What Is The Best Method To Clean A Banneton?

A banneton, also known as a proofing basket, is a traditional tool used in bread making. It is typically made of rattan, a type of bamboo, and is used to give bread dough its unique shape and texture (via Saint Germain Bakery). The banneton's unique design allows the dough to rise evenly, while also creating a beautiful, rustic crust on the final loaf of bread. But after making the most of a proofing basket to make loaves of sourdough, it might seem like a tricky process to actually clean the delicate tool. 

That's why it is important to do so carefully. The first step is to allow a dough-dampened basket to completely dry for about a day, per YouTube. Next, empty any remaining dough or sticky remnants from the basket with a plastic scraper or even a dull knife. On occasion, you will also need to rinse the banneton thoroughly with warm water. Be sure to use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub away any remaining dough or flour. It is important not to use any soap or detergent, as these can damage the natural fibers of the basket and affect the taste of the bread. It's also critical to thoroughly dry your proofing basket. 

Be sure to dry the banneton well

Once your proofing basket is clean, it is crucial to dry it thoroughly. You can do this by laying it out in the sun or using a towel to pat it dry, according to Banneton Man. Be sure to avoid using a hair dryer or other heating element, as this can cause the basket to warp. It is also important to note that a banneton should never be stored in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap. This can trap moisture and lead to mold growth (via Epicurious). 

Instead, store the kitchen tool in a well-ventilated area, such as a cupboard or pantry. Regular cleaning and proper storage will help to ensure that your proofing basket will stay in good condition for many years of bread making. With a little bit of care and attention, your banneton will be a staple in your sourdough-making arsenal, helping you to create beautiful, delicious loaves of bread with that signature rustic crust.