Clay Baking--I have decided to throw myself under the bus!
I have read with great interest the discussions about clay baking, La Cloche, flower pots, homemade cloches and Romertopfs. I am a man of few means so I am not going to run out and buy a La Cloche, pretty as they might be. But I frequent thrift stores and have accumulated various kitchen tools over the years that have confused and confounded their original owners who then cast them off unused or lightly used. I paid $2.99 for my baking stone, which I thought divinely appeared on a recent visit just as I was interested in slack dough baking. I have also never paid more than about $5.99 for new Romertopfs and have about a half dozen in various sizes. I have baked bread and sourdough in these pots before and appreciated the "brick oven crust" I soaked top and bottom, used Crisco in the bottom and proofed in the room temp bottom, placed all in a cold oven and baked at 475F. I am a different baker today and it bears a new look. I have one "fish" Romertopf that is a longer oval that I have never used but am now excited to try.
I have admired qahtan's homemade cloche everytime she has shared it and I believe its in the budget. So, what I am proposing to do for my own edification and for the good of all is to commence some clay baking comparisons. They won't be necessarily comprehensive or scientific or "done by an expert' but I am willing to give it a shot. I have a new 3.2 megapixel camera phone that I am dying to put to use and learn that end as well.
Let the trials begin!!