This heavy-duty lined oval 500g banneton is designed for a lifetime of use. When you first get a new banneton you will need to season it before you first use it. They work best when there is a thin build up of moisture. So, I spray the banneton with a sprayer, then dust it with flour. Once the flour has dried it will work its way into the linen. This permanent layer of flour facilitates an easy release of your dough. You will then need to continually, and quite liberally, apply flour to the banneton every time you use it. You can use any type of flour, including rice flour.
The banneton cleans beautifully. Don’t ever put it in water. If you begin to see a build-up of flour, simply let them dry out (in the sun if possible) and then take a stiff brush to it outside. You can then tip out any loose flour.
Never stack your bannetons one on top of the other because this can lead to them becoming mouldy. If you find small beetles or bugs, and this may happen because organic flour doesn’t have any pesticides, put the banneton in a low oven (60-70C) for half an hour, then brush out any loose residue.
A well-conditioned, beautifully maintained banneton like this should last a lifetime. This makes it not just suitable for commercial bakeries, but one of those what I call ‘heirloom pieces’. As you use it, it will develop a patina and become more of a joy to use. And by using the same banneton each time you bake, you get a sense of how proved your loaf is.