care of bannetons


I recently purchased a couple of bannetons. Just wondering the best way to clean them. I have been duting the cane with flour (rye seems to work best and brush off the finished product easier) Right now I am just dusting off the excess flour and then storing. However, I am a bit worried about bugs in the vicious Darwin heat (35 degrees and afternoon storms forecast for the next 2 months).

Also, should I just line the basket with linen. I made an apple and oatmeal loaf (from Dan Leopards Handmade Loaf) it stuck to the linen very badly despite generous flouring of the tea towel. Perhaps this stick was more due to the inherently moist and sticky nature of that bread.

Your experience is appriciated.


4 users have voted.


Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2007 February 19

Wash them with a brush and hot water, let them dry out! Don't need the linen towel in the baskets and use rye to dust them with!


andream 2007 February 19

Thanks for that. I had been able to find answers to most of my questions by reading the previous posts- Just not how to show a cane basket you care!

Graham's picture
Graham 2007 February 19

Hi Andrea

Your hot and humid climate can be a problem for mould. If you do get any mould appearing, Mr Birnbaum (who makes these bannetons) suggests painting on a 6% solution of hydrogen peroxide. This is the same chemical used to bleach hair and sterilise cuts and wounds. You can get it from chemists and hair-care shops.

Leave the banneton to dry in the sun, which will further sterilise the surface of the cane. A short burst in a warm oven is an alternative way to dry and sterilise. Take care not to burn the cane. The banneton is held together with steel staples. These can become very hot in an oven and burn the cane that surrounds them.

Do not use a microwave to sterilise the banneton. I did actually decide to try this once. It was a smoking disaster.

A special cleaning brush is available for bakers who regularly clean larger numbers. However a standard hard-bristled wash-up brush is just fine for cleaning smaller amounts.


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