I am thinking of getting a stoneware baker and am undecided between the LaCloche and the Bread Dome, both made by Sassafrass.
Has anyone compared the two as far as size and functionality?
I prefer using the LaCloche, but I still have issues with it. I'm not a fan of the design...I don't like how the base of the Cloche has a lip that is about an inch and a half high forcing you to load from further up. I typically use the dome on top of a baking stone instead...I lose some of the potential head room but just bake my loaves with that in mind and don't make anything too big...
I haven't used the stoneware baker but have used cast irons dutch ovens before and they seem to be the same functionally speaking.
Thank you for your reply. I have thought about using a cast iron dutch oven but wonder if the bread would burn on the bottom due to the dark nature of the iron.
I don't have space for every gadget that I want so I try to only have multi use items. I bake my boules in the black cast iron and have no problems. The bottom does get a bit hard but not burnt, not any different than baking the loaf directly on a stone. I have also used a porcelain lined dutch oven and did not notice a difference between the two. The combo DO that is mentioned is on my shopping list, but not until I do another clean out for Goodwill. I have yet to try a batard in the oblong DO, not sure how it will fit.
Make your own from parts easily purchased at a hardware store. I know there are searchable notes about this but I'll try to describe it here: buy a large unglazed (red-orange) flower pot base and a flower pot that, upside down, fits neatly into the base. Then seal the hole in the base of the flower pot with an large, threaded eye-ring held in place by metal washers and nuts on both inside and outside of the hole, leaving the round eye on the outside. This eye is what you hold, hand covered with a potholder, dish towel, whatever, when you remove the cover halfway through your baking.
Cheap and it works! Pick how deep the upside down flower pot should be based on how tall your oven is.
Haha that's great I am going to try that someday!
Touche. I like it. If I ever break my Cloche I know where I'm heading.
As far as the dutch oven goes I think a lot of people use the enameled ones...that's what I used anyway...
combo cooker that Skibum uses and has posted about. Makes great bread and easy as all get out to load. No worries about burned bottoms with DO's. I would rather have one of those than a cloche of any kind.
For a cloche, I just overturn a stainless steel mixing bowl I got a Goodwill for 50 cents and it works as good as anything when using a stone or doubled up jelly roll pan to bake on. Holds the steam well and heats very fast compared to ceramics.
HERE is a link to a photo of a homemade Le Cloche. Cost approx. $5.00.
Thank you for the information and the link! I think I will try my cast iron pot. I am not sure if it will be tall enough but I am going to give it a try. If not, I can see about trying the homemade version that you posted.
I like cast iron too. Just heavier to deal with but if you don't bake often the weight is no big deal. Cast iron works well either pre-heated or cold.