Help with design of earthenware baker ( römertopf, la cloche, dutch oven etc. )
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
Now I'm in the happy position that my school actually allows me to do a design for the home and I've chosen to do my own closed baking form.
I've decided on earthenware because It's supposedly less prone to cracking from thermal shock. Also to not glaze it as there doesn't 't seem be any point in doing so.
I could do stoneware or porcelain glazed but so far I've seen no evidence as to why that would be preferable. I would get a denser vitrified ceramic body out of it and have a hell of a time getting a glaze that really fitted the claybody just right. But if somebody know something I don't I'd happily hear about it.
I'm intending the baker to be slimmer and longer so that I might place 3 or 4 in the oven at the same time, side by side. I also don't want to make it as high, max 15cm. I'm inclined to make the top and bottom meet at the middle in order for the bread to be easier to get out and to support a more wet dough.
But I'm really keen to know what you people who usually use such a closed form have to say.
What you think would be better about the type you use, what bugs you, and so on.
Warm greetings from the Baltic sea.