The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Vintage Clay Baking Pot made in Germany- Is it Safe to Use??

BreadHound's picture
BreadHound

Vintage Clay Baking Pot made in Germany- Is it Safe to Use??

I am not sure if this is being posted to the correct forum or not.  I just purchased an oval 2 piece clay baking pot in a thrift shop with the idea of baking bread in it.  It has the design of a chicken on the top half (lid) and on the bottom half it has the mfg name of    scheurich keramik 838, W. Germany on the bottom.  It appears to be vintage and possibly never used.  I was doing some research to learn how to use it when I stumbled upon the lead in the glaze problem. Now I am not sure if it would be safe to use or not!  The inside of the lower half is GLAZED!! (where the food or bread would go).  It would be great if anyone on here had some knowledge about this specific baker.  Also the terminology is confusing.  I dont know if this is considered a terra cotta baking pot, a clay baker, or just what and I am not sure how to use it since it is glazed inside and the soaking instructions I found at various sites might not apply to a glazed inner half of the pot.  I sure do not want to take the chance of lead poisoning but it would be so wonderful to be able to safely bake some crusty bread in it.  I hope someone out there might know.  I welcome and appreciate all input, 


Breadhound


 

BreadHound's picture
BreadHound

Yes, I knew there was one for sale on ebay and when I asked the seller about the lead issue is they knew anything about it re that baker that ended thier responses flat! so not a good sign...and definitely not a good selling point to get it sold from their perspective.  I have already googled to the max with those key words, found the company's web site and have a question in to them. Problem is they might not even know even if I do get a response. What I was really looking for is someone who has owned one for years who knows for sure and has had no problems with the lead issue from it, or at least that they know of! This 5.99 baker has turned out to be more problems than it's worth. I am about ready to re-donate it!

MaryinHammondsport's picture
MaryinHammondsport

The company who made your baker also has a Web presence -- I just googled them. At least one of these sites may be accessed in English. I would suggest e-mailing them with your concerns.


As far as the piece being "vintage" -- remember that W. Germany was an entity only from immmediately after WWII to  the late 20th century. Since many European countries are ahead of us in environmental concerns, I would expect the company to be receptive to your question.


 

BreadHound's picture
BreadHound

I should have said thanks to both of you! Yes, I hope the company will be receptive to the question and I think you are correct about thier environmental acumen.  I am more worried that they might not even know or worse, say it's OK when it might not be.  As for vintage I meant the time period of the 50's to even the 70's...in all countries just to make it shorter but technically you are correct.  It looks more and more like ye ole lead testing kit, more expense, so we shall see...(I could have bought a la cloche but with shipping the cost is   hefty).


Breadhound

madzilla's picture
madzilla

There is a quick lead test kit at Ace Hardware for about $9.  This is what I would do.


Hope it helps and that your beautiful pot is lead free!


M.




 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The bisque pottery does not contain lead.  Shiny glossy low fire glazes may contain lead, they may also be lead free.  The company that makes The Schlemmertopf is a reputable one in West Germany.


http://www.scheurich.de/v2.0/en2_haushalt_3.php


In the website of the company, this information is included: 



4. Clean production Continuous investment of significant capital in machinery to ensure the environmental aspect of our production process is always the top priority. Examples range from recycling heat from our kilns to dry pottery prior to firing; modern filter systems for water; energy saving kilns and 100% use of clay through complex recycling system usage. All products are decorated without the use of solvents or heavymetals (e.g. lead)



In other words, contains no lead.  It is written in both German and English.


 

hardrockbaker's picture
hardrockbaker

 

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Hi there

What you got here is called a Roemer topf roman pot in English. The used to be produced unglazed but, most of the stressed out house wife’s had cleaning issues. Therefore the various manufacturers started to glace the bottom part and the pot was only half as good. Your pot is probably from the late sixties.

The chicken on the lid gives you a very subtle hint for what the pot was made. But then again, it is after all your pot so why don’t you try a roast.

I own an unglazed one and did made bread in it. Too much of a hassle for me. Also no noticeable improvement in taste, crumb and crust.

 

Papist's picture
Papist

Rats I wish I read this about the lead before I ordered.  I bought a vintage W. German Schlemmertopf pot.  Think it's safe? 

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Remember, W Germany is the Germany that we all know.  Standards are high.  East Germany had economic problems until unified back with Germany.  

Papist's picture
Papist

Thanks.  It's a schlemmtopf(?) if that matters

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

if it is a schlemmtopf and not a schlemmertopf (missing two letters) then it is a copy with dubious origins.  I would not use it if the brand name is spelled wrong.

Papist's picture
Papist

lol, that was my bad.  It is schlemmertopf.  I emailed the man from whom I purchased it and he said it is unglazed(he thinks).  So I'm hoping that takes away any hint of badness?