11 Apr 2009

Baking in a clay pot

Baking my own and daily bread means a lot of fun and satisfaction. The smell of fresh yeast and the starter just before it's feeded never bores me. With each bread there are so much choices to make: will it be a sourdough bread, do I use a soaker or flakes and which form does it get? Each bread looks and tastes different. However, the big challenge of achieving the perfect crust is keeps me busy these days.

Having a small combi-magnetron also means a restriction. A baking stone is too thick for my oven and the cloches of King Arthur, so often recommended, aren't available in Holland (as far as I know). Preheating the oven at a high temperature and the sprinkling of water in the hot oven seems to compensate it just a little bit. My ultimate goal: having a big AGA with two ovens and building the kitchen around it, is not very realistic at this moment.

Another option is the use of a clay pot or the Romertopf. In the 70's most of the Dutch households had one but they all finally ended up in the garden with herbs in it or on a flea market. After reading the weblog 'Koekje van eigen deeg' of Gea, I organized a clay pot and tried the recipe of the Greek loaf. It came out wonderfull and the crust was as crispy as it should be. This loaf stayed soft and delicious for a few days. In the meantime, I've baked this loaf a few more times and my son and husband just love it. I'll try this method with other loafs this month.

Reading about the use of a clay pot on different blogs, I.m not sure if the pot will survive this treatment. There is a possibillity that the pot bursts when it's cold and placed in a hot oven. Well, I'll try out and let you know.


Lien said...

This is a great idea. You know I have one of these pots, inherited from my mother. We didn't really like what came out of it in those days, but then again she didn't bake any bread in it. I really should get it out of the box and give it a go, your bread looks so lovely (love the crust!)

Baking Soda said...

Well I didn't inherit... I just grabbed! (Ok I asked first). We love the crusty bread that it makes. Mine is still alive and I mistreat it the same way. (cold pot, hot oven)

Gea said...

This bread looks great, Marjoke. I used my Romertopf (an oldie but goodie from the flea market) many times for bread baking and it never went wrong.

BTW, this way of bread baking I got from Baking Soda.