The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My Improvised La Cloche, Thai Style

oceanicthai's picture
oceanicthai

My Improvised La Cloche, Thai Style

I live in Thailand where many specialty baking items aren't available.  Improvising has been interesting, sometimes fun and occasionally quite frustrating.  Pictured is what I found at a local kiln to bake my breads in.  I would have loved a La Cloche, but this is working wonderfully.  To acheive an extra steamed effect I soak the lid of this unglazed terra cotta pot in water before I bake. 



I preheat it all in my oven and when I take the lid off to slide my bread in, steam wafts out.  I use a metal pizza peel made locally that I was really excited to find.  I can't buy a banneton so I use a stainless steel bowl.  For a couche I cut up an old thick cotton apron & it is working great!


This is a traditional style terra cotta pot used for food.  I have lived here in Thailand for 12 years now.

Comments

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Well, not quite, Like a dutch oven it is deeper than is convenient but it clearly should work very well. Show us some bread!


Bake On!
Jay

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

I have a clay baker not as deep as yours, but not as shallow as La Cloche.  I had some interesting adventures trying to drop bread dough into the screaming hot clay baker, until I read Rose Levy Beranbaum's suggestion in the Bread Bible.


She suggests heating the lid, but NOT the base.  Instead, you can do your final rise right in the base.  When it's time to bake, slash and  put it in the oven covered by the hot lid. 


I was skeptical at first and fearful of harming my clay baker, but it works, and works GREAT.  Sometimes I mist the loaf right before putting it in the oven, but it's not really necessary.  If you do something like that, make sure that there are no water droplets on the rim of the base where the lid will touch. 

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

This is a great tip, I will try it next time I'm home baking with my clay pot, and will definitely send a note to Cindy about it....


 


 

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

 

Tha't actually one of my favorite ways to bake bread in a "regular size" oven.  Works extremely well!


 


I even gave one to my friend Cindy (who visits TFL sometimes) and she's also baked bread in it and liked it. 


 


I actually blogged about a bread made in mine last year  (scroll down for a photo of it inside the oven)


 


http://bewitchingkitchen.com/2009/07/27/the-bread-we-love/

oceanicthai's picture
oceanicthai

I looked at your blog and the pot, looks familiar  :)


THank you for the recipe, Sally, I love it when people post their tweaked recipes because I don't have access to bread books yet.  (Someday!)

ehanner's picture
ehanner

If you have a wok ring that will hold the cover while inverted, you might try baking in the lid and remove the base carefully after the first 10-15 minutes. It would be a lot easier to load.


Eric

oceanicthai's picture
oceanicthai

Thank you for your comments!  So encouraging.   Thank you so much for the tips and ideas, too, very helpful.


 

Thaichef's picture
Thaichef

Sawatdee Ka.


  Your pot is perfect. I am glad that you can improvise and it works for you. I am a Thai but lived in the U.S. in small town in VA.  I love to bake breads and had improvise many things also. 


 I wish that I were in Thailand right now. It would be so great to get away from the cold and to eat great foods for next to nothing money.


mantana

oceanicthai's picture
oceanicthai

It is a joy living here in Thailand!  And yes, the cheap delicious food is so great at $1 a plate.  I bought this pot for 40 Baht, a little over $1.  I found some fantastic flours here in Chiang Mai as well, a bread flour at 13% protein, and fresh ground everything, including fine ground and coarse ground whole wheat.  I need to ask where they are getting their wheat berries from.  Glad to see Thais on here!

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

That's genius!


That's interesting about strong wheat flour in Chiang Mai. I would love to find out more when I'm in Thailand next time. When I was in Bangkok late last year and did some bakings for my family. The bread flour I bought there was imported from (surpise, surprise) Australia.


Sue


http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com


 

oceanicthai's picture
oceanicthai

Hi MadAboutB8, yes, I have baked with flours from Australia for years here!  But like I told Mantana below a new shop just opened up in Chiang Mai that sells fresh ground flours, of all kinds, and 7 grain mixes that they made up themselves.  I just moved up here from Southern Thailand, I lived there for 5 years near Takua Paa, Phang Nga.  I bet you miss Thailand.  :)

charmer's picture
charmer

i just posted this in reply to another comment, but maybe u can help too:

*new

Submitted by charmer on October 30, 2011 - 9:26pm.where to find whole wheat flour

can you tell me where in chiang mai i can find real whole grain flour? and give me directions and if you know the cost, that would be great too!

i used to bake in germany with roggen schrotmehl, whole grain rye flour, and it was true to its name: not ground at all, truly whole grain. can i find such in chiang mai?

thanks much

 

Thaichef's picture
Thaichef

Good Morning Oceanic Thai:


And your found fresh ground flour in Thailand? That is amazing!  I can't believe that in the country that the main staple are rice one can  find fresh ground flour!  Here I am in America which eat breads all the time but I can't find fresh ground flour.


My brother is in Chiengmai for the last 30 years. He is a Professor at the Technical college in town. My sister in law works at the Agriculture college. 


I am coming back to visit my family( and eat great foods) in Jan. next year. If you are still there can we meet for coffee or something?  Perhaps I can get the bread from you for my brother and his wife to taste? They bought that terrible bread from the store for me because they thought that I miss it since I lived here for so long. (Beside with all great foods and fruits in Thailand, whyshould I eat bread?)I told them that I don't eat breads like this because I eat my own sourdough and others that I bake myself. But they have no idea what they are.


My e-mail on my web"www.lakethaichef.com


Please keep in touch.


mantana

oceanicthai's picture
oceanicthai

Thank you for your long message, Mantana, I would love to meet you here in Chiang Mai for coffee next January.  I live in Hang Dong and I buy my flours at a new baking store that just opened called phuan khrua, excellent store!  I was so excited to find fresh-ground flours at such good prices.

oceanicthai's picture
oceanicthai

Thank you for your long message, Mantana, I would love to meet you here in Chiang Mai for coffee next January.  I live in Hang Dong and I buy my flours at a new baking store that just opened called phuan khrua, excellent store!  I was so excited to find fresh-ground flours at such good prices.

charmer's picture
charmer

can you tell me where in chiang mai i can find real whole grain flour? and give me directions and if you know the cost, that would be great too!

i used to bake in germany with roggen schrotmehl, whole grain rye flour, and it was true to its name: not ground at all, truly whole grain. can i find such in chiang mai?

thanks much

Thaichef's picture
Thaichef

Hello Ocenic Thai:


  If I come on Jan. as I plan to, we will deffinitely meet. I actually came from Phuket, Thailand. I knew all the towns that you lived before. 


  So jealous of the opportunity to live in Thailand and eat great foods  "for a song".


Please keep in tourch.


mantana

jmotzkin's picture
jmotzkin

I wish i could make my BreadPots for 1 bhat. Nevertheless, if people are interested in a great hand crafted ceramic dutch oven style pot with lid, great handles, long life, nice form, we are making them. The BreadBird molds the bread and BreadBellz cloche style allows for shaped breads. Check out the blog...breadbakers.blogspot.com... that our team of testers created to develop the pot. 


Oh, Thailand, I was there a year ago...what food, what people. But bread? It was returning from China that made me start to make the breadpot. Craving bread.


Judy