The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

clay pot

bread10's picture

Clay pot and soaking

March 18, 2012 - 11:21pm -- bread10


I often use a clay pot to bake my sourdough loaves and as per the instruction I soak the clay pot and lid and put into a cold oven and preheat to 240 C degrees. By the time the oven has come up to temperature I'm sure the soaked clay pot has well and truly evaporated. I then dangerously move my proofed loaf into the hot pot and bake.

So am I wasting my time soaking the pot... or is there still some benefit, or even necessity for soaking the clay pot? 

For those that use clay pots what do you do? 

Juergen Krauss's picture

Hi from SE-England, and a question about a clay pot (Panayoti pot)

December 18, 2010 - 12:57am -- Juergen Krauss


I am a German expat living in south-east England with a craving for good bread.

After some unpleasant experiments with hi-yeast breads I found Andrew Whitley's book Bread Matters,

which helped to turn things around (I especially like his simple breads based on liquid rye starter).

Through this forum I found out about the books by Peter Reinhardt and Richard Bertinet,

which gave my bread production another kick.

Nickisafoodie's picture

Anyone ever use a Romertopf Clay Pot?

March 24, 2010 - 5:27pm -- Nickisafoodie

I just inhereted a 30 year old hardly used clay pot bakeware (unglazed) make by Romertopf, model 110 with inside dimension of 9.5" x 6.5" x 3", with a domed top of the same dimension that would allow 6" in height - looks perfect for a 1.5 lb loaf.  Instructions require 15 minutes of soaking in water to allow the pores to soak up the water.  Place item in cold oven, bring up to heat.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Ready in 3 1/2 hours?  (Make it longer if you wish, use 1/2 teaspoon of yeast, add salt & caraway and use cold water to make it rise slower.)

Wheat shaped form ... White Bread   crusty

  • 450g hot water (you can just manage to keep a finger in it)

  • 7g instant yeast

  • 650 g Wheat flour (250g AP, 400g Bread flour)

  • 1 1/2  to 2 teaspoons table salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground caraway

  • olive oil for bowl & form

Pour hot water into a large 2.5 ltr. mixer bowl and sprinkle with yeast.  Add the flours and stir until all the flour is moistened and a shaggy dough has formed.  Cover and let stand 2 hours or until the dough has risen up to the cover.  Remove cover and scrape out dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Sprinkle with the salt and caraway.  Fold or roll up the dough and knead to blend for about two minutes.  Shape into a tight ball and cover with the bowl.

Soak top and bottom of a Clay form (total volume 2 liters) 10 min in warm water.  Allow to drip dry and surface water to absorb, one minute.  Smear inside with olive oil.  Re-shape and tighten dough to form a loaf.  Rub with oil and place into bottom form.   Oil the inside of cover and place over dough.  Set in cold oven for 15 minutes.   Turn on oven to 225°c  (440°F) on Hot air (convection) and time for 45 minutes.   Remove form and brown loaf another 5 minutes in hot oven on rack.   Cool on rack for 15 minutes and serve warm with bread knife on cutting board. 


I was given this form for Christmas without any instructions.  As you can see the ingredients add up to just over a kilo of dough, about the right amount to fill this two liter volume form.  The loaf crust is very crunchy and thick.  The crumb slightly chewy and tender.  I removed the top for the last 5 minutes of baking but wished I had removed the whole form to let the bottom brown more as well.   Slices are almost round and crumb is fine.  The oil in the form adds to an almost buttery flaky crust.   This loaf was sliced warm.




Galley Wench's picture

Hello . . .from another newbie!

May 2, 2008 - 8:13am -- Galley Wench

Hi Everyone:  

After lurking on this site for a week or two, I've decided it's time to get involved.    There's so much great information here!!

I've been baking for over 35 years.   Especially love the challenge of baking bread; sourdough is my favorite!    Guess you can say I'm a sourdough puriest . . . I shy away from sourdough recipes that add commercial yeast.  

knit1bake1's picture

Clay pot cooking

February 13, 2008 - 7:03am -- knit1bake1

Hi. I'm a new member. I've read previous posts on using clay pots, but thought I'd ask for the most recent advice. I've been making hearth breads using a thick pizza stone, and introducing steam via a preheated cast iron skillet and ice (Rose Levy Beranbaum's method). I keep reading that a cloche makes superior bread, and I already have a large Romertopf that was previously unused. Per instructions regarding the clay pot, I made my last batch letting the dough rise in the bottom half of the pot, then soaked the top half prior to putting it in a cold oven.

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