. However, these wet doughs need a bit of structural support during proofing to prevent the final loaf from spreading out too thin.

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.
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Step 1: Material

Picture of 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
- Shears

Step 2: Sew the base

Picture of Sew the base
- Center the fabric in the basket, and push down so the base is smooth and without wrinkles

- 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.
cheekygeek8 months ago
Thx for the excellent instructions. What sort of storage and care does this require? Do you put it in a sealable container between uses? Does the cloth ever require laundering, etc.?
brilliant !! have done this trick 40 times, ( i'm backing 150 breads a week ) but you should use a linen made of hemp or line . other kinds of fibers can rot ( or mold )