The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

La Cloche - Seasoning

aturco's picture

La Cloche - Seasoning

I recently purchased a La Cloche dome earthware pot to make bread in. It makes amazing bread so far except the that the bottom is not as consistent as the rest of the loaf. It is usually very hard and brittle  and in some cases it turns out burnt, but the rest of the loaf is fine. I did season it with a light sheen of oil like the directions said and now the bottom is a dark brown or black.

Any suggestions, i tried cleaning it but the black stuff is not coming off. is my oven too hot? should i re-season again?

Help....i love making bread with this thing but want it PERFECT.



RFMonaco's picture

I don't think you will ever get the oil out of the cloche.

Try using a low trivet covered with foil inside the cloche to support the dough, it may conduct less heat and prevent burning the bottom.

ehanner's picture

Are you by chance placing the La Cloche on the bottom shelf? I use the next shelf up and get good results. I wouldn't worry about the oil. You can also place the dough on parchment paper and just put the cover over it.

Another thing you can do is use a stone and the cover, skipping the base altogether. Then loading the dough is much easier with or without paper.


qahtan's picture


 Is your thermostat out of whack,,,    :-((( qahtan

JERSK's picture

  I have a la Cloche and broke the bottom accidentally. I've gone to using a pre-heated stone (and dome). Sliding my bread onto the stone and covering with the dome. It works better I think. A bit of luck from a stroke of misfortune. 

uncouth's picture

I have a rectangular le cloche baker which came with general directions on its use, but am now getting different feedback from others as to how to use it.  Am I supposed to let the dough do it's final rise in the covered baker then put into a COLD oven as the directions suggest?  I've had mixed results with this and with other suggested approaches, using same recipe. Could also be my old rickety oven...


Vex not the dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup...

fleur-de-liz's picture


I have found that the best way to use La Cloche is to heat the top in the oven and then add the dough. Like JERSK, I don't use the bottoms -- I just heat the top on my stone when preheating the oven, slide the dough onto the stone, put the top on and bake. This method produces wonderful ovenspring and an excellent crust. Hope this helps,


_greg_'s picture

I am new to baking and just got my La Cloche. It is brand new but came without instructions.

Is the seasoning process really neccessary or I can just start using it? I would really appreciate if someone can post instructions or even a simple explanations on how to do seasoning if it is required.



Russ's picture

Can't say for sure that the seasoning is really necessary since I didn't try without it. It is pretty easy - just rub oil (I used palm oil, would recommend something like lard, coconut or palm - something that's solid at room temp and not hydrogenated) onto the bottom and bake it at 400F for an hour. Let it cool in the oven. I did mine a second coat after it cooled, but that probably wasn't strictly necessary.


_greg_'s picture

Thanks Russ,

The first post of this thread mentions that olive oil was used to do the seasoning. Not sure on where can I get coconut or palm oil. Is there a big difference on which oil to use?

Also, should I put only the bottom part into the oven when doing seasoning or should I put the cloche on top and bake it "assembled"?



No palm oil, but I found organic coconut oil in the health store and did one coating already. I did oil coating on both bottom part and cloche as well -- this is how cloche in the videos and in the pictures I saw looks like. It makes sense to me now since this oil has much less odor than the olive oil.

I think that I will do the second coating as well. Thanks again for your help.




Russ's picture

Hey Greg,

Sorry, I hadn't checked back in here in a few days. Sounds like you got it all together without my help, glad to hear it. I would have recommended staying away from the olive oil, mostly because I've found that liquid oils will often leave things a bit tacky when used for seasoning. I haven't actually tried it on a La Cloche, but that's my experience with cast iron.

Personally, I only seasoned the bottoms of my Cloches, I think the directions said that, but I seem to have lost those so can't verify that. I don't see how seasoning the tops will hurt anything though - they don't generally come into contact with the bread anyway, which I figured to be the reason the directions didn't say to bother seasoning them. If you did season the two pieces together (with the top on the bottom) it might be worthwhile to make sure that the seasoning on the interior of the bottom got properly baked on. If you suspect it didn't, give it an hour at 400F by itself.

Enjoy your new toy!


kbeanz's picture

You can generally find coconut oil in the grocery store right alongside the other oils, but you need to know what you're looking for. Since coconut oil is a solid oil, it doesn't come in a tall skinny bottle, but comes in more of a bell jar. I've found it right on the edge of all the oils. 

daylee's picture

I am planning on using a pizza stone and a terracota dome shaped planter to bake 100% whole wheat manna (unleavened) bread.  Any tips or hints for the first time?



highmtnpam's picture

I use an octaganal shaped silpat sprinkled with cornmeal. Never have used anything to season it.

Elly May's picture
Elly May

I just got one and I followed the one hour w/coconut oil method. Then half way thru I sprayed inside with Pam and finished it off and let cool in oven. It worked out perfectly. Also, in my small town corn meal is always like flour and useless,

 but grits they do have. Grits are southern polenta anyways and it works perfectly.