The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tartine Country Bread baking in a Clay Pot or Ducth Oven

aspenhound's picture

Tartine Country Bread baking in a Clay Pot or Ducth Oven

Hi Everyone,

I have been baking Tartine Country Bread for the past 6 month in a 7qt dutch oven. They always turn out good. But the downside is that I can bake only one at a time. At the end of this month I am going to bake 20 loaves of this country bread for a donation event. Now I am thinking to get two oval shape either dutch oven or clay baker. Clay bakers are much cheaper than dutch ovens. Does anyone have experience making Tartine bread in a Clay pot? Will the quality of the bread be the same as the one baked in a dutch oven? 

Thanks for sharing your experience! 


dabrownman's picture

between clay and a DO.  Both make great bread.  I use a Romertopf that is a weird shaped batard  They make better ones just for bread where it isn't shaped liek a baked chicken when it isdone:-)  Baking in the clay Romertopf tomorrow and wil post it then.

Sadly the loaf got too long for the Romertopf and almost too long for the stone too!

Bakingmadtoo's picture

I like my clay baker equally as well as my LaCloche and I like both better than my dutch oven, mainly because they are lighter. Like Dabrownman, I have not been able to see any difference in the finished results whichever I use.

Big Bob's picture
Big Bob

It's hard to believe that with the number of loaves of Country Bread that Tartine makes every day that they are baked in  combo dutch ovens.  There must be another way to achieve the same result - perhaps a multi deck steam injection oven?  Has anyone been there?  

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Actually, they do not use the dutch oven method at Tartine.  This was a method Chad suggested for the home baker.  At Tartine they use professional industrial bread ovens.

I was just in San Fran a month ago and sadly I just drove by it, realizing I chose the one day it was closed to try and get some bread.


aspenhound's picture

Thank you for sharing your experience.  I decided to get the clay Romertopf 3qt oval. Does 1.5lb dough have enough space to raise in the clay? Do you soak the clay before you put it in the oven? Do you preheat the clay in the oven at 500F for 10 minutes then take it out and put the dough inside? Like the way I do with my dutch oven? 

dabrownman's picture

10 minutes like the instruction booklet that came with it said to do.  I just figure that it provides extra moisture for  the steaming phase.  i know that some don't do this though.  I have risen the dough in the baker and baked it starting in a cold or hot oven,. You can preheat baker too and drop the room temp dough in it with parchment just like a DO,  It can do what ever a DO can do pretty much the same way.

I have a model 109 and it looks like it might be a 3 quart one? .   1.5 # is no problem in mine .  Makes great baked chicken too.. 

thefollytrolley's picture

Has anyone had experience doing the final rise after final shaping IN the clay oven, then into a cold oven? Can anyone advise on baking times for this method? Thanks!