The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking with a Cloche ...

BROTKUNST's picture
BROTKUNST

Baking with a Cloche ...

Those who also use 'La Cloche' ... have you tried soaking the Cloche in water before baking (or spray the inside with water) ? 

I do not use the base that came with it but a hot baking stone, combined with the 'cold' Cloche ... I am getting great results but I could imagine that a wet Cloche could create for the dough a setup with even more steam in the first minutes. What do you think ?

 BROTKUNST

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I've never soaked mine. There seems to be plenty of water available for steam in the dough itself. I once got a painful faceful of steam after opening the cloche to set the bread back into the oven for the final bake!

BROTKUNST's picture
BROTKUNST

Do you use the base that came with it or the baking stone ?

Maybe because I use the baking stone I never experienced the surge of steam you described. For an average bread I'd leave the Cloche on for about 30 minutes or so and continue baking for another 4-8 minutes (with the oven a crack open, depending on what kind of crust I want to create)

BROTKUNST

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Yes, I do use the base. It wasn't a huge cloud of visible steam, but it was certainly enough to cause me to wince in pain when it hit my face.

I'm more careful these days.

BROTKUNST's picture
BROTKUNST

I appreciate your feedback, Jmonkey. I think I will try a little 'misting' on the inside of the Cloche and just see what happens ... I'll keep you posted.

Tonight we'll have Pain a l'Ancienne and Pizza, so the Cloche won't see the heat before tomorrow or so ...

 BROTKUNST

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 

 I use my cloche as is, the base and the cover, no misting, soaking whatever.

 before I bought my cloche I use a home made one that I used over a pizza stone, but still no misting , soaking etc.... 

                  qahtan

Thegreenbaker's picture
Thegreenbaker

You'd think it would crack if it was soaked in water then put into a blaazing oven.

 

my pizza stone did the other night. I use it for baking all my bread and I flick water into the oven with a pastry brush to get some good steam, I must have hit my baking stone with it a few times as when I pulled out my bread my stone was cracked all the way through....is in two halves now. :S

 

So, yeah I doint think wet stoneware is a good idea in a blazing oven.

 

thegreenbaker 

BROTKUNST's picture
BROTKUNST

Originally I was thinking about 'soaking' because of the way you use a 'Roemertopf' .. a stoneware that is soaked in water and then bakes your chicken and vegetables (bottom with lid) . This is a traditional German way of cooking. However it is true that the baking stone is very sensitive to temperatures shocks ...

I value everybody's input. Thank You ... and since it does not seem to be a widespread idea to mist or let alone soak the Cloche, I better don't gamble with the $50 piece. After all about 20% of the water in the loaf has to turn into steam ... a 'misting' may just be pale compared to that.

Brotkunst

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I'm with jmonkey on this. There is plenty of moisture in the dough. If you spritz the hot top it will break and if you soak it cold I think the moisture will be trapped inside and if the bell doesn't break the bread will not have much of a crust. Imho

Eric

Marty's picture
Marty

I do not soak. According to Rose Levy Beranbaum who wrote "The Bread Bible" soaking the dome for 60 minutes increased it's weight by 10 grams, less than 1/2 ounce of water. She preheats the dome. There are more tips in her book for La Cloche use.

qahtan's picture
qahtan

-)))qahtan

  Can you imagine how tricky it would be to remove the dome when it is hot really hot and then have to get the dough into the base also hot and put the dome on .... qahtan
foybrasw's picture
foybrasw

I just received my new La Cloche and am glad I found all your comments.  I ran across this comment on another site.

- - - - - - - -  

While I'm on the subject of product warnings, if you are using a clay baker like La Cloche to bake your bread, do not spritz it with water when it's very hot or it may crack. At least that's what mine did when I spritzed it. It was quite the idiotic move on my part. And just for the record, spritzing the bread in a La Cloche didn't make the crust any better. One of the main reasons for using one is so you don't have to mess with trying to create steam in order to create a desirable crust.

Also,  do not place a clay baker in a hot oven. Place in a cold oven and preheat it along with the oven. The general rule is do not expose a ceramic or clay baker to thermal shock.