The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A Day of Firsts

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

A Day of Firsts

This has been a day of firsts.

  • Actually started last night by making the sponge for my "Wayne Thomas's English Muffins" and leaving it in the fridge overnight for first time.
  • Finished and cooked the muffins this morning, they look great.
  • Decided to try the #111 Romertopf clay baker (that my wife scored at a local thrift shop a couple of days ago for $6 !!) for the first time so I made a simple white bread from a recipe on called One Perfect Loaf.
  • This resulted in the first real "ear" I have managed to get (at least from one of the two slashes). I have started to slash with the double-edged razor on kabob stick thanks to this site. Some work still required.
  • I decided all these firsts were worth my first blog post.

I hope this tastes as good as it looks. It was far and away the most oven spring I have had. As soon as the bread cools I'll get a crumb shot and then post the pics. I imagine some would say this should be a little darker. I agree, but the wife likes it this way for sandwiches. Also, I am baking this in an anemic gas oven on our boat. I followed the recipe as far as soak bottom, proof in bottom, soak top, place in COLD oven. After removing the top for the last 5 mins, I realized it was never going to brown (always a problem in this oven) so I stuck it in the microwave/convection on broil for a few minutes. I think next time I'll remove the top sooner, as it was still moist inside after 45 mins (at an attempted 450+).

Comments and suggestions always welcome. Love this site.







occidental's picture

Thanks for sharing the post.  That is quite a baker.  I've not seen one before but $6 sounds like a great deal.  Your loaf looks great as does your crumb.  Hope it tastes good as well...I'm sure it does.

ehanner's picture

Great find and the bread looks great. When I do covered baking, I plan on at least half of the baking time to be uncovered. That usually amounts to 15 minutes or so at 450F.


Janknitz's picture


The soaking is unnecessary.  And yes, you should remove the lid for the second half of baking to get a nicely browned crust.  

cmkrause's picture

So, can I use any clay baker to make bread in the oven, or are there bakers made specifically for bread.  I used to use mine for slow roasting meat or stews in the oven, but we no longer eat meat, so it has been sitting idle for several years.  I also have a heavy iron dutch oven that also needs some attention.  Can I bake bread in this also?   And, are there specific recipes for doing so, or can I use any recipe?

Thanks for your help!