The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Looking for a cloche cover for 15x20 baking stone

xabazi's picture

Looking for a cloche cover for 15x20 baking stone

Hi all,


Awesome forum, and thanks for sharing the ideas and organizing the information. Bit about myself: I started baking half a year ago inspired by Peter Reinhart's lecture and poor availability of real deal whole rye breads around here. Read various web sites and the books on the topic (all the usual suspects). I've been baking 3x 400gr loaves together every 3-rd day or so, and recently got to the point where I really like the results. 


That said, the quest for perfection is never complete, and now I'm looking for better steaming solution than spraying lava rocks. The lava rock actually works very well, but it's not as classy, and I keep worrying about the tempered glass, which I had already replaced due to cracks. The towel trick helps, but I have the sinking feeling on every splash. So now I'm looking into some kind of cover that would sit on the 15x20" stone, and allow 3 large loaves to raise inside under their own moisture. Ideal piece would be 15x20x10" rectangular pyrex piece, but it's just a dream. So, questions:


- Has anyone fabricated their own large cloche solution that they are happy with? Please share the details. I'm wondering about materials, and possible solutions for a peek-through window.

- Is it really critical to have heat-retaining walls? I already have the stone to retain the heat. If the heat retaining property is not so critical, I can fabricate something from heavy gauge aluminum foil. Is aluminum going to interfere with bread flavor? Or perhaps, the steam will damage the aluminum too much?




mrfrost's picture

Maybe be on the lookout for a large, deep roasting pan that can be inverted over your stone and breads.

Or a similar size piece of terracotta pottery.

LindyD's picture

Hi George,

I found a deep roaster pan at a local thrift shop which fit my stone perfectly (14 x 16). While it took me about three months before I found it, the price was worth it:  three bucks.    Visit your local thrift shops, Goodwill stores, garage sales, and maybe even eBay.  

That said, I really don't use it all that often because I get better results just by pouring water over my lava rocks (I bake primarily out of Hamelman's "Bread").

Since your lava rocks work well, instead of using a towel to cover your oven door glass, why not a large piece of cardboard that will cover your oven glass with room to spare?  Much easier to handle and quickly put in place.  


ryeaskrye's picture


I have the 15x20 Fibrament stone and use a full-sized, 4" deep hotel-pan as a cover. Most restaurant supply stores should have them and I'm sure they can be found on the internet. I got a damaged/dented one for free from a friend that owns a restaurant, pounded out the dents and added a $5 stainless-steel drawer pull as a handle. If you do a google search for SteamBreadMaker you will see pretty much what mine looks like.

I only bake two 19" baguettes at a time. It works great, but I have my eyes out for one that is 6" deep.

I also have a 2/3 size, 6" hotel pan I picked up at a going-out-of-business sale for $8 that I use for boules.

Janknitz's picture

My local Goodwill almost always has one or more for just a few dollars.  You may want to wait a week or so after Thanksgiving, because I bet they are getting bought up now, but after, I bet people will donate them back for resale. 

My first cloche was a large, deep foil roasting pan I got for $1 at the dollar store.  It worked every bit as nicely as my clay baker (which works for only one loaf at a time).  It was just about the size of my stone--perfect.  The disadvantages to this dirt cheap solution is that the foil pan gets banged around, battered, and doesn't look very nice.  Because it was big, there's no good place to store it, and it was easily getting bent out of shape.  It does need to lie flat on the stone so that the steam doesn't escape out the edges and after a while it wouldn't anymore.  So I moved on to the roaster for long breads and use my clay baker (affordable from for round breads. 

avatrx1's picture

I've used a foil  pan to cover my loaves.  You can get the deep lasagna style which is fairly deep.  I mist the inside of it with a spray bottle ($1 home depot brand) right before I put it over the bread.

that seems to work for me.


PhoenixLady's picture

I hope this will be of some assistance.  It's not the least expensive and it does take a little time to put together, but it works beautifully!  Iwent to a local hardware/lumber store and purchased fire bricks (the kind that are used to line a chimney).  I stacked them 2 high (on edge) around the perimeter of my baking stone.  I capped the whole thing off with an old 14" X 19" baking pan.  To make up for what I perceive to be a loss of moisture due to the enlarged baking area, I spritz the inside of the baking pan with water just before I place it over my loaves. The result is fantastic - nicely browned, crisp crusts. 

abdosoliman's picture

I Found that baking my loves in cast iron pots or the bottom of a schlager pot, the top is broken, gives good entrapment of the moisture. I use clay tile as baking stone. Hoarding old stuff from thrift stores, visiting thrift stores is one of my favorite pass time.