The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking rye breads under a cloche

fleur-de-liz's picture
fleur-de-liz

Baking rye breads under a cloche

I love the results of baking bread under a cloche, but have used the cloche mostly with white and whole wheat based breads. Has anyone baked rye breads 'en cloche' or any other type of enclosed top baker? Were the breads better than baking directly on a stone with steam?

I assume that a cloche would be as effective with rye breads as with wheat, but would love to hear about your direct experiences as I am envisioning a rye bread baking weekend coming up!

Thanks so much,

Liz

JERSK's picture
JERSK

   I've been baking rye breads under a cloche and believe they're way better than just on a stone. They have better oven spring and crust. The only drawback is you can only do one at a time, so I try to stagger rising when baking multiple loaves.

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

 I made this rye today in my oval 4 1/2 qt. Le Creuset (Shown in backround). I used KA Rye Blend Flour which is made up of Organic Whole Rye, White Rye, AP flour, Malted Barley flour. I used 2 cups of the blend and 1 3/4 cup AP flour. I added a couple of TRye Bread in Le Creuset:

I've baked rye bread under cover a lot of times. You can see photos and recipes if you search under: RYE BREAD IN LE CREUSET and RYE NYT BREAD and RYE IN LA CLOCHE. The bread never failed to bake high, crusty loaves and taste delicious. I highly recommend it.

weavershouse

ehanner's picture
ehanner

That Rye loaf makes a statement weavershouse! How does the crumb look when it's expanded like that? Is it still even pockets and a good sandwich?

Eric

fleur-de-liz's picture
fleur-de-liz

Thank you JERSK and Weavershouse for confirming that rye breads are also improved by baking under cover.

Weavershouse: That rye loaf is stunning! Which recipe did you use for that one? Have you tried baking with freshly milled rye? I am contemplating trying Hamelman's rye with flax seeds this weekend. The rye starter is percolating as we speak.....

I'll also do the searches that you suggested.

Thank you,

Liz

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

RYE BREAD CRUMBRYE BREAD CRUMB         

Here's the crumb from the loaf shown above. Hope you give it a try.

Liz, I swear I'm going to grind my rye soon. I look at it everyday and can't wait but things have been busy here. As soon as I can I'm getting the job done. I only have 1/2 of a rye loaf in the freezer so that will push me to start grinding.                                   weavershouse

Susan's picture
Susan

Just gorgeous, inside and out. Congrats!

Susan from San Diego

browndog's picture
browndog

Looks like the perfect loaf, weavershouse, with the perfect crumb.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I can taste the grilled corned beef, swiss cheese and Dijon..beautiful, that rye looks awesome!

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

You're all so nice.                                                                                    weavershouse

ejm's picture
ejm

That loaf of rye is beautiful, weavershouse!

 

Has anyone used a pyrex casserole dish upside down as a cloche? Or does a cloche have to be porous in order to work properly?

 

-Elizabeth

 

P.S. I'm still trying to work up the nerve to bake bread in our claypot but just can't quite put my head around putting bread into a cold oven (even though there are quite long threads here about doing just that) Here are just three:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/1843/no-knead-preheat

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4561/aarggh-need-some-help-here-cold-start-baking

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/3401/nyt-bread-bread-pan-cold-oven

 

 

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

If you were to buy a new Le Creuset for bread baking what size and shape would you get.  I notice weavershouse is using a 4 1/2 quart, but Im not sure if its oval or round. 

I have been kicking the idea around of getting one for some time, but have opted to keep steaming my oven.  But boy does weavershouse make this look alot easier.  I notice they sell all sorts of sizes and shapes so Im wondering what the masses think is the best size for breads.

Thanks all,

TT

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

I use a 4.5 quart, 9.5 inch round le creuset and find it great for a 1.5 kilo loaf. Here's a link to a mixed grain sourdough made in it

http://web.mac.com/andrew_l/iWeb/Site%202/Photos%202.html

but it was preheated... Weavershouse, do you preheat your le creuset or bake from cold?  I bake in a cold oven when not using the le creuset but as it comes out so well I am tending to bake in the preheated le creuset more and more!

 

Tattooedtonka, go for it!

 

Andrew 

 

 

Bart's picture
Bart

I always preheat for about 45 minutes with the die-cast pot (mine is not a Creuset.)  

That loaf is fantastic!  How do you do the crust?  Is it just pinching the dough together?

Bart 

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

So you have probably solved the problem by now. However, I wanted to alert everyone to the inexpensive Le Creuset knock-offs at Target. TJ Maxx also has some beautiful enameled cast iron dutch ovens.


Patricia

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

 Thanks for the compliment! Not hard to do - when I'm shaping the dough  I use a lot of flour on the work surface and rotate the loaf quite a few times, sort of easing it under itself until the underneath is very much "ruched" or pleated in effect, with flour in the ruches. When turned over, it looks a bit like a closed up sea anenome...! It then goes into a well floured basket with the pleated side down, so when it has risen enough and gets transferred to the hot le creuset, the pleated side is now upwards - it doesn't look pleated at this stage, but the loaf has developed a slightly dry skin, and as it does its oven spring it is forced to open again along the floured pleats, resulting in the patterned crust. Usually it works well - sometimes I drop it in leaning to one side or the other so the pleated bits which open are off centre but it still looks good to me! And always gets a "wow" from whoever it is served to!

 

Andrew 

 

 

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

TT, my Le Creuset is oval. I used to use an old oval ryestraw bread basket lined with floured (actually, cornstarched, which works great) linen cloth to proof. Now I still use the basket and cloth but line it with a piece of parchment so I can just pick up the dough after it's risen and put it down into the Le Creuset. It's much easier for me than trying to turn the loaf into the hot pot. Go look for a bargain on a Le Creuset and give it a try, you'll love it. Or, maybe another brand pot. The latest Cook's magazine has an article about baking under cover and they suggest as a BEST BUY a Tramontina enamaled cast iron pot as being both high quality and low cost. $39.86 for 6.5 qt. compared to $229.95 for a comparable Le Creuset. I don't know Tramontina or what other sizes they sell but it might be worth checking out.

 

And yes I do preheat when I'm cooking under cover. I usually don't preheat otherwise but I think a preheat  works better for cooking with a lid. And Andrew, your loaf is gorgeous.

 

ejm, I swear I replied to your question above about using a pyrex bowl but I don't see it so I probably never pressed the right button. Anyway, I don't think the container has to be porous to work. I did think that at one time but I've used enamaled cast iron and stainless steel and aluminum foil and they all work good. I would worry too much about pyrex glass or ceramic breaking but we have a famous baker here on TFL who bakes under a glass pyrex bowl and does an excellent job of it. She takes great care and suggests anyone else do the same.                                                                                                                        weavershouse

Susan's picture
Susan

More likely infamous!

Yes, I started out using a big Pyrex bowl, and loved it 'cause I could SEE the dough rising! So very cool. But, I now use SS bowls or pots to bake my bread. Pyrex is very heavy and very hot. Much safer to use stainless.

(Thanks for the compliment, Weavershouse. I feel honored because you are such an accomplished baker.)

Susan from San Diego

ejm's picture
ejm

I can't see myself springing for Le Creuset (or even the recommended less expensive pots) in the near future but I do have a very large pyrex casserole dish - it's actually what I use for mixing and rising bread dough.

 

Susan, do you just put the shaped loaf onto the inverted lid of your pyrex bowl? And let it rise under the bowl itself? And then put the lid and bowl into the oven when it's time to bake? Or is the shaped loaf put onto a tray?

 

I can see that it would be quite unwise to use a peel....

 

-Elizabeth

 

 

Susan's picture
Susan

Once more, words get in our way! You are speaking of a large Pyrex casserole, I think, while I am speaking of a large Pyrex ovenproof mixing bowl. Now, I use only a very large SS mixing bowl (I bought it at Wal-Mart for $5) which does the job beautifully.

Any large ovenproof SS cooking pot with handles that don't get in the way of using it upside down would work, too. I slide the loaf, on parchment, into the oven onto a heated cookie sheet or baking stone, then overturn the bowl or pot on top of it. Leave the cover on about half the cooking time, then carefully remove it by sliding a spatula under the edge, lift the cover up enough to put an oven-mitted hand under the edge, then lift it up and over the loaf. Hope this all makes sense, but if it doesn't, just ask. Oh, you can yank the parchment right out from under the loaf at this point and use it again later for another loaf or two.

Look around your kitchen. You may find you have exactly what you need; even a turkey roaster might do. Your Pyrex casserole could certainly be used upside down, but it would be difficult to manhandle the very hot, very heavy upside-down casserole out of your oven, so I don't recommend that you use it.

Here are examples of bowls I used/use:

 December 31, 1969????  Just playing with image upload--all new to me. Pyrex Bowl

SS Bowl

Whatever you use, be careful! Let us know how it all turns out.

Susan from San Diego

ejm's picture
ejm

Many thanks for this clarification, Susan!

 

You're absolutely right; I have many things in the kitchen that will work just as well, if not better than our pyrex casserole dish. Next time I bake freeform bread, I'll give this method a shot.

 

-Elizabeth 

Ruth Redburn's picture
Ruth Redburn

  Susan,  I am looking for the recipe for Eric's fav rye bread.  Can you steer me in the right direction.  I know you sbaked it.  Thanks, Ruth              Ruth Redburn

Susan's picture
Susan

It's on this page: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/5076/eric039s-fav-rye

I just searched for Eric's Fav Rye and it popped right up.

Have fun.

Susan from San Diego

Ruth Redburn's picture
Ruth Redburn

    Thanks so much, Susan.  We are in New Jersey now, but lived in Downey and Camarillo for most of our married life.  I envy you today,   It is COLD and rainy, with snow being threatened.            Ruth Redburn

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

You're too funny. Infamous! What's even funnier is you calling me an accomplished baker. Ask my hens how much bread they get to eat. They, of course, don't care about crust or crumb or rise or fall. It's just bread to them.

 

I didn't know you switched to SS covers. I just bought a SS bowl like yours and love the way it works. Your loaf looks great as usual.                                                                        weavershouse

JERSK's picture
JERSK

  I would think a cast iron dutch oven would work as well as a LeCreuset or LaCloche. It could probably be found considerably cheaper than either and I would think would heat up quicker. You could heat it up on a stove top. I've never heard of anyone trying it though.

campcook's picture
campcook

Many of the so-called "no-knead" or "all most no-knead" procedures call for baking in a cast iron dutch oven.  I have been doing this with great results.  

 This past weekend, I made a whole wheat and a rye loaf and baked them together one in a cloche and one in a dutch oven.  They were on the same rack in the oven.  I started with a cold oven and both cloche and dutch oven were at room temp.  I set the oven to fast preheat to 500 degrees and then reset the oven to 450 about ten minutes after the oven reached temp.  After 40 minutes of bake time I removed both covers.  After 20 minutes more I started checking internal temperature and pulled the loaves at 205 degrees.  

To my surprise, the dutch oven loaf reached temperature faster and the crust was darker.  Also, the total bake time was about five minutes more than starting with a preheated oven.  The cloche time was about 5 minutes longer than for the dutch oven.  Both loaves were really excellent.  I think it is toss-up as to which works better.

Dave

an engineer trying to bake good bread.  Have Nutrimill and DLX

Atlanta Karen's picture
Atlanta Karen

I agree. I've been using a cheap but huge cast iron dutch oven for all my breads since the NYTimes recipe came out last year. The crusts come out nice and dark. If you are using the pot mainly for bread baking, there's no reason to spend big bucks on an enameled dutch oven and then fret about subjecting it to high temps. I found a 9 quart cast iron monster online for about 30 bucks last year. I can bake a full 3 or 4 lb loaf in it at a time. When not in use, it lives in my second oven.

Another option I discovered is an $8 black ceramic earthenware Korean pot and lid combo that holds about 4 quarts. It's oven and supposedly stovetop safe. I found it at Super H-Mart supermarket here in ATL, but I think H-Mart is now in a number of metro areas in the US. I used it once for a bread and it handled the 450 degree temp fine. At that price, you could buy a few.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

I was hoping someone would mention the worries about overheating the expensive enameled dutch ovens because I seemed to remember there was quite a discussion when the no knead bread first became popular. Did anyone ever come up with the answer? I use a stainless steel dutch oven that came with my pans as a bonus, made by Tools of the Trade. Then for my regular bread I use the ss mixing bowl and pre-heated stone. Be sure to use an oven mitt when removing it, a lesson I learned the hard way! A.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

=== I was hoping someone would mention the worries about overheating the expensive enameled dutch ovens because I seemed to remember there was quite a discussion when the no knead bread first became popular. Did anyone ever come up with the answer? ===

Enameled cast iron is fired at around 1400 deg.F so the pot itself will not even notice any temperature produced by a home oven (a home blacksmith forge with a bellows burning coke would be a different story). The concern is generally for the handle on the lid - some of the handles on the market are resin-based to make them feel cooler to the touch, and this handle could melt and/or the hole for the mounting screw go out of round. The Lodge enameled cast iron have stainless steel handles that could withstand anything outside a forging shop.

sPh

caryn's picture
caryn

SPh- I just got a Lodge 6 quart enameled cast iron pot that has a handle that is most likely resin based, and does not have stainless steel handles.  I guess some models must be different.  I would like to try the NYT NK recipe using it, but I would worry that I might compromise the handle, so if I use that technique again, I may use my 4-5 quart Pyres casserole that I did the last time.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Interesting. These are the ones I saw in the store near me and per the web site they do have a stainless handle and are listed for 500 deg.F. Higher price than LeCruset though.

sPh

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Is it the handle on the lid that's resin based?  If so, your local hardware store can probably sell you a metal replacement handle for a dollar or two.

caryn's picture
caryn

Thank you for your suggestion, KipperCat.  I did think of it, but I just bought the pot, and would worry that by doing so, I might do something to compromise it- like chip it.

I am sure I have a lot of other things I could use to try some of these baking techniques. I wonder if just using a disposible roasting pan on top of the loaf while it bakes on the stone and removing it after 10 to 15 minutes would accomplish the same thing.  I know some time ago there was a discussion about doing just that.

Has anyone compared using an aluminum pan over a stone verses using a a heavy pot or cloche?

audra36274's picture
audra36274

We see Alton Brown using clay flower pots for all sorts of things in the oven. They can withstand a lot of heat, and talk about cheap! They sell locally at the feed and seed for about $3. to $10., at Walmart for $5 to $15 -hum low priced leader? And if it would work, what about the hole in the bottom for drainage. I'm sure it would help in the picking it up when its upside down, just stick something strong in the hole and lift, but would that hole change the inside atmosphere of the dome?

   Am I understanding everyone correctly? You start with a cold oven and a hot cover? Put the loaf in the cold oven, cover with the dome (pyrex, Lecreuset, reg cast iron, what have you), take it off half way through the cook time, and in the end you will have a beauty like the ones above? They are fantastic ya'll! I'm green with envy! I'm I just now have my starter on my Jewish Rye to my liking, a new batch if yeast is due on my doorstep any minute, and I would love to experiment a bit, since I'm doing several test loaves anyway. You are a bunch of talented folks. It is an honor to know you. 

ejm's picture
ejm

I have heard that it is unadvisable to use garden center clay pots. They may have lead in them....

 

-Elizabeth 

audra36274's picture
audra36274

The pots I refered to at the local feed and seed are made here locally from red Georgia clay. The Walmart ones I wouldn't be so sure about. Never mind. I will just stick to the above discussed metals. Good heads up.                                                                                     Audra

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

It was my le creuset that cracked and had a piece of the handle pop out making the NYT bread when it first came out. There are 2 2" cracks in the lid. I was very unhappy. I soon learned though that the reason for the damage was because my oven was set for 450 degrees but was actually cooking at 550 degrees. I've since had the oven fixed. Luckily I can still use the pot but it will never be as pretty as it used to be. It's modeling days are over.

 

I use my le creuset pots for baking bread all the time but never exceed 450 degrees and I would sugguest you not take the chance either. Regular cast iron would probably be ok but not the enameled. The enamel on the inside of my poor pot is very dark like it was burnt. No chipping thankfully.

 

 

swtgran's picture
swtgran

First time I wanted to try the NYT no knead bread I didn't have a dutch oven, nor did I want to buy one since I didn't know if it would work.  I rummaged around and found an antique cast iron chicken fryer with a domed lid.  It worked perfectly and I love that it has the longer handle to work with.

 I no longer intend to get anything else.  It is my new bread baker.  Swtgran

JERSK's picture
JERSK

  I've seen Alton use clay pots and would think he would be savvy to any lead in them.The hole in the pot would definitely effect the baking some. One of the reasons for cooking like this is to contain moisture. If the dough doesn't actually touch the clay it shouldn't hurt, but how could you tell? One of the advantages of LaCloche is the hemi-spherical shape creating true convection in them. Pyrex bowls should have the same benefit. I got my LaCloche at a yard sale for $5.00. I didn't know what it was at first. It works great but I wouldn't pay $50.00 for it.

ejm's picture
ejm

It's not that I think Alton wouldn't have been careful to make sure that the clay pots he was using didn't have lead in them. It was just a cautionary word. Lots of us have garden clay pots in our garages - one has no idea what kind of clay was used to make them. They're probably okay but personally, I don't think I would take the risk.

 

Lucky you to have gotten your LaCloche at a yard sale for $5.00!

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Some time ago a member posted a picture of her home made cloche - anyone remember who and when? All it took was a large wide clay pot, a couple of washers and an eye bolt ( I think ) to make the handle. I have baked the NKB in a flower pot with a pan lid on top. I used parchment paper to block the hole, apart from the time I forgot and the bread had a cute little tail. My pot was made in the USA so I figured it was safe, but I know people have expressed concern. I know sure as eggs I would drop a real La Cloche so I will stick with my ss bowl, A.

Ramona's picture
Ramona

A couple of years ago, I found out that glazed dishes, pots, cups, ect. coming to the USA from places like the Asian countries and some others are not regulated enough and do contain lead.  I came across this when I was at Walmart one day and they had pulled some mugs off of the shelve due to high levels of lead.  I naively assumed that our country would never let lead be in any products coming into America.  I was duped!  Now look at all they have been finding about what really does enter our gates.  I also found out this week that the USA gets 80% of our fish from the Asian countries and that only 1% is checked for chemicals and poisonings and rejected because they are always over the limits.  But 79% makes it through.  But 100% of fish caught by American fishermen is checked.  And we know about all the toys being recalled from lead.  How much have we not known about and how long has our government been turning a blind eye for political friendliness.  I won't buy any glazed dish unless it is made in America.  The sad thing though is that companies that had good glazed products that use to be made here, are now being made in countries that use unsafe ingredients. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

on ceramic and you'll tend to avoid the lead.  Lead is used to make low temperature high gloss, glazes.  Stick to Stonewear, porcellain and china, where no lead is involved... it would literally run off the pot in the higher kiln temperatures.  As far as the clay flower pots are concerned, the bread should not directly touch the pots just to be on the safe side.  

Mini O

Geoloaf's picture
Geoloaf

I've made a total of 3 loaves of bread... EVER... and all in the last 2 weeks.  I'm just starting out.  The first 2 loaves... well, they barely qualify as "loaves", much less as "bread".  Once they cooled, they went straight into the trash can.  I knew nothing about why dough rises.  My 3rd attempt was made with lots of education and pointers from TFL, including this post about covered baking and what to use for it.  While my 3rd attempt was rising, I ran out and bought a box of 6 Old Stone Oven 6x6-inch baking tiles ($42, oh well) and a $13 8-qt SS mixing bowl.  It worked great!  I probably should have removed the bowl about half-way through the baking to brown the crust, but this, my first success, turned out pretty nice!  It was SD with a little whole wheat in it.  (It's been eaten already!)  It smelled and tasted very good!  Thanks all, especially Susan!


 


Keith