We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Bread Cloche?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A bread cloche or cooking bell is an earthenware cloche which is designed to be used in an oven during bread baking. To use a bread cloche, bakers preheat it in the oven, put the bread dough inside, and then cook the dough as they would normally. By baking inside the cloche rather than in the oven itself, the bread cooks differently, developing a more chewy crust and a chewy, moist crumb. For people who make artisan breads, a bread cloche is an appealing alternative to a costly traditional bread oven.

People have been using cloches in cooking and baking for centuries. The Romans, for example, buried cloches full of meat and fish in their campfires to roast their food, and cloches have been used in Northern Africa for things like tagine for centuries as well. There are two main parts to a cloche: a bottom baking stone, and an upper domed lid. Many cloches having baking stones with lips which are designed to retain drippings and juices from foods cooked in the cloche.

There are several reasons to use a bread cloche in baking. For one thing, the interior of the cloche stays moist, retaining the steam released by the bread as it cooks and yielding a moister final product. Cloches also get hotter than the surrounding oven, and the internal temperature of a cloche is very regular, without the hot and cold spots which develop in an oven. All of these factors combine to impact the way the bread cooks, changing the texture and the flavor of the finished product.

Using a bread cloche is fairly simple, but there are a few cautions to keep in mind. Most cloches are sensitive to thermal shock, so you should never put a cold cloche in a hot oven. You should also avoid putting a hot cloche on a cold counter, as it may crack. Cloches should not be spritzed with water, either, as the sudden release of steam can cause the cloche to crack. To wash a bread cloche, wait for it to cool to room temperature and rinse it with water.

A bread cloche doesn't just have to be used for bread. These cloches can also be used like their historical counterparts for meat, vegetables, and fish. However, because these foods can deposit flavors on the cloche, many bakers prefer to dedicate a particular cloche to bread and another one to other foods to avoid things like fish-flavored sourdough.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By ElizaBennett — On Jun 03, 2011

@dfoster85 - They come in different shapes. Most are round for making round loaves, but you can also get oblong-shapes ones for making long loaves of bread. I would suggest starting with around one. They're a little more versatile, I find--you can also use them for baking meat, fish, etc.

If you've never baked with stoneware, you're really missing out. Nothing else is going to cook so evenly and give you such nice texture. I almost never use anything else anymore. I even bake cookies on an oven stone.

By dfoster85 — On Jun 02, 2011

I love baking bread, but so far I've only done loaves because that's all I know how to do. (And once I did focaccia on my pizza pan!) I do like sandwich bread, but I'm interested in trying other kinds as well. Is a cloche a good way to make boules (round loaves)?

And is a cloche useful for making loaves and focaccia, or is it only good for making boules?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.