Baker Bettie

Banneton Basket Prep and Care

Learn all about how to use a banneton basket for baking artisan style breads and sourdoughs. These baskets are what gives the beautiful spiral ring pattern on rustic breads. 

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What is a Banneton Basket?

Have you ever wondered how beautiful artisan loaves of bread have that spiral pattern on the crust? The baker used a banneton basket to proof their bread!

A round and an oval banneton basket for proofing bread dough

A banneton basket, also known as a proofing basket or brotform, is a tool bakers use when baking artisan style breads like sourdough. They are wicker baskets that baker’s put their shaped loaf into while it proofs. The basket helps the loaf hold its shape while it rises, so that the dough rises up instead of spreading out.

I have a full video on my YouTube channel all about prepping, using, and caring for your banneton basket. The video is part of my Sourdough for Beginners series where we make a sourdough starter from scratch and learn to bake with it! Banneton baskets are one of the optional tools I suggest in my sourdough bread making equipment list, but they are really nice to have on hand!

a loaf of sourdough that has been proofed in a banneton basket

How to Prep a New Banneton Basket

When you get a new banneton basket you will need to prep it. Get the basket damp and then give it a good dusting with rice flour and let it dry completely. You will want to do this at least an hour before your proof your first loaf of bread so it has time to fully dry.

This base coat that you will do when you first get your basket will ensure that your dough doesn’t stick to the basket. The reason you want to use rice flour instead of regular flour made from wheat, is because wheat contains proteins in it that forms into gluten when it gets wet. When your loaf goes into the basket, the moisture from the dough can start creating gluten with the flour and cause it to stick. Rice flour does not have this issue.

Some bakers do use a combination of rice flour and wheat flour. But I prefer to just use rice flour and have had the most success with this.

Dusting a banneton basket with rice flour

How to Prep a Banneton Basket for Proofing Dough

Before you proof each loaf of bread, you want to dust your basket with rice flour again. The coating of rice flour will make sure that the loaf definitely doesn’t stick to the basket.

I like to use a little tea strainer as my tool for dusting the rice flour in my proofing basket. It is the perfect little sifter to get the flour in all the nooks and crannies.

Shaped dough in a banneton basket before proofing

Using a Liner on the Banneton Basket

Some banneton baskets come with a cloth liner that you can put over the basket if you do not want the spiral pattern. A lot of bread bakers use this if they will be scoring intricate patters in their loaves.

To use a banneton liner, place it over the basket and then dust it well with rice flour. Then you can shape and put your loaf in the basket to proof.

If you have dusted the liner well, you likely won’t need to clean it between every bake. Just shake off the flour and store it. When you do need to clean it, hand wash it with water (do not use soap) and let it dry completely before your next bake.

Can you Put a Banneton in the Oven?

You absolutely do not want to put your banneton basket (proofing basket) in the oven.  The basket is only used for proofing your dough, not for baking in it.

Once your dough is fully proofed, you will turn the dough out onto the baking surface or onto a piece of parchment paper to prepare it for baking. The loaf should hold its shape and retain the beautiful spiral pattern from the basket.

Turning proofed bread dough out of the banneton basket to bake

How to Clean a Banneton Basket

You never want to use soap on your banneton basket, but you can rinse them out if they start to get a little bit crusty. I don’t do this after every bake because if you have dusted them well with rice flour, they should be nice and dry for the next bake.

When I do need to clean my proofing basket, I will rinse it with water and use a clean dry brush to help scrape out any bits of dough that have dried on. Then use a towel to dry it so it isn’t soaking wet and is just damp. Then give your basket a fresh coating of rice flour and let that dry, just as you do with your new basket.

Loaf of sourdough that has been cut in half

What can I use Instead of a Banneton Basket

If you do not have a banneton basket, you can use a mixing bowl instead! Line the bowl with a clean lint free towel and dust that with rice flour. Then you can shape and proof your dough in the bowl.

This method obviously will not give your loaves the spiral pattern as proofing baskets do. But a bowl will do the trick to hold the shape of your loaf as it proofs, which is the main function of a banneton basket anyway!

Banneton Baskets I use and Other Helpful Tools

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23 comments on “Banneton Basket Prep and Care”

  1. What would you suggest as an alternative to rice flour? My mom is severely allergic to rice, so I’m unable to use rice flour since she does occasionally eat with us. 

  2. This was informative. How do you store the baskets after use?

  3. Thank you for all your helpful information.
    I am going to be using a banneton for the first time today, but I have not been able to find rice flour for several days in several stores. Would Almond flour, Flax meal, or corn meal work to dust my banneton better than bread flour or AP flour?
    Thank you!

  4. Hello! I have a lot of tapioca flour and potato starch on hand. Would either of these be a good substitute for rice flour to dust a basket? Thanks! 🙂

  5. Thanks for the informative post. I love the idea of using a bowl as alternative. I will try that out.

  6. What are a couple of good brands of rice flour?

  7. I would like to know if it’s best to use Sweet Rice Flour or regular Rice Flour to line the proofing bowl, or are they interchangeable, and if so, which would you recommend. Thanks

  8. I just got my banneton shipped to me from China. Do I not do an initial cleaning before conditioning it? Also how do I clean the linen cover? Can I throw it in my washer?


  9. Can I use sweet rice flour instead of rice flour?

  10. I have a proof setting on my GE wall oven.
    Does anyone know how to use this? Basically I mean how long to proof sourdough in the oven on a proof setting. It is supposed to reduce proofing time but I am new to sourdough and don’t want to over proof.

  11. I just bought my first proofing basket, and your tips for initial care are very helpful. The question I still have is about the linen liner. Before first use, should I boil it and let dry or should I wash it in the laundry with other linen towels using my regular detergent? (I have a cheese making bag that i have to boil instead of wash.) Thanks!

  12. what type of rice flour. There are many that say for baking or gluten free. Which one please. Thank you.

  13. “If you have dusted the liner well, you likely won’t need to clean it between every bake. Just shape off the flour and store it. When you do need to clean it, hand wash it with soap and water and let it dry completely before your next bake. ”

    “You never want to use soap on your banneton basket, but you can rinse them out if they start to get a little bit crusty.”

    Which is it? You contradict yourself here.

  14. Our banneton just developed a scattering of what looks like dots of mold. Not sure how this happened as it is in use most of the week and stored open on the counter in between. What’s the best way to clean this now? Bleach?

    • that’s so strange! I wonder if you have a lot of humidity in your home? I would scrub it with vinegar and hot water until clean. And then let thoroughly air dry in bright sunlight if you have it.

  15. I bought a banneton basket before I discovered I’m celiac. Can I use it for gluten-free bread, or is the gf bread dough too sticky?

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