The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

La Cloche

mizrachi's picture

Electric stone ovens?

November 27, 2012 - 8:27pm -- mizrachi

Pleasant Hill Grain seems to stocking some high end German bread baking equipment of late, including an electric stone oven made by Haussler.  My efforts in a gas oven with a cloche has yielded great results, but could an entirely stone-lined oven be even better?  Curious to hear from anyone with experience with these kinds of ovens.




flourgirl51's picture

LaCloche question

May 11, 2011 - 9:11am -- flourgirl51

I would like peoples' opinons on using a LaCloche baker. It is better to preheat it and then place the dough inside( does this deflate the dough) or should the dough be placed inside of the LaCloche and then directly into a preheated oven?

Thank you.

olaugeb's picture

Help with design of earthenware baker ( römertopf, la cloche, dutch oven etc. )

February 3, 2011 - 6:05am -- olaugeb

Hey there,

I'm a ceramic student who have chosen one of his favorite hobbies to make a project out of. Baking.

I've had enormous success with an old Römertopf I bought used, both for doing stews but especially baking.
The old Römertopf had some shortcomings though, it was really big, necessitating a rather large bread, or a half used space which is an energy waste I rarely tolerate.
I accidentally broke the lid by putting it on a wet tablecloth, thermal shock of the right kind will make it crack :s

Thomas Parr's picture

Where can I purchase a La Cloche baker in Ontario

January 25, 2011 - 4:58am -- Thomas Parr

Hi Folks:  I am a newbie correspondent from Ontario, Canada.  I was wondering if any of you expert bakers out there could advise me where I might be able to purchase one in Ontario.  I would purchase from the USA, but I am concerned of the damage to the La Cloche in shipping.  I have read a number of sites whereby they have been shipped a number of times from Amazon.Com, only to arrive damaged.

Thanks in advance for any information.

kolobezka's picture

La cloche - Romertopf / Terra cotta pot instructions?

January 3, 2010 - 10:23pm -- kolobezka


I am just thinking of buying a "la cloche" or a similar clay bakeware to bake our bread. I have read many of the comments here on TFL and elsewhere, but now I am a little confused about how to use clay bakeware...

- some people  recommend to preheat the la Cloche in 500°F oven (for how long?) and some prefer to put it directly with the dough inside in the cold oven. Does it make a difference? Is there a method that is better for different kinds of bread - for example lower/ higher hydratation, no knead, sourdough, yeasted, sweet...?

mizrachi's picture

Two simple questions regarding my new FibraMent baking stone:


Does one place a La Cloche or other bread pan on top of this baking stone? 

Will steam crack a FibraMent stone?


Many thanks!







pmccool's picture

I had occasion to try several new things last weekend: Rose Levy Berenbaum's recipe for "Levy's" Real Jewish Rye Bread, one of my recently acquired bannetons from SFBI, and the Pampered Chef equivalent of a La Cloche (which has been sitting around unused for years).  This also marked the second time that I have made bread on the new soapstone countertops that were recently installed.

The recipe comes from RLB's "The Bread Bible".  The bread contains 3.3 oz of rye flour, vs. 8.5 oz of bread flour, so it is scarcely any more sticky than a wheat dough would be.  And with 2 tablespoons of caraway seeds, rye isn't the dominant flavor.  The bread begins with a yeasted sponge, which is allowed to ferment 1-4 hours.  It eventually bubbles through a flour layer that is placed on top of the sponge:

Fermented sponge 

Once the sponge has fermented, the flour mixture, oil and salt are stirred in.  The dough is then kneaded and left to ferment under an overturned bowl for a 20-minute rest:

Resting dough

After the dough has rested, it is kneaded again and then allowed to rise until it is doubled.  At that point, it is given a letter fold, then returned to the bowl until it doubles again.  After the second rise, the dough is flattened slightly and then shaped into a ball and allowed to rise until it has doubled.  Ms. Levy recommends that the final rise after shaping occur in a covered bowl.  I opted to use a fabric-lined banneton, dusted with rice flour, covering the exposed surface with plastic wrap to keep it from drying.

Ms. Levy suggests baking either on a baking sheet with steam, or in a cloche.  In both cases, she recommends having a baking stone in the oven as it preheats, then setting either the baking sheet or the (also preheated) cloche on the baking stone.  It seemed like overkill, but I followed the instructions as given, using the cloche.  The risen loaf was tipped out onto parchment paper, slashed, then placed in the cloche and covered.  I'll need to practice the technique a bit.  I was a bit gun-shy about burning myself on either the cloche base or its lid, so I wasn't as gentle with placing the loaf as I should have been.  It deflated slightly but recovered most of the loss with oven spring.

Based on the directions, I pulled the cover from the cloche about 10 minutes before the estimated completion of the baking time, expecting that it would finish browning during those last few minutes.  Instead, I saw that the loaf was already well-browned.  So, I stuck a thermometer in it, which quickly registered 210F.  At that point I declared it done and placed it on the rack to cool.  Here's how it looked:

Cooling rye bread

And a shot of the crumb, taken the next morning:

Crumb of Levy's rye

More of the color comes from the malt syrup in the recipe than from the whole rye flour that I used.  The crumb is firm and moist, the crust thin and chewy.  It makes a mean ham and Swiss sandwich. While I like caraway in a rye bread, the amount in this bread is more than I would use for my tastes.  Next time I make it, I will either cut back on the caraway, or substitute fennel or dill, which will be more to my liking. 

Thank you, RLB.  This is good stuff!


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.  

Trishinomaha's picture

Romertoph Clay Baker Question

November 10, 2007 - 8:25am -- Trishinomaha

Has anyone ever tried to bake bread in one of these clay cookers? I've had one stored away in my basement for years - used to use it for baking chicken etc. but it was so messy to try and clean. I just brought it upstairs (had been reading about La Cloches forever and finally ordered one from Eric at Breatopia - only $39.00 by the way! $10.00 cheaper the Amazon) Anyway, I got to thinking about trying to bake bread in the Romertoph - What say you all?


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