This bread made with all-purpose and whole wheat flours as well as a small amount of rye flour, was baked under a dome for the first 30 minutes. (The dome slipped easily off when it came time to brown the loaf.) The recipe we followed is in 'Bread for all Seasons' by Beth Hensperger. (A roasting pan also works. And according to Lionel Vatinet, a stainless steel bowl works as well. )
The recipe called for baking the bread in either a cast-iron casserole dish or clay pot. We HAVE a clay pot but were afraid to put it into a preheated oven. So I put the shaped and slashed bread into the lid (parchment papered to stop it from sticking) of our largest pyrex casserole dish and used the upside-down bowl as the cloche. Here is the bread about 10 minutes after being shaped and slashed. It is a vigorous riser... too bad I didn't take a photo directly after shaping it.
Here it is just out of the oven. We couldn't believe the oven spring on this bread. The deep crevices from the slashes disappeared entirely, creating an amazing contrast to the heavily floured outside!
The bread is quite light-weight and doesn't it look like a soccer ball? We can't wait to see what this bread looks like inside!
Of course we did wait until it had cooled completely, because of course, the bread is still baking when it has just come out of the oven. That night, we reheated it to crisp up the crust again (To reheat UNsliced bread, turn the oven to 500F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread in the hot oven for ten minutes.)
Good thing we waited! The crumb is quite compact - it looks like perfect sandwich bread - but I suspect that if we'd sliced into it immediately, it would have been quite doughy.
(The thumbnail image appearing on links to this page is housed on Flicker: etherwork photostream.)
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