Romertopf Bread: The easiest loaf of bread you'll ever make.

March 3, 2015

Romertopf White Bread:  The easiest loaf of bread you'll ever make!

Clay pots or earthen-ware may be the oldest type of cookware ever found.  In fact, they've been unearthed by archaeologists at historic sites all over the world!  We know that these ancient civilizations put these clay pots in the glowing embers of fires, and used them to bake, roast, poach, and braise all sorts of meals.  

I admit that I'm new to clay pot cooking.  My mother-in-law gave me a beautiful covered Romertopf roaster for Christmas and when I started learning about how to use it, all I could think about was bread.  I make a lot of bread in my oven, but I was incredibly excited to try it in a clay pot!  After all, I reasoned, this would have to be as close to an authentic brick oven as I was likely to get, and I couldn't wait to get started.

The basic bread recipe, which was included with my cookware, was the first one I tried.  Because you soak both pieces of the clay pot prior to putting it in the oven, it holds a lot of moisture in the pores of the clay.  This must make a lot of steam which I imagine keeps the bread moist.  The high cooking temperature keeps the crust crisp without burning it.   The end result was this amazing loaf of bread with a shiny crackled crust and incredibly tender crumb.   My children and husband loved it so much, that I've repeated this recipe many times over the past few weeks.  I even doubled the ingredients listed below with perfect results.  

Now I'm trying to learn all I can about cooking in clay pots.  If you have any recipes you can share with me, I'd love to see them!  Respond in the comments if you can share any of your favorite Romertopf recipes.

Basic Romertopf Bread Recipe

*This recipe is adapted from the Romertopf insert included with my cookware

Ingredients

1 cup lukewarm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups all purpose flour

Ingredients

1.  Add lukewarm water to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.

2.  Sprinkle yeast on top of the water and let stand for around 5 minutes, until yeast is visibly softened.

3.  Stir in salt, sugar, and oil.

4.  Add 2 cups of the flour and mix until fully incorporated.

5.  Add the final cup of flour slowly and allow the machine to knead the dough until the it pulls away from the sides cleanly and begins to appear softer.  This may take 10-15 minutes.

6.  Roll the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, rotating to fully coat the dough ball.  Cover, and let stand for 1 hour in a draft-free area.

7.  Soak bottom and top of clay Romertopf for (at least) 15 minutes, by fully immersing in water.

8.  When dough has doubled in size, after about an hour, drain the bottom of the clay cooker, and pat dry.  Coat the bottom of the cooker with oil and sprinkle with corn meal to prevent sticking.

9.  Punch the dough down, shape into a loaf, and put in the bottom of the clay cooker.  Cover and let stand for 45 minutes in a draft-free area.

10.  Cut 1/2" deep slashes in the loaf of bread with a razor or sharp knife.

11.  Remove the top of the clay cooker from the water and pat dry.  Place cover on the bottom of cooker.

12.  Placed covered clay cooker in a cold oven.  Set the temperature to 475F.  Bake for 45 minutes.

13.  Remove cover and continue to cook until top is brown, which will be anywhere from 5 to 15 more minutes.  Do not put clay cooker on a cold surface when removing it from oven.  I use a large wood cutting board as a trivet.

14.  Allow to cool for a few minutes then remove bread from cooker and allow to cool on a wire rack.

4 comments :

Anonymous said...

This sounds wonderful! What size roaster did you use for this recipe?

Elizabeth Kane said...

Hello Anonymous,

My Romertopf roaster is "Extra-large" in size, and holds 7.3 qts. The measurements are 16.7 x 12.8 x 8.5". Hope this helps!

-Elizabeth

Tasty said...

I love that rich brown color.

tj said...

A clay pot? Hmmm

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