We had such a lovely reception to our Sourdough tips last week.Carefully compiled over months of work by our good friend Christine, our tips take you through sourdough starters, hydration, stretch and fold, and rise & rest.
Christine gave our Cast Iron Cloche a proper road test, and we were chuffed to bits with her feedback (she does not praise lightly, and rightly so!)
"Beautiful bread - This was a present (from Blake & Bull), and I was a little dubious as to how I was going to handle a large, hot dish from the oven; where was I going to put the bell when I'd removed it; where was it going to live in my kitchen?! This is a beautiful bit of kit and the bread that comes out of it is amazing - I wouldn't be without now! With a little organisation, it is very easy to manage. I preheat the tray and bell in the oven for 20-30 minutes. The bread must go onto the hot tray - don't put in cold. I Have used a piece of baking parchment to transfer proved loaf put think this is removing oil from the tray - need to progress to a peel. With the large Blake & Bull trivet at the ready, I take out the cloche and remove the bell. I have found I can easily balance the tray and bell, slightly overlapping one another, on the trivet They overhang the sides a little but are safe. Alternatively, The bell can sit on an old Aga 'chef pad'. Cook the bread for 15mins and then remove the bell to finish cooking. Beautiful crust, base of loaf is nicely browned, and bread moist and soft. Loaf lasts well. Currently working on sourdough with the cloche and wondering what else I can do with it. No more trying to fill a hot roasting pan with boiling water in front of a hot oven - that has got to be safer! I didn't find washing necessary - a simple wipe with a damp cloth to remove any four. It looks beautiful on the dresser. Not as heavy as my shallow Le Creuset pan & lid."
Our cloche sold out over the weekend, we would love to know how you lucky folk who scored one get on! If you are on our waiting list, Matthew has ordered enough to cover the list and they will be in soon!
Our equally wonderful heirloom cast iron trays are back in stock now! These are perfect for sourdough too. They fit on the runner and hold their heat brilliantly. pre-heated they provide a solid radiant base on which to sit your lovingly prepared loaf.
Madeline got in touch after reading and reminded me of this great ice tip! - "If steam needed in the oven for baking bread instead of pouring boiling water into a pan on floor of the oven (fraught with danger) throw a handful of ice cubes onto the oven floor and they will melt and create steam."
This seems like the perfect thing to do if you use this tray instead of a cloche!
However you do it, do not forget to share your bakes so that they can be added to the Blake & Bull Baker's Gallery!
Happy Baking! Katy x