"Also known as an instant brick oven, this bread baker consists of a stoneware bell or dome that fits over a wide, shallow dish with 2-inch-high sides. It is one of the most successful implements developed for home baking."—Chuck Williams, founder of the Williams-Sonoma company and author and editor of dozens of books on the subject of cooking.
La Cloche turns your regular oven into a brick oven. It helps to create an artisan style bread with a crisp, chewy crust. I really like the results I get from the one I purchased online from Breadtopia. They cost around $50-$60 and can be found online and at some kitchen stores.
If you search online for how to use a La Cloche, you will see there's more than one way to bake with it. Here is my method:
1. About an hour before I plan to bake, I place the La Cloche on the bottom rack in the oven and set it to 450 degrees.
2. When I am ready to bake the bread, I transfer the risen dough from a Brotform basket and invert it onto a piece of parchment paper. Slash the top of the dough. Open the oven door, pull out rack, and carefully remove the top of the La Cloche baker and set it aside. Lift the bread dough by the edges of the parchment paper and carefully transfer to the bottom of the La Cloche baker. Place the lid back on, push the oven rack back in, close the door and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and finish baking the bread until it is done, usually about 15 minutes. Cool baked bread on wire rack.
If you are serious about baking artisan breads this is a nice way to do it. Some people have great success with a dutch oven or even clay pots but I wanted one of these and haven't regretted it. It's held up well and my bread is delicious.
And while you're at it, do yourself a favor and buy a large Danish Dough Whisk. These are super handy devices to mix doughs by hand. I like the large one because it's easy to clean.
Please watch for next post on one of my most successful loafs of bread yet – potato sourdough bread with spelt and white whole wheat flour.
|Potato Sourdough Bread with Spelt and White Whole Wheat Flour baked in La Cloche|