Author Topic: Bread baking with the Romertopf clay baker  (Read 205 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Bread baking with the Romertopf clay baker
« on: October 01, 2010, 11:25:08 AM »
Wanted to show off my first loaf of bread from the Romertopf Clay baker.  These can be found at breadtopia.com.

I first heard of this through member Matthew (thanks Matt!).  I'm fairly new to bread making so decided to get all the help that I can get.   The idea behind baking bread in a clay baker is that it gives an airier lighter loftier bread.   This is achieved by soaking the clay baker in water prior to proofing and baking the bread in it.    The baker is loaded in a cold oven and as the heat rises steam is created from the moisture in the clay baker and bread.  The lid helps trap that steam and the bread puff's up. 

Having tried the alternate method of dumping hot water in a pan to create steam, I found this process easier and yielded a better result.

For this first experimental bake in the Romertopf, I decided not to use the bread recipe included in the materials that came with it.  Instead, I made up a NY dough recipe so that  I could also make a pizza with the dough.   Both the bread and pizza came out fantastic.  I would say this so far has been my best loaf and I would credit much of that to the romertopf clay baker.  The bread looked, smell, and tasted surprisingly very similar to a store bought loaf.

Here are some shots of the bread.   The very last picture shows the crumb of my loaf against a store bought loaf.  My loaf is on the left.

« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 11:31:41 AM by Jackie Tran »


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Bread baking with the Romertopf clay baker
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2010, 11:29:16 AM »
Here's the pizza made with the same dough inspired by Scott R's New Haven style Pie.  I'll post more pictures about the pizza and recipe in the Bosch Experiments thread later.

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Bread baking with the Romertopf clay baker
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2010, 09:07:10 PM »
Tran Man, nice loaf of bread, is that the Romertopf from breadtopia? How did you like the Danish dough whisk? I've wanted a clay baker for some time, you've inspired me to put in my order.

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Bread baking with the Romertopf clay baker
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2010, 09:08:49 PM »
I'd eat that pizza also! :D

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Bread baking with the Romertopf clay baker
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2010, 10:33:14 PM »
Thanks David.  I haven't gotten a chance to use the Danish whisk yet.  I will as soon as I make some pancakes, waffles, or knead dough by hand again. 

Yes its the Romertopf clay baker from breadtopia.  They also sell round cloches for boules.  I decided to start with this as i like to make loaves for sandwiches.  It really did seem to help make the loaf more like ones you can buy at the store.   Once the bread is done baking after 45mins, you are suppose to take the top off and let it brown up for 3-4min.  When I removed the lid, this is how the loaf looked so I just pulled it out of the oven then. 

What is also worthwhile to get if you haven't placed an order yet is the Lame (pronounced like Llama without the "a" at the end).  It's a razor blade mounted on a handle to make cuts in the bread.    Another usefull little gizmo for bread making. 

BTW, I won't be able to make pizza next week, since I'll be up in Canada fishing all week.  ;D


Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Bread baking with the Romertopf clay baker
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2010, 11:14:01 PM »
Tran Man, thanks for the shout out, I've also considered the lame, so I'll take your advice and put it on my order. Good luck on your fishing trip, I'm also a fisherman, used to belong to a local bass club. I'm hoping to hook up with a co-worker on Sunday for some smallmouth bass fishing on the Mohawk River in upstate NY. Good fishin my friend!

Offline Matthew

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Re: Bread baking with the Romertopf clay baker
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2010, 04:50:51 AM »

Yes its the Romertopf clay baker from breadtopia.  They also sell round cloches for boules.  I decided to start with this as i like to make loaves for sandwiches.  It really did seem to help make the loaf more like ones you can buy at the store.   Once the bread is done baking after 45mins, you are suppose to take the top off and let it brown up for 3-4min.  When I removed the lid, this is how the loaf looked so I just pulled it out of the oven then. 

What is also worthwhile to get if you haven't placed an order yet is the Lame (pronounced like Llama without the "a" at the end).  It's a razor blade mounted on a handle to make cuts in the bread.    Another usefull little gizmo for bread making. 



Chau,
Really nice job.  If you want a darker more rustic looking loaf bake at 500 remove the lid after the first half hour, turn the heat down to 450 & bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Matt

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Bread baking with the Romertopf clay baker
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2010, 07:57:47 AM »
Interesting.

So you put the Clay baker in the oven, before preheating? with the dough in it?

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Bread baking with the Romertopf clay baker
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2010, 08:02:26 AM »
Thank you for the tip Matt.  For the next loaf I'll use caputo and shoot for a rustic looking loaf.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Bread baking with the Romertopf clay baker
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2010, 08:16:06 AM »
Interesting.

So you put the Clay baker in the oven, before preheating? with the dough in it?

Yes MC, that's what the instruction says.  Can someone with a cloche verify that they also load theirs while the oven is cold?

I suspect you can also load these into a warm oven but don't want to risk cracking it.  I have also seen ppl use a terra cotta planter and dish to replicate the effects of a cloche.

I'll see if the big box stores haven't gotten rid of their supplies yet since it is fall.


Offline Matthew

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Re: Bread baking with the Romertopf clay baker
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2010, 08:36:14 AM »
Yes MC, that's what the instruction says.  Can someone with a cloche verify that they also load theirs while the oven is cold?

I suspect you can also load these into a warm oven but don't want to risk cracking it.  I have also seen ppl use a terra cotta planter and dish to replicate the effects of a cloche.

I'll see if the big box stores haven't gotten rid of their supplies yet since it is fall.

I preheat it for an hour & then load the bread in it.

Matt

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Bread baking with the Romertopf clay baker
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2010, 08:53:55 AM »
I preheat it for an hour & then load the bread in it.

Matt

I take it you also don't soak and grease your clay baker before heating?  If not, do you have any issues with the bread sticking to the bottom?

Thanks Matt

Offline Matthew

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Re: Bread baking with the Romertopf clay baker
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2010, 09:09:52 AM »
I take it you also don't soak and grease your clay baker before heating?  If not, do you have any issues with the bread sticking to the bottom?

Thanks Matt

I soak the lid & the base for about half hour & then preheat for about 45 minutes.

Matt