Baking in a Cloche

Emile Henry Cloche 09

There are many ways to get a crusty loaf of bread, but one of our favorites is to use the tried and true method of baking in a clay cloche, here, the Emile Henry brand cloche. It is very similar to using a Dutch Oven, but the cloche was designed to bake bread, so it is an even more intuitive method. In other words, you aren’t lowering the bread into the piping hot vessel, you just lift the lid and slide the loaf onto what is essentially a baking stone. The cloche traps the steam from the dough to create a perfectly crisp and beautifully shiny crust, without having to add steam to the oven.

This loaf was made with our Master Recipe from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, using Platinum Yeast from Red Star, water and salt, that’s it! If you’ve never made our bread, or just want a refresher, please watch our new video that we put together in the Gold Medal baking studio. In no time at all you’ll have a gorgeous, homemade, crusty loaf of bread.

1 pound of Master Recipe from TheNewABin5 (that’s it)

Baking in Cloche | Breadin5

Shape the loaf into a ball and let it rest for 40 to 90 minutes on a piece of parchment or a Pizza Peel covered in cornmeal.

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Our dough will rise, but may not double in size, this is perfectly normal for our method.

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About 20 minutes before baking, preheat your cloche to 450°F.

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Slide the loaf onto the bottom part of the cloche. Put the cover on and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the cover and continue baking for 5 to 10 minutes,

Emile Henry Cloche 07

or until the loaf is a deep caramel color.

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Remove the loaf from the cloche and parchment to allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. If you leave it on the parchment, the bottom crust will not be as crisp.

Emile Henry Cloche 10

This loaf was rested for about 90 minutes, and you can see that it has a nice open crumb. If you are in a hurry you can reduce it to 40 minutes.

Platinum Yeast | Breadin5

Thanks to the sponsors of our giveaway of Platinum Yeast (for dough that rises faster and breads that bake taller),


Gold Medal All-purpose flour (which is our go to flour),

Emile Henry Cloche 03

and the Emile Henry Cloche, along with a signed copy of our new book (you can read all about what we’ve added in this edition of the book here), just leave your comment here and we’ll choose a random winner, but you must respond to our e-mail within 24 hours to win (see our Contest Rules for more details). The winner has been chosen. Thanks! 

Note: Red Star Yeast (Lesaffre Corp) is a sponsor of BreadIn5, LLC and its promotional activities, and supplied yeast for recipe testing.

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551 thoughts on “Baking in a Cloche

  1. I love Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day– It is so easy and you really have a website that is for those interested in finding out more and those who are already believers! Thank you.

  2. I love baking using your recipes and my children are happy to gobble up whatever pops out of the oven 😉 I’d love a Cloche!!

  3. This is my goto recipe, bake it nearly daily and bring to friends/family. Absolutely no reason to buy bread when it’s this easy to make fresh. Would love to try it out with the cloche.

  4. I can’t tell you how much your bread baking technique and recipes have enhanced our family table and that of my friends and family whom we show love through sharing simple meals together! Great interactive website, you’re so approachable! Thank you!

  5. I bake from ABin5 as much as I can. Thank goodness it is cold enough here in Texas to be baking bread again! The cloche is certainly an easier way to get the job done.

  6. Does anyone have an idea how many calories a 1 ounce serving of this bread would have? Unfortunately, I have to ration how much I can have to continue losing weight.

      1. Thanks so very much, Zoe!

        I’ve baked a loaf two times now. I used a cast iron skillet because I don’t have a peel. We’re very happy with the results. The bottom is firm and we love that part the best. The top isn’t quite as hard but we don’t mind at all.

        My only problem was that in the initial 2-hour rising, it overflowed my 6 quart container within an hour and popped the lid (which we put a small hole in). I just let it overflow and after two hours, baked a loaf.

        Overnight, the dough overflowed again–this time in the frig so I baked another loaf. I’m hoping it won’t overflow anymore.

        I found the whole wheat bread recipe that uses 1/4 cup gluten. I’ll try it next time because there is less flour and hopefully I won’t have overflows again.

        We couldn’t be happier with this bread but we do have one problem. It’s difficult to stop eating it–especially when it’s warm from the oven.

        Next time I go to the bookstore, I’ll be looking for your book and will probably buy it.

        Well done Zoe!

  7. I have baked bread in my dutch oven, but this would be so great to use. I frequently bake your artisan bread in 5 minutes a day. All I can say is wow!

  8. I’ve been using your method for some time now. I’ll never use any other method. I would love to win just to see how the Cloche works.

  9. I started baking bread with your recipes two years ago, and it changed my life! Today I am making some loaves with the master recipe, and for the first time I am using the Platinum Yeast. Wow, what a great rise! Another half hour before we pop in the oven to enjoy with our smoked turkey soup.

  10. oh id love to try this.where has this cloche been all of my 78 yrs. i never heard of it. oh boy maybe ill win this. what a wonderful surprize this would be.

  11. Hi Zoe and Jeff,
    Being a retired scientist, I have been experimenting with a poor man’s cloche: an ancient ugly cracked pizza stone with a foil loaf pan for a cover. The results are good and the process is fun. A real ceramic cloche would add real class to this operation. Many thanks for your dedication to healthy bread!
    Eric Johnson

  12. I recently baked my first loaf of bread in a dutch oven with information I got from your site, which started a bread revolution in my house. My husband just ordered me your New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes AND Healthy Artisan Bread in Five Minutes. I’ve got my very first batch of Whole Grain Master Recipe in the refrigerator as I type. Until now, I didn’t even know what a cloche was. Now I want one! I can’t wait to taste my first bite of my very own bread.

  13. I think that I would prefer to bake bread in a cloche than in my dutch oven. It seems like it would be easier and maybe safer for inexperienced bakers like me. I can’t wait to try it. Thank you for this great website.

  14. I’m in the middle of making my first loaf of bread using your recipe and technique. Judging from all of the photos and comments my family should be in for a treat! Can’t wait!

  15. I’ve been making my own challah the old way for 40 years but recently trid 5 minutes a Day way. I was very impressed with the flavor and texture. My family would have liked a sweeter taste. As for me my kneading days may be over!

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