What are Bannetons/Brotforms?
Used interchangeably, (and depending on which part of the world you are from), a brotform, or banneton, is a mold used for the rising (proofing or proving) of bread dough.
A brotform is a German-style basket that's typically crafted from spruce tree pulp; it's known for its ability to reduce sticking. On the other hand, a banneton retains more of a French influence, and is often made from cane rattan. It maintains an easy air flow and lasts the extent of the baker's lifetime.
At Sourdough Supplies, we use the terms interchangeably. We only Wood Pulp Bannetons/Brotforms as they help us to get the results that we love on our sourdough! To understand the difference, check out our article comparing the two here.
Why do I need to clean my Bannetons/Brotforms?
Without proper care, these proofing baskets could start to grow mould, or have a thick and crusty layer of flour accumulated over time, affecting your future proofs.
Tips for the first use
✓ Wipe down the banneton with a wet cloth without soap as the wood pulp material is porous.
✓ Next, liberally dust the inside of the banneton with flour to prevent your dough from sticking to the sides of your banneton. Rub and press flour into the insides of the banneton with your fingers for better application.
Tips to care for your banneton
✓ After each use, use a brush to dust off any excess flour and store the banneton in a cool dry place. It is important to let your banneton dry completely and to remove any moisture from the banneton before storing it away. This is to prevent mould growing on the banneton, especially if you live in humid climates such as in South East Asia.
✓ You may leave the banneton out on an airy countertop for it to dry. Alternatively, use the residual heat frm your oven to remove any moisture from the banneton by leaving your banneton in the oven at 120°C for a few minutes to wick out the moisture and kill germs.
✓ If any dough sticks onto the banneton, immediately use water and a wet cloth to wipe away the dough to prevent the excess dough from sticking and hardening onto the banneton.
✓ Once the bannetons are throughly dry, you may stack the bannetons and place it in a dry, well-ventilated area for storage. We do not recommend storing the bannetons away in dark areas of cupboards that require dehumidifiers.