The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

14" x 5-1/2" covered bakers - max capacity?

MontBaybaker's picture

14" x 5-1/2" covered bakers - max capacity?

I've now made 3 different 32-34 oz recipes in my new KAF long clay baker.  The instructions, also for the Emile Henry (slightly smaller) and the Superstone/Sassafras (same size) all say no more than 2 lb (3-4 c. flour) of dough.  In my bakes, and in all the photos of recipes on their websites, the finished loaves are at most 1-2" above the top of the base.  The recipes on KAF are 23-39 oz.  Based on the height of a nearly proofed 2lb-er, seems it would easily hold 2-1/2 to 2-3/4 lb. with no chance of the lid sticking.  Is there a reason I'm not understanding for the 2 lb limit? 

If you have one of these bakers, what is the maximum amount of dough you've baked successfully? 

The main reason I bought this size is to produce a large, long loaf with many even slices to share with neighborhood families.  They enjoy being TFL testers and I get feedback on technique.  Otherwise, I'm baking for 2.  It also fits in the oven with a round or oval cloche.  Thanks!  

jimbtv's picture

> Is there a reason I'm not understanding for the 2 lb limit?

I can only surmise that the concern would be contact between the bread and the lid, possibly lifting the lid off the base during the bake (loss of steam) and a potential for adhesion between the bread and the lid. Also, by closing the gap there is less room for steam early in the bake and this might effect the outcome.

As you know different ingredients and different leaveners cause different amounts of oven spring. I suppose one could build a formula that would lift the lid. KAF is probably directing their recommendations to the average baker and average formula.

With the experience you are gathering from using the clay baker you should be able to adjust your formulas to accommodate your needs.

DanAyo's picture

Jim is right. A good while back I asked the very same question. If 2 baker’s each baked the identical recipe, there is a good chance the breads would not be equal in size. Too many variables. Experiment and keep notes. 

You may be interested in something like this.

The top of the pan will confine the loaf, making the slices uniform. The bread will not have a free formed look, though.