The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


mogl's picture


The book makes NUMEROUS references to "cloaking" without explaining what it is or how to do it (at least, not yet). 

I checked the index -- it's not there. 

I looked for a glossary -- there isn't one. 

I checked the web site ..... There are SEVERAL references to a "cloaking video" -- which I cannot find ( I checked Videos, Lessons, etc.).

WHAT IS CLOAKING !!!!  HOW DO YOU DO IT ?!  Where is the video?

Seriously, if the point of the book and site is to help people make good bread, and the trick (apparently) is cloaking, WHY KEEP IT SUCH A SECRET !!!!


Wild-Yeast's picture

Try "Cloche"...,

Cloche means bell in French and takes on several meanings beyond that; a style of womans hat; a lid to preserve the heat of a dish till it is served; a glass jar used to cover cakes and cheeses; a baking cloche used to bake bread.  Current use at TFL is to use a covering for the dough during the initial baking period. It reduces the amount of dehydration from the dough and reduces the amount of heat experienced by the dough allowing for a more suitable "oven spring and bloom"..., 

Hope this helps...,


Floydm's picture

What book are you talking about?

janij's picture

I think you are refering to guten cloak.  I have ony seen this term in Artisan Bread in 5.  There is a side bar on p 30 of the book explaining what they think it is and how to do it.  Because their dough is so wet you need to but a flour cloak around it so you can shape it.  Basically dust the dough ith enough flour so you can handle it and shape it.  Go to the books website and e-mail them for more info.  or check their site.  There may be more info there.

mogl's picture

I was indeed refering to gluten cloaking from Artisan Bread in 5, and I eventually found the exlanation.  I was pretty frustrated (as you could tell) as I read references on page after page, to this mysterious technique.

Thank you to everyone who tried to help me.


Janknitz's picture

The flour you dust the dough with and the outer layer of dough form a sort of "skin" that you can pull around the ball of dough to hold the shape.  It's kind of like the skin of a balloon. 

If you just randomly rolled the dough into a ball shape and allowed it to rise, it would spread out into a big puddle of dough (especially the wet ABin5 doughs). But if you pull this "cloak" around the ball of dough and tuck it in underneath, it contains the expansion of the dough during proofing into a more organized shape.  After a while you will get a feel for this "cloak" and how to pull it around. 

And, if you don't slash it, the oven "spring" (expansion) will tear the skin and you might come out with a funny shape (it's amusing to try it sometimes!).