Baking in a Cloche

Emile Henry Cloche 09

There are many ways to get a crusty loaf of bread, but one of our favorites is to use the tried and true method of baking in a clay cloche, here, the Emile Henry brand cloche. It is very similar to using a Dutch Oven, but the cloche was designed to bake bread, so it is an even more intuitive method. In other words, you aren’t lowering the bread into the piping hot vessel, you just lift the lid and slide the loaf onto what is essentially a baking stone. The cloche traps the steam from the dough to create a perfectly crisp and beautifully shiny crust, without having to add steam to the oven.

This loaf was made with our Master Recipe from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, using Gold Medal All-purpose flour, Platinum Yeast from Red Star, water and salt, that’s it! If you’ve never made our bread, or just want a refresher, please watch our new video that we put together in the Gold Medal baking studio. In no time at all you’ll have a gorgeous, homemade, crusty loaf of bread.

1 pound of Master Recipe from TheNewABin5 (that’s it)

Baking in Cloche | Breadin5

Shape the loaf into a ball and let it rest for 40 to 90 minutes on a piece of parchment or a Pizza Peel covered in cornmeal.

Emile Henry Cloche 02

Our dough will rise, but may not double in size, this is perfectly normal for our method.

Emile Henry Cloche 05

About 20 minutes before baking, preheat your cloche to 450°F.

Emile Henry Cloche 06

Slide the loaf onto the bottom part of the cloche. Put the cover on and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the cover and continue baking for 5 to 10 minutes,

Emile Henry Cloche 07

or until the loaf is a deep caramel color.

Emile Henry Cloche 08

Remove the loaf from the cloche and parchment to allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. If you leave it on the parchment, the bottom crust will not be as crisp.

Emile Henry Cloche 10

This loaf was rested for about 90 minutes, and you can see that it has a nice open crumb. If you are in a hurry you can reduce it to 40 minutes.

Platinum Yeast | Breadin5

Thanks to the sponsors of our giveaway of Platinum Yeast (for dough that rises faster and breads that bake taller),

Gold Medal Flour | Breadin5

Gold Medal All-purpose flour (which is our go to flour),

Emile Henry Cloche 03

and the Emile Henry Cloche, along with a signed copy of our new book (you can read all about what we’ve added in this edition of the book here), just leave your comment here and we’ll choose a random winner, but you must respond to our e-mail within 24 hours to win (see our Contest Rules for more details). The winner has been chosen. Thanks! 

Pin It

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it with others using one of the social sharing buttons above. Thanks, Jeff and Zoë

540 thoughts on “Baking in a Cloche

  1. Hello.

    I’m thinking to buy your book. Could you explain me please what is the difference between “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” 336 pages 2009 and “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” 400 pages 2013? “Healthy Bread” is included in the “The New Artisan Bread”?

    • They’re very different. NewArtisan’s doughs are mostly made from white flours, whereas HealthyBread is mostly whole grain flours. Its recipes are not contained in NewArtisan. In order to make store-able whole grain dough, we found that most of our tasters and testers preferred it with additional gluten, so the dough recipes in HealthyBread call for vital wheat gluten, an ingredient that doesn’t appear in NewArtisan.

      That said, NewArtisan does contain some whole grain recipes, including one that is 100% whole grain (it tends to be denser than anything in HealthyBread, because it doesn’t include vital wheat gluten). Most most of the book keeps the whole grains at less than about 15% of the total. You can improvise though.

      • Jeff, many thanks for the clarification.

        And what about technology? Is it the same technology?

        I definitely prefer the whole flour but definitely will not add artificially gluten. So which of these two books will you advise me: HealthyBread for whole wheat or NewArtisan gluten-free? :) Sorry for the difficult question.

      • I’m not sure what you mean by technology, but both books depend on the same kind of home ovens, and we strongly recommend people use some kind of simple thermometer to be sure their oven is running true to temperature, something like http://ow.ly/8CVPU

        Given that you don’t want to add extra gluten, I’d stay away from Healthy Bread, you should try The New Artisan Bread (http://amzn.to/17Rw23Y on Amazon). If you really want lots of whole grains though, you’ll need to do some improvising. We do have one recipe variation in there with 50% whole grain, in addition to the 100% whole grain loaf I told you about.

  2. I am very tempted to try the covered method.
    Which do you feel makes the *best* bread/crumb- a clay baker or a coved cast iron pot?

    Thank you!
    ~Mary

  3. Can a tagine be used in lieu of a cloche? I’ve got a tagine & I’m guessing that they’re interchangeable, but wanted to check with you guys.

    Thanks so much!

    • Doesn’t a tagine have an opening at the top? If so, I would seal the opening with a tightly-crimped piece of foil to keep the moisture inside.

    • Hi Samina,

      As long as they are made with a material that can be preheated without anything in it. It would seem to work as well as a cloche. I have a tagine and will give it a try.

      Thanks for the idea! Zoë

  4. My first loaf turned out perfectly crunchy crust, but subsequent loaves have had a tough chewy crust. Still delicious, just wondering why?

  5. Im on my third batch of dough. I use a large pre-heated cast iron skillet, and a preheated pan for the cup of water. The loaf looks beautiful, and is delicious, just not crunchy like the first.

    • Hi Pamela,

      I think you’ll really like the results. I think it’s all covered in the post, but let me know if you have any questions.

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. I am working out of the healthy artisan bread in 5 book on my kindle so I don’t know page number but I recently tried the flax bread and I did something wrong. The first loaf dough seemed very dry when I took it out of the fridge but would not cook through. I did cut the recipe in half – there’s only two of us so didn’t want the dough to go to waste. I ended up with it in the oven for at least 50 mins. (I do need to double check oven temp but I have made master recipe several times with great success). After I baked the second flax loaf, I left it out to cool and when I went to slice it the next morning it was hard as a rock. I couldn’t even get the knife through enough to break it up to put in the composter! Please help. While I love the master recipe I really want to be able to make other variations but for now will stick with what I know works.
    thanks!

    • Hi Sandy,

      The 100% whole grain breads will be denser than those made with some all-purpose flour, but it sounds like your loaf is beyond just the normal density. It sounds like your dough may be a bit dry, so you could just add more water. Did the dough feel tighter than normal when you mixed it up or did it tighten after it was refrigerated?

      Thanks, Zoë

      • It did feel somewhat tighter during mixing but I had attributed that to the flax. I’ll try more water next time.

        Thanks

      • Hi Sandy,

        The flax really absorbs a ton of water, so for some reason yours did so even more than normal.

        Hope that helps! Zoë

  7. Hello! Can I use my sourdough starter for this recipe! If so, how much and could it get too sour after days in the fridge? Thanks!

    • Sure, see the FAQs tab above, and click on “ourdough starter: can I use it with this method?”

      Yes, long-term storage might make it too strong for some (not for me!). Could freeze after X days.

  8. I do not regret spending the money on the emile henry cloche–love it! thanks jeff and zoe for all your hints and tips!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>