La Cloche by Sassafras- The real secret to great bread every time.
The La Cloche natural clay stoneware baking dish and domed lid will simulate a hearth oven in your kitchen.
The moist dough within the cloche creates the steam needed to produce a delicious bread with a crackly, golden crust and light crumb. Absolutely eliminates the need to spritz your bread, pour water in a hot skillet or any such thing to get the nice crust you are after.
We've been using ours for 17 years now and would not bake bread without it.
From Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice...
"One method of simulating hearth baking is the use of La Cloche covered baker, a miniature ceramic dome that fits into your own oven. These are fun to use and do a great job of trapping moisture for a big oven spring and shine".
From Jeffry Steingarten's The Man Who Ate Everything...
"This device (La Cloche), manufactured by Sassafras Enterprises, is an unglazed ceramic dish with a domed cover that creates something like the even, penetrating, steamy heat or a brick oven. The tile underneath increases the stored heat in the oven and protects the bottom of the bread from burning. Elizabeth David's English Bread and Yeast Cookery (Viking) has a photograph of a nearly identical baking cloche from 500 B.C., excavated from the Agora in Athens."
Daniel Wing and Alan Scott from their book The Bread Builders, Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens...
"Baking with a cloche in a conventional oven has breathtaking results, if you have never baked in masonry before."
Outside dimensions (for determining fit in oven): 12" dia x 7" high. Inside baking area: 10" x 5" Both the round and oblong Cloches carry a 1 year limited manufacturers warranty. The manufacturer covers the warranty but only ships replacement pieces within the U.S. Please bear this in mind before ordering from outside the U.S.
Note: Rumors of problems with La Cloche breakage in shipment were very true until somewhat recently. Sassafras, the company that makes them, has since made significant packaging improvements which have greatly reduced the incidence of breakage. Coupled with additional measures that we take before they leave the Breadtopia store has reduced the incidence to almost zero.