Crusty Cloche Bread

This mild-tasting, chewy, white bread takes full advantage of a covered cloche stoneware baker.

Crusty Cloche Bread

Recipe by Anna BembryCourse: Breakfast, BrunchDifficulty: Simple
Servings

1

loaf
Prep time

30

minutes
Baking time

45

minutes
Resting time

130

minutes

A mild-tasting, white bread, with a chewy crumb, and a crunchy crust.

Ingredients

  • 500 g / 17.6 oz bread flour

  • 320 ml / 10.8 fl oz lukewarm water

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

  • Equipment
  • a stoneware baker with a cloche, e. g. Römertopf

Method

  • Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, fitted with hooks, mix until a smooth and slightly sticky dough forms. Continue kneading by hand, until the dough no longer sticks to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to rise for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, until it’s almost doubled in size.
  • Transfer the dough onto a clean workspace, gently deflate and stretch into a circle, then fold the edges like an envelope and form a round loaf.
  • Line your cloche baker with parchment paper, place the loaf inside – seam side up – and cover with the lid. Let the dough rise for 30 to 45 minutes until it’s almost doubled in size.
  • To give your bread a rustic look, sieve a tablespoon of flour through a small, fine-mesh sieve all over the surface of the loaf, then slash the top of the loaf several times, cover with the lid, and place the cloche in a cold oven.
  • Set the temperature to 240C / 465F and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the lid and bake the bread until it’s golden brown, for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Take it out of the oven, and transfer the bread to a rack to cool.

Notes

  • A perfectly baked bread sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom of the loaf.
  • This crusty cloche bread doesn’t keep very well and is best enjoyed fresh, the day it was baked. You can also freeze a part of it.
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