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Sourdough Boule with Japanese Clay Pot

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4akitchenblog's picture
4akitchenblog

Sourdough Boule with Japanese Clay Pot

Hi all,

I am new here and this is my first post on The Fresh Loaf!

Today I would like to share my first attempt at baking Sourdough Boule with Japanese Clay Pot.

Japanese Clay Pot (a.k.a. Donabe) is a symbol of comfort food for Japanese people.

(Oh, by the way, I am Japanese :-))

Family members or friends come together around the table and share a meal out of one pot, so that you can build a sense of closeness, warmness...

I live in Santa Monica, California and my all family members live in Japan...Therefore, I felt all warm inside when I happened to find this Donabe.

"I want to bake BREAD with this clay pot!"

This idea just popped in my head :-)

 

The best part of using a clay pot (of course, a cast-iron pan, too) is you don't need to create the steam in your oven.

Because a closed clay pot trap all of the moisture from the dough, and that creates STEAM you need to get a perfect crust!

It's like a "masonry oven" inside your oven, if you will.

 

Ok, let's bake Donabe-bread!

This is a Sourdough Boule made with 36 hours fermentation.

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Sourdough Boule

Makes 1 small loaf

Submitting this post to YeastSpotting

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Recipe

225 g Bread flour

162 g water

4 g Salt

67.5 g 60% Firm sourdough starter

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Formula

266.3 g Bread Flour (100%)

188.3 g Water (70%)

4.8 g Salt (1.8% )

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Directions

1. Making the preferment dough --- In a mixing bowl, combine Bread Flour, Water and Sourdough seed starter / culture. 

    Let it preferment at room temperature for 12 hours.

2. Meanwhile, mix flour and water, cover it with plastic and Autolyse for for 12 hours.

3. Next day, mix starter into the dough and slap & fold for 1 minute.

4. Add salt and slap & fold for 1 minute or until the dough becomes a rough ball.

5. Let it rest for  30 minutes.

6. 1 set Stretch & Fold (1 set = right over left, left over right, bottom over top, top over bottom)

7. Let it rest for  30 minutes.

8. 1 set Stretch & Fold

9. Let it rest for  30 minutes.

10. 1 set Stretch & Fold

11. At a cooler place, let it rise until the dough just starts showing the yeast activity, about a third in size.

12. Put it in the fridge for 18-24 hours.

13. Pull it out of the fridge and leave it out for 1 hour.

14. Pre-shape the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes.

15. Shape into Boule and place into a mixing bowl lined with well-floured tea towel, seam-side up.

❉ Since I didn't have a round banneton, I used a mixing bowl lined with a tea towel and it just worked very well!

16. Final fermentation for 60 - 90 minutes.

17. 1 hour before you plan to bake, place your Donabe / Closed clay pot (must be completely DRY) on the middle shelf in the oven and preheat to 500°F.

 

18. Flip the bowl over so that the dough sits on the middle of a parchment paper.

19. Score the top of the Boule using a lame or a sharp, serrated knife.

20. Very very carefully open the lid (it's HOT!) and put the bread in the preheated Donabe, replace the lid and slip it back into the oven.

21. Turn the heat down to 480°F and bake the bread for 30 minutes with lid.

22. Turn the heat down to 450°F and bake for 10-15 minutes without lid.

23. Once the boule is nicely brown, turn the heat off and remove the boule from the Donabe and place directly on a rack in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

24. Let them cool onto a rack.

Here is my first Donabe-Bread!

It turned out super nice! I got an amazing crust and silky-fluffy-holey crumb.

To be honest, I was quite surprised by this result. 

Even though I knew this "closed clay pot (La Cloche)" method through this post on a website BREAD IN FIVE,

I was not sure if I could get the same result with this Japanese Donabe or not...

No baking stone? No steam? Really?!

Yes, it really works! Donabe-bread is a new comfort food for me!

Yuko



Comments

linder's picture
linder

Yuko,

Congratulations on a beautiful bread.  The Japanese clay pot is beautiful too.  I really like the open crumb you got on your bake and the crust too - complete with 'ears'(grigne).  Very nice.

Linda

4akitchenblog's picture
4akitchenblog

Linda, thank you so much for your comment! I am very happy my bread turned out really good :-) Yuko

7ardys's picture
7ardys

Gorgeous loaf!  Wow!

4akitchenblog's picture
4akitchenblog

Thanks for your compliment!!! Yuko

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Beautiful bread and beautiful pot too (much nicer than a la cloche pot in its beautiful color and design)!  Love the golden crust.

Thanks for sharing!

Janet

4akitchenblog's picture
4akitchenblog

Janet, thanks for your kind words! I am very happy with this result and will keep baking more and more with my Clay Pot :-) Yuko

 

Wingnut's picture
Wingnut

Nice Bread, great color and a beauty of a crumb. Could you post a picture of the clay pot by itself? I'm not sure what it is.

Cheers,

Wingnut

4akitchenblog's picture
4akitchenblog

Wingnut, I am very happy with your comment! Thanks so much! 

Here is the picture of a clay pot itself. I hope it will be helpful to you.

Cheers,

Yuko


isand66's picture
isand66

Excellent crust and crumb on that clay pot masterpiece.

Your crumb looks like it just melts away when eating!

Regards,
Ian

4akitchenblog's picture
4akitchenblog

Ian, 

I truly appreciate your comment! Thanks so much :-)

Warm regards,

Yuko

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

loaf of bread!  Your clay pot is very nice too.  Is there a hole  in the top to let steam out like mine?  I just break a chopstick off in the hole when I bake bread in it. 

Just beautiful baking!

4akitchenblog's picture
4akitchenblog

dabrownman,

My clay pot doesn't have a hole to let the steam out. There are a lot of types of Japanese clay pot and I know exact one you are talking about which has a hole on the lid :-) I like your idea of putting a chopstick to close the hole!

Yuko

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

:) Beautiful photography and a handsome loaf, too. And thank you for introducing donabe to us! I'm now keen on locating and puchasing one for myself. (The symbolism and its usability as a "cloche" is admirable.)

A question: Are there certain donabes I must avoid if I were to use it to bake bread?

Zita

4akitchenblog's picture
4akitchenblog

Zita,

Thanks for your comment :-)

I think you can use any kinds of donabe for baking bread, but just please make sure the maximum oven temperature at which you can heat it in the oven. I would say 500°F. Also, if you use the donabe which has a hole on the lid, I highly recommend that you close the hole with aluminum foil or something to prevent the steam from escaping. You want the steam for making perfect crust on your bread :-)

Yuko

evonlim's picture
evonlim

lovely bread and pot :) 

evon

4akitchenblog's picture
4akitchenblog

evon,

Thanks for your compliment!!!

Yuko

Wingnut's picture
Wingnut

linky thing if anyone is interested in buying one like me. All the sites I found were all about the same price $130.00

http://www.tortoisegeneralstore.com/online_store/index.php/new-featured/fukkura-san-donabe.html

Cheers,

Wingnut

4akitchenblog's picture
4akitchenblog

Wingnut,

As long as you close the hole on the lid to keep the steam from escaping, you can use any kinds of Japanese clay pot for baking bread, I assume :-) Please make sure the pot is completely dry when you preheat the oven.

Happy Baking!

Yuko

carefreebaker's picture
carefreebaker

I do not have one but I wonder if a tangine would work?

4akitchenblog's picture
4akitchenblog

I think a tagine could work... Please make sure what is the maximum temperature you can heat your tagine, including the lid. I would say 500°F.

Also, the pot should be very very dry when you put it in your oven, otherwise it will break. Please have a look at this post. It is very informative! http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2009/03/31/baking-bread-in-a-closed-clay-pot-cloche-the-best-crust-yet

Yuko

 



Wingnut's picture
Wingnut

I was just giving a link for those that might want it. I am happy with my cast iron dutch ovens but I think the clay pot thingy is cool looking and a nice conversation piece too. Not a hater, just a say-er. Wink*

All the best, cheers,

Wingnut

4akitchenblog's picture
4akitchenblog

Thanks, Wingnut :-) 

Cheers,

Yuko

Buster1948's picture
Buster1948

I recently received a tajine as a present. I am still figuring out how to use it. Your clay pot method gives me an idea. I'll let you know whether I blow my stove up.

Thanks.

 

Buster

Buster1948's picture
Buster1948

Yuko, while I am sure that your name is far from unique, I am just countrified enough to ask whether you ever tutored children in Japanese language in Alabama? If so, you may know me.

4akitchenblog's picture
4akitchenblog

Buster,

Thank you for your comment :-)

I think a tajine / tagine pot could work for baking bread. Please make sure what is the maximum temperature you can heat your tajine, including the lid. Also, the pot should be dry when you put it in your oven, otherwise it will break... Preheat the pot in the oven 500°F one hour before you plan to bake your bread.

Please have a look at this post. It is very informative! 

http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2009/03/31/baking-bread-in-a-closed-clay-pot-cloche-the-best-crust-yet

I've never been to Alabama... but I would like to visit there sometime :-) 

Yuko