The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Testing the Emile Henry Bread Loaf Baker

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Testing the Emile Henry Bread Loaf Baker

I really love creating boules and batards. But there are times that a standard loaf shape just makes more sense. Metal loaf pans never did what I wanted, but a few months back I received the Emile Henry Loaf Baker and today I gave it a try.  

Normally in the summer I only bake breads outside, but because I was baking for a party, I turned on the oven and decided to finally give the new baker a try.

I did a standard pain au levain and decided to bake side by side with a boule to get some comparison. I didn't proof the loaf in the baker because I like my cloche to be hot and thought I would use the same approach. The only problem was the warm weather had caused my dough to expand a little too much and needed a little squish to get in. But it recovered from that quite nicely.

Here are the two loaves side by side. I got pretty much the same results as the boule with oven spring and coloring (The loaf hit the top of of the baker so it was just the right size) I had absolutely no sticking or any problems at all. Looks like it will make nice sandwich slices.

twoLoaves

The boule was quite musical today. It sang to me for a very long time. Never get tired of that sound! I have been extremely impressed with the Emile Henry products. Next on the list is the baguette baker.

SingeBoule

 

 

Comments

David White's picture
David White

But I have to admit, somehow I read the headline as the "Emile Heskey Bread Loaf Baker" and that's what drew me in.  Emile Heskey won't mean anything to most of you, but it might just give somebody a chuckle.....

But seriously, the loaves do look great!

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

started baking after he left Liverpool.

David White's picture
David White

I only hope he was better at that - he surely didn't need the dough (sorry, couldn't stop myself...)

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

I have no idea who that is but apparently others do. Thanks for the comments.

Jon OBrien's picture
Jon OBrien
ANNA GIORDANI's picture
ANNA GIORDANI

Ciao Ed,

niente male il tuo Pane....complimenti anche per aver avuto il coraggio, con il gran caldo, di accendere il forno.....

Un abbraccio, Anna

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Cara Anna, sono stato molto fortunato per un giorno di pioggia più fresco. Molto raro vorrei accendere un forno caldo in estate. Grazie per i vostri commenti e di fermarsi e dire ciao.

CAphyl's picture
CAphyl

Edo Bread: I think the Emile Henry bakers are the best. I have the domed baker in the UK, in Liverpool, which seems to be a theme here. I have never seen the loaf pan and would love to try it. Thanks for sharing. Maybe I will get one for Christmas. Congrats on the nice bakes. Best, Phyllis

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

I am with you, they really make a great product. I am pretty sure this is a new product for them and so far it has only produced really nice loaves and as I learn about it, they seem to be improving. Would make a nice wish list item for sure. Thanks for the comments!

JLF's picture
JLF
JLF's picture
JLF

EDO Bread, I just purchased the Emile Henry loaf baker. The bread you baked in it looks great. Would you share your recipe with me? I am not sure what size will be a good fit for the pan. Thanks, Julia

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

JLF  - It has been long enough I have no idea what recipe I used for this post. I have done dozens of different ones at this point. As an estimate I usually have about 850-900g of dough that I will use in this baker.

All of my loafs use wild yeast and a variety of flours. I think if you get a size in that ballpark you should be fine.

Let me know if you need any more information. I think you are going to like it.

JLF's picture
JLF

Thanks for your speedy response regarding the dough amount. Two more questions: I usually bake boules in a dutch oven which I preheat at 500F, then drop down to 450F. The instruction for this one say to proof it in the pan.  Did you try that or do you prefer to preheat? Also, do you take the lid off after a while? I usually bake 30 minutes with the lid on, then remove it.

Thanks again@

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Good questions. I have their cloche and use it just like you do your dutch oven. I have experimented a little bit with this. I started off heating the baker (also to 500F) and then dropping the dough in. I think that is what I did for this post. That is not an easy maneuver though and it is easy to get some dough to fold on itself. So, I started proofing in the baker and have gotten really excellent results. 

I definitely take the lid off after after 20-30 minutes. I also tend to keep the oven temp at 500 while the lid is on,  maybe down to 485 or so when the lid comes off. I am at a high altitude so I bake a little hot.

Hope that helps!

JLF's picture
JLF

Thanks for your answers! I will try it tomorrow :)

JLF's picture
JLF

First sourdough loaf turned out great. Preheated oven to 500F, proofed in the loaf pan, baked at 450F for 30 minutes with lid. Took lid off, inserted thermometer and kept baking until it reached 203F. Thanks again for your tips regarding dough weight, proofing etc.

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Fantastic! Glad to hear it all worked out for you. Do you have any pics? Would love to see the results.

JLF's picture
JLF

JLF's picture
JLF

A bit too much flour at the bottom but that was knocked off easily. Crumb was good as well.

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Looks good. yes, a little extra flour is easily taken care of. I think it was smart to err on the side of too much on the first few bakes to be sure it did not stick to the baker.

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

in the pan with the lid on?? Then put it cold into a 450 oven? Total bake time?? Thanks looks great!

PS Weight of dough?

JLF's picture
JLF

Yes, I proofed in the pan with the lid on. I preheated the oven to 500F for about 30 minutes. I baked the loaf with the lid on for 30 minutes, then took the lid off and baked until the interior temperature of the bread was 203F.

This is the no knead recipe I used:

310g white whole wheat flour (or 210g white whole wheat and 100g whole rye)

100g bread flour or all purpose flour

 172 sourdough

 10g salt

 120g vital wheat gluten

 365g water

JLF's picture
JLF

Please note that I preheated to 500F but baked the bread at 450F.

JLF's picture
JLF

Please note the correction for the above mentioned recipe!

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

I missed that - that would have been quite the gluten mass!

Lindaaa's picture
Lindaaa

I just purchased the Emile Henry loaf Baker and made my first loaf. My sourdough bread (which I usually bake in a dutch oven) stuck to the sides, the top and the bottom. I ended up making bread pudding with the soft part of the bread because the crust stuck tight to the pan and had to be soaked in water to be removed. I haven't seen any comments referring to the sticking problem, has anyone had this problem and what do I do about it?

Panadera's picture
Panadera

Same just happened to me. I had to pry the lid open. Too much dough? Should the lid be greased/floured as well?

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Finding the right amount of dough is part of it. I have started flouring tops too and haven't had to the pry off in a long time.

Lindaaa's picture
Lindaaa

Yes, that's what happened to me. A proper bread baking pan should not allow the dough to stick. And you shouldn't have to put butter or flour to bake bread. I was told this was a really exclusive piece of equipment for bakers but clearly it's never been tested for that purpose. Williams and Sonoma did refund my purchase when I returned it.

 

Lindaaa's picture
Lindaaa

Yes, that's what happened to me. A proper bread baking pan should not allow the dough to stick. And you shouldn't have to put butter and flour to bake bread. I was told this was a really exclusive piece of equipment for bakers but clearly it's never been tested for that purpose. Williams and Sonoma did refund my purchase when I returned it.

 

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Totally disagree. I think just like a cast iron skillet, a wok - many thing things. It takes some seasoning, and getting used to it. I have probably baked 100 loaves in that particular piece of gear and none stuck after the first couple and they weren't even that bad but didnt dust with flour.

snielsen's picture
snielsen (not verified)

Hi,  

I mill my own grains in an electric GrainMaker model 99, cook in a outdoor ceramic wood fired oven and use ceramic bakeware, many of which are Emile Henry.  I my mind, they are all terrific tools to help me enjoy my baking.  

It’s so fun to read about other folks and their adventures.  I also do a fair amount of smoking meats and bbq too.  🙂👍

Love it all,

Steve

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Hey Steve,

Thanks for the reply. Sounds like you have a great setup and have things working well. I feel like with an open mind and trial and error we can find what works best for us. It is a shame when others just want to bad mouth or say you are wrong. So, nice to hear you have some of the same experience I do. I really feel like the heat conducted by a clay baker is similar to a ceramic oven and that is why you get similar and great results.

Not sure if you have posted much on your oven - but I will look for it.

snielsen's picture
snielsen (not verified)

Thank you.  I’ll have to put some pictures on here.   Happy baking 🙂

Steve

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Great! Please do - always interested in seeing what people are using.