The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New toy

Novice's picture

New toy

Hi Baker's,

I recently received a new toy, a cloche baking dome. I got it because it is better designed to put the dough into  than my large iron casserole.

Should I, do you, preheat it (lid and all) before putting in the dough (that has come form the fridge) in it? I just don't seem to get as much spring as I do just slinging it in the oven or in the iron pot. Seems I am going backwards in my quest :(
See post about the Illusive cracking crust!

I spritz and slash the same in all cases.

I tried top and bottom elements instead of fan but the top just gets too baked, as the dough is quite close to the element. I use my smaller(3/4 size) oven as the other one takes too long to heat up to 250˚ .

Any more suggestions?

Thank you and Happy New Baking Year to you all!!

barryvabeach's picture

Which one did you get?   The different manufacturers have different suggestions.  I believe Emille Henry says it is okay to put their cloche directly into a hot oven, some others say you need to avoid thermal shock, and suggest it be put into a cold oven.  Some here preheat the cloche in the oven and add the dough, some others have reported cracking - over time - and attribute it to the thermal shock of a cold dough onto a preheated base. 

Novice's picture

the one from Bakery Bits. It didn't come with much in the way of use instructions/suggestions other than the proofing process.

hreik's picture

bake for at least 45 minutes.  I also use a cloche and preheat mine for 45 - 60 minutes.  My last bake I took my loaves out of the fridge about 30 minutes b/f they went into the oven.  Spritzed them well, slashed the tops, covered and then baked.   The preheating helps to create the right environment for the oven spring, with the help of spritzing and scoring (which is still a challenge for me after 4 years... lol)



barryvabeach's picture

Novice,  here are the instructions for the Sassafras Cloche .   It warns against putting a frozen pizza directly on a preheated base.  It seems to say that it would be okay to preheat the base and then put room temperature dough on it.  I assume that means if you cold retard, they would want it to come to room temp before you put it on a preheated cloche base. 

Riley's picture

This is my question also.  I’m comfy with my preheated combo cooker  but I’m nervous about my Emile Henry.  Is it absolute heresy to ever do the final rise in the cloche and pop it all cold in the preheated oven?  The instruction book says that’s the way to go but is it the  best way?   I’ve gotten decent bread that way with a yeast assist and removing the top the last 10 minutes but not sure about an all starter sourdough.  

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

For home baking I have settled exclusively on different emile henry cloches. I preheat bottom and top. I don't think there is a need or a want to spritz as the cloche retains so much of the water that comes out of the dough. 

It takes more technique in the shaping - it is more like bread that goes into a wood fire or deck oven, because you don't have the sides of a dutch oven there to hold your loaf in place if it is weak.

I posted a pic of my typical results about a week ago - here is the link for reference: