The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

cloche vs cast iron pot

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christinepi's picture
christinepi

cloche vs cast iron pot

I baked sourdough bread today. It had risen really nicely. I use a cast iron pot to bake in. When I ever so carefully dumped in the dough into the preheated pot, I noticed it lost a fair amount of volume when it hit the pot's bottom, and the finished product is quite dense. I'm wondering whether a cloche with a low edge would be a better idea? Not as high a fall?

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

I have not used a cloche,  but when I use a dutch oven,  instead of preheating the dutch oven,  I spray it with pam while at room temperature, and let the dough rise in it, and put it in the oven when it is ready.  I think there have been some posts here that say that there is not much advantage to putting the dough in a hot dutch oven, and doing it this way avoids the danger of handling the hot dutch oven, and the drop in volume. 

Greg D's picture
Greg D

I do preheat my cast iron dutch ovens in a 475 degree oven for about 1/2 hour.  By the time I am ready to bake they are screaming hot.  But - I place each of my proofed and ready-to-bake loaves on a piece of parchment paper (size of a 1/2 sheet pan) and then grasp two opposite corners of the parchment paper and gently lower the loaf into the hot cast iron dutch oven.  Then I put on the lid and return the dutch ovens to the hot oven to bake for the recommended time before removing the lids for the last 20 -30 minutes to brown the top of the loaves. I have had no problems with deflation and I have not been burned (yet).  Leaving the parchment paper under the loaves while the bread bakes has not caused any problems for me - the loaves come out perfectly browned and crisp on bottom and sides.  The corners of the parchment paper stick out above the loaf and get fairly brown (or black) but no fires (yet).

christinepi's picture
christinepi

that you don't put the dough into proofing baskets at all, but rather set out parchment paper on the countertop (or on any flat surface), and let it proof covered with a towel/cling film?

Greg D's picture
Greg D

No, I use a cloche to hold the bread while proofing.  I turn the cloche upside down to place the bread on the parchment paper and then lower the parchment paper into the dutch oven.  This is the method that Ken Forkish uses in his book and I really like it. 

FueledByCoffee's picture
FueledByCoffee

the Cloche has a bit of a lip as well which I find obnoxious...so I just use the dome from the Cloche and my baking stone...I found the long clay baker at the thrift store as well and picked it up for a fraction of what you would pay retail..I can fit both the cloche dome and the oblong on the baking stone together so I typically bake a boule and a demi-baguette.  Works perfectly well for me.  As some people have pointed out in other threads you can build your own cloche with a clay pot from the garden section of your local hardware store and a few nuts and bolts to make a handle - probably works just as well and then you have a little more control of the dimensions of your dome...

christinepi's picture
christinepi

That's pretty clever!

cmtigger's picture
cmtigger

I usually use a combo cooker, and put the frying pan part on the bottom, so there isn't very far for the loaf to fall.

pongze's picture
pongze

works great!

ratatouille's picture
ratatouille

I really like the lodge inverted dutch oven , very low lip, but i have just been using a lecreuset and have had great results