You are correct it is clay ceramic they call it stone ware. This one came from the pampered chef collection. I am finding it cooks bread better for me than open oven but being so new to baking I really have no idea what is best. I just know I dont need an egg wash for color. This is my take on the wonderful rustic recipe minus just rye flour I cannot find it around here I may have to order via internet,and this was with my own sourdough starter. More pictures of crumb to come when it has cooled.