The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Charleston, SC

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dlynne's picture

Hello from Charleston, SC

I've been on and off this site for a while and find everyone so helpful with great recipes.  I've been baking for a while but in spurts so I consider myself a new bread baker.  Recently I bought a clay cloche  from King Arthur and have been playing with that a bit.  I've been using a no knead bread receipe, weighing the dough, using about a pound at a time.  It seems not to rise much before I bake it and the loaves seem kind of small.  I wonder if I'm handing the dough too much.  Other than that, the bread tastes good and has a nice crust which what I was after.  I've made other breads with varying success.

Are there any other bread recipes that would lend itself to the cloche?  Hopefully, I didn't buy a one trick pony but I do like it and probably could use it as a stone, I guess.



cranbo's picture

Hi Donna and welcome!

Any kind of crusty, hearty breads would benefit from a cloche. Batard shape should fit fairly well in that cloche too. 

1 pound is pretty small for a loaf, especially for no-knead recipes, which are typically more dense and heavy than those made using intensive kneading. Try to shoot for a 2lb loaf, that should give you more of a "standard" loaf size. 

Which no-knead recipe are you using? Jim Lahey's?

As far as rising and dough flatness, in general, highly hydrated breads (70% hydration or more) tend to flatten out more even if your shaping technique is good. There's lots you can do to change this. Try one of the following next time you bake, and see if it helps:

  1. Use a different style/brand of flour
  2. Incorporate stretch-and-fold into your fermentation process (search these forums for more info on that term)
  3. Reduce the amount of water in your recipe by about 5%. 


dlynne's picture

The recipe I've been using has been from Artisian Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg & Zoe Francois.   The last loaf I baked was according to the cloche directions.  I will definitely use two pounds and research the stretch and fold technique.  This book appealed to me as  it seemed to be rather simple method and way to start baking again.   I was happy with this bread and will keep playing.  I'm using King Arthur All Purpose.   I've also used Peter Reinhart's books with mixed results in the past.  Will definitely try the stretch and fold technique and keep  experimenting.  

Thanks so much for your help.  


ldavis47's picture


Try using "no kneed" in the search function on this site and you will find all sorts of recipes and techniques. Also has videos for no kneed breads and uses covered containers for baking. I use the la cloche for all my breads and get great oven spring and crusts without any other steam source. 

Hope this helps. 


dlynne's picture

I'm going to keep trying.  It's easy and quick bread and tastes pretty good.  In time, I'm going to move on and try other things.  I saw a receipe for sweet potato rolls.  Yum!  



scotch2cubes's picture

From Summerville =)