When you get a new banneton it needs a little conditioning to get the best from it. They need a build up of a thin layer of flour in the nooks and crannies. If you ever have the opportunity to peek into the working area of an artisan bakery your will see that all their bannetons are like this and it is this that helps the dough leave the banneton easily before baking.
The idea is to put a permanent layer of flour onto the banneton so that it adheres to the fibers. This in turn, holds the dusting flour in place when dusted for each use. It takes a couple of uses of the banneton to build up this layer for the perfect banneton and so, in the first uses, be generous with the dusting flour.
The very first time that you use your new banneton you can help to condition it by lightly misting it with some ordinary tap water and then dusting your banneton liberally with flour, tipping out the excess. Do this the day before you want to use it.
When it comes to using your banneton every day you need to dust it. Ideally the flour gets between the cracks of the basket – but do not to over do it. Too much flour will spoil the spiral effect your banneton creates. On the other hand you do need to have a good coverage because equally you don’t want your dough to stick. You will get used to the amount required after a few uses.
For recipe inspiration check out Jamie Oliver’s recipe for sourdough bread here.