The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

LaCloche question

flourgirl51's picture

LaCloche question

I would like peoples' opinons on using a LaCloche baker. It is better to preheat it and then place the dough inside( does this deflate the dough) or should the dough be placed inside of the LaCloche and then directly into a preheated oven?

Thank you.

jcking's picture

I've had success pre-heating top and bottom. Others don't pre-heat. Try both ways and see what you like. Remember to remove the lid for the last 5 to 10 mins of baking. I proof on  parchment paper trimmed to the loaf, and use a peel for sliding the loaf onto the base.


AnnaInMD's picture

hot, cold, preheat, etc.  I believe the results were pretty much the same.  I use my Cloche cold and into a cold oven.


KNEADLESS's picture

I like to use a hot stone and a cold bell because I get a much thinner but still crisp crust.



Janknitz's picture

I don't have La Cloche, but a similar clay baker and this suggestion comes from Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of the Bread Bible to preheat the top, but let your dough do it's final rise in the base on the counter. 

I was skeptical at first and worried that would harm my clay baker but it works great and you do not have to try to put dough into a screaming hot base (especially nice since my base is deeper than the La Cloche base). 

The results are awesome!


fminparis's picture

I've made it both ways, heating the cover and not heating it, and it made no difference.  But it's much easier to use it cold.  So I let my dough rise in the base, slash, cover, then put into a pre-heated oven.

flourgirl51's picture

Thank you for your comments. I am going to give this a try as an alternative to using steam in the ovens as have large glass windows in my ovens.

longhorn's picture

I would agree that the difference between starting hot or cold is less than one might expect but I prefer bold bakes and I think I get more predictable results that are closer to my ideal in a hot cloche. (I often heat mine to 500 and drop the oven temp after loading the cloche into the oven.)

I prefer cloche results to any of the alternatives that I have tried.

Good Luck!