Sourdough in a cloche

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Finished sourdough baked in bread cloche

With a new cloche to try, let's see what difference it makes to a sourdough. I used the same process for everything else, just a different pot to cook in! 

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Dough ready to bake on cloche base.

The building blocks...

Baker's percentages:
400g strong white bread flour, 100g whole wheat flour, 80% water, 15% starter, 2% salt
Bulk Proof:
Six hours at room temperature
Final proof:
Two hours at room temperature
Bake:
20 minutes at 240C with lid on, 20 minutes at 200C with lid off.

Method

I've been making sourdough for about nine months now. So I'm much better at knowing when the bulk rise is done, and when the second proof is just right. I'm also better at handling the dough, including the final stretch and fold to shape the boule. So introducing a new cooking tool didn't seem too daunting a project.

The main difference I did here was to reduce the oven temperature to 240C (from 260C) for the initial bake, as the cloche suggested baking at that temperature and I assumed it would be better at evenly distributing heat. It was also slightly different transferring the dough to a flat base with a domed lid, rather than a deep dish with a flat lid.

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Loaf baked and cut in half

Outcome

The best thing about baking in the cloche was the large diameter of the dish giving such large space for the dough to rise in the oven. This meant a really lovely large, round boule at the end. The reduction in temperature certainly didn't have a negative impact, and the crust of the loaf was the best I've made.