The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Is baking in a pot cheating?

npsmama's picture

Is baking in a pot cheating?

I was wondering about this as I am getting a much higher success rate baking yeasted/sourdough breads in a covered clay pot even though the recipe wants them to be baked the usual way.


But then I thought to myself: well, who is the judge? Answer: I am. 


And then actually it occurred to me that baking in a pot mimics wood fired ovens and I came to the conclusion that pot baking was more authentic than 'conventional' baking!

Tell you another thing: I am lousey at slashing loaves...and I find that with the pot method they don't actually need slashing. Hurray! One dilemma less!


Just thought I'd share my rambling thoughts. 

demegrad's picture

I think you hit the nail on the head.  If the bread is good and you like it, theres no reason to change.   I think the really cool clay pot is pretty expensive which is why a lot of people probably aviod using one.  But if you got one, go for it.  And if you got it cheap even better


andrew_l's picture

Since the NYT method hit the newqs, I've been baking in a le creuset more and more.Using my usual mehtods and recipes, but I came to the same conclusion - it more closely resembles traditional wood fired domestic ovens than a  modern oven does, gives excellent results and does away with all of these to slash or not to slash, to mist or not to mist issues! Only if I want a different shape, or to make buns, do I abandon my le ceuset now!

Bart's picture

I got familiar doing it after making no knead bread, I use a die cast pot


The result is great, and I think baking is more regular.

Even though I have an expensive oven

I think this gives the best result, so I use it all the time. 


rojasrod's picture

What kind of clay pot are you using? is it one of those oval earthenware cooking pots?

do you preheat the clay pot in the oven?


or do you just preheat the oven and then put the cold pot with the bread in it?




Thunder Bay/ Canada

PsDenys's picture

I agree NPSmama, using a pot gives great results. I've never used a wood fired oven, so I can't compare, but I'm happy with my breads this way. I used to use a cast iron dutch oven with the no knead breads. I heated it with the oven and got great results except that the bread spread out more than up. Now I use a La Cloche, which I also heat with the oven. With the La Cloche you have to heat it with the oven or the "thermal shock" will crack it.

I love the results. I don't have to worry about pouring boiling water into a steam pan, and I still get great crusts. I've also been getting much more oven spring since I started baking in the La Cloche. I've been using the cloche with all of my breads lately, not just the NK kind.

By the way, if you want different shapes, you can also get an oblong La Cloche. I have the round one and the oblong one. Both are great.