The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

La Cloche

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inkedbaker's picture
inkedbaker

La Cloche

just baked my first loaf in La Cloche that I made yesterday from items purchased at my local hardware store......I am a true believer in La Cloche....what a beautiful crispy chewy crust..

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inkedbaker's picture
inkedbaker

this recipe uses a preferment, you'll need some patience, a Cloche and a stand mixer ( hand kneading is fine as well)

the preferment

1 and 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

6 tablespoons warm water (110 to 115 degrees fahrenheit)

1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

Dissolve yeast into warm water and rest for 5 minutes, mix 1 cup the flour and salt in mixer bowl, on speed 2 of Kitchen Aid mixer, add yeast mixture to 1 cup of flour mixture and blend with dough hook attachment until dough forms a ball on hook. Knead in mixer for 4 to 5 minutes longer. Turn mixture out onto floured surface (using remaining 1/2 cup of flour) and knead for 10 minutes or until a smooth dough forms, dough needs to remain tacky, do not add any additional flour, use a scraper if necessary . Shape dough into a rough ball, coat a bowl lightly with oil, turn dough ball into bowl and give it 1 full turn to coat with oil, cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours. Remove from fridge 3 hours before using in final recipe,  leaving bowl covered to allow dough to warm and rise. Dough should have doubled.

Final bread recipe

Preferment dough 

3 and 1/3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 cup+2 tablespoons warm water (110 to 115 degrees fahrenheit)

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon honey

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

dissolve yeast into 2 tablespoons of warm water and the teaspoon of honey and rest for 5 minutes. Combine flour, sea salt and poppy seeds into standing mixer bowl. Combine remaining 1 cup of warm water to yeast mixture and add to flour mixture on speed 2 of Kitchen Aid mixer. Add preferment to dough mixture in pieces combining thoroughly after each addition until all is added and dough forms a ball on the dough hook. Mix on speed 2 or an additional 4 minutes. Turn dough out onto surface and knead until a smooth and slightly tacky dough forms. In a stainless steel bowl ( medium sized, I didn't have a brotform basket) place a clean dish towel sprinkled with flour, enough so dough wont stick, shape dough into a ball and place smooth side down into bowl. Cover with remaining tea towel and let proof for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until dough has doubled. Place Cloche in oven and preheat to 500 degrees fahrenheit, place dough on a bakers peel sprinkled with cornmeal and slide onto cloche and place top over dough. Bake for 20 minutes, remove cloche cover, lower temperature to 400 degrees fahrenheit and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until internal temperature of bread reaches 205 degrees fahrenheit. Remove bread from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

 

 

 

Lynda Vogtman's picture
Lynda Vogtman

this is such a beautiful loaf==  certainly will be trying this recipe out for sure.

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Hi Inked!

I think it is hard to get prettier loaves than you can get with a cloche. While I prefer shapes other than boules, I mainly bake boules just for that reason! Gorgeous color, crust, and oven spring!

Bake On!

Jay

ehanner's picture
ehanner

That sounds delicious. Any chance you can post a photo of your bread? The easy way is to use a web storage site like photobucket and paste the URL into the image location field under the "Insert Image" TV button above.

Eric

inkedbaker's picture
inkedbaker

finally figured out the picture adding feature, here's a photo of the white poppy seed loaf!!

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Hi Inked...

I heat my cloche to 500 (usually about 485 actual cloche temp using my infrared thermometer after an hour). I drop the temp to 445 to 465 depending on the bread I am making and my mood - i.e. how dark I want it. I bake covered for 15 minutes and then uncovered for 27 to 28 which usually gives me an internal temp of about 209-210 and a dark deep crust. I have tried 20 minutes covered but don't find that it does much. 

I offer this not as a suggestion I am right and you are wrong, but rather as an indication there is a range of approaches and experimenting with other times/temperatures are practical approaches to different finishes/looks.

Enjoy the cloche!

Jay

inkedbaker's picture
inkedbaker

gonna try that on my next bake....been experimenting with the times I keep the cloche on.....thanks for the tip!

longhorn's picture
longhorn

There is s a pretty big range of time/temps. I don't think much less than 15 minutes covered is good for you want to punch the heat into the dough to get humidity to gel the crust and lots of oven spring. Rather interestingy starting cold rather than hot (as discussed elsewhere on Fresh Loaf) is not IMO a big problem and can yield exceptionally similar bread but I do think 18 to 20 minutes covered is better for that approach to allow more time for heat penetration and oven spring (25 might even be better but I haven't experimented a lot with cold cloches).

435 to 445 seems to be a fairly standard "drop to" temperature. I like the slightly higher 455 to 465 for many of my wet, artisanal loaves, but the preferred temp is also related to loaf size. Larger loaves need more time and lower temp to give the same look/results. 

Experiment and enjoy (eating the product of your experiments!

Jay

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

great job, looks just gorgeous !

Anna