How to Bake Cloche Bread

Written by brenda priddy
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How to Bake Cloche Bread
Make beautiful and delicious bread in a cloche pan. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

A cloche bread pan is a stoneware container made of two pieces. The rounded shape of the pan is similar to that of a bell, called cloche in French. Making bread in a cloche pan gives the bread a springy inside and flaky, crispy crust. Use any bread recipe with a cloche bread pan. When finished with the pan, wipe it with a coating of vegetable oil to keep the stoneware cured and fresh.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Vegetable oil
  • Bell or "cloche" baking pan
  • Parchment baking paper
  • Scissors
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 7 cups flour
  • Tea towel
  • Hot pads

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Wash the pan in warm water. Allow the pan to dry overnight. Coat the interior of both sides of the cloche pan in a light layer of vegetable oil. Cut out a circle from parchment paper the same diameter as the bottom of the cloche pan. Set aside for now.

  2. 2

    Dissolve 2 tbsp of sugar in one cup of warm water. Add 2 tbsp of fresh dry yeast to the water. Allow the yeast to sit until the surface gets foamy and bubbly. This should take between five and ten minutes.

  3. 3

    Add 3 tbsp of oil, 2 tbsp of sugar, 1 cup of milk and ½ tsp of salt to the yeast mixture. Add 3 cups of flour to the mixture. Stir 50 times to the right and 50 times to the left.

  4. 4

    Add 3 or 4 more cups of flour to the bread. Keep mixing until the dough forms a ball in the bowl. Allow the dough to sit for 10 minutes.

  5. 5

    Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes. Coat the outside of the dough with vegetable oil. Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let the dough rise for one hour.

  6. 6

    Punch down the dough and allow it to rise, covered, for 30 more minutes. Divide the dough into two pieces. Allow the dough to sit for 10 minutes.

  7. 7

    Place the dough on top of the parchment paper. Set the paper on the counter. Allow the dough to rise for 30 more minutes. Heat the cloche pan in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes while the dough rises.

  8. 8

    Remove the cloche pan with hot pads. Place the parchment paper circle inside the pan. Place the lid on the pan. Cook the bread at 204 degrees Cor up to one hour. For the last 20 minutes, remove the lid so that the bread gets brown on top. Thump the top of the bread with your hand. If it sounds hollow, it is done.

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