Clay bakers & Hearthkit
I'm a new member. I'm very impressed wih the depth & degree of baking knowledge & enthusiasm here. I only wish I would have discovered you sooner. I'm much into my thin crust, neo style pizza and my Hearthkit allows me to get a carmelized crust with great crunch and interior chew in just 6 minutes. It really does add many of the benefits of a brick oven to my standard home oven. But now I want to move on to breads and I just ordered a sourdough starter from King Arthurs.
My question is this: I read great things about the positive impact from using a LaCloche type clay baker on breads re. getting good crust/color/interior w/o the need for spraying due to the retention of humidity in the baker. Frumkin, in his bread blog, raves about his LaCloche and his bread photos back it up. I've also read very good press on what the Hearthkit does for breads including some very noted bread book authors. Here's my thought...what about combining the benefits of both....using the LaCloche top over the Hearthkit surface for the first half of baking and then removing to let the Hearthkit do its magic.
Any comments pro or con from anyone who has experimented along those lines?