A Bread Cloche for Baking and Beyond


Product Reviewed
Emile Henry Bread Cloche


Does baking bread intimidate you?

Yeah, it used to make me shake in my boots as well. Now, after using the Emile Henry Bread Cloche, I realize how silly that thought is.

OK, now you might be wondering: What is a bread cloche? It is a bell-shaped baking vessel that helps trap in steam to create the most delightful crust on your bread. It is reminiscent of baking your loaf of bread in an old-fashioned brick oven without all the fuss. Who doesn’t think that sounds absolutely incredible?!

And here’s a fun fact: if you are using whole grain ingredients, you can even think of bread as healthy. I loathe white bread’s lack of nutrients, so I wanted to see if it was possible to make a delicious loaf of 100 percent whole grain bread that any picky eater would enjoy. I have been semi-successful in the past but using the bread cloche took my whole wheat bread to a whole — pun intended — new level. The crust…oh, the crust on this bread! The crust on this bread is hard to accurately put in words. It’s magical, both crispy and chewy at the same time with a moist interior.

After making my first loaf of bread in the efficient and beautiful Emile Henry Bread Cloche, I couldn’t get over how amazing bread could taste and how easy it could possibly be to make. All you need are a few simple ingredients to bake utter doughy heaven: white whole wheat flour, yeast, salt, sugar and warm water. Once I found the perfect whole wheat bread recipe, I decided I’d explore other add-ins. My favorite is a jalapeno-cheddar version. It makes fabulously flavorful sandwiches, is a snazzy addition to a ho-hum breakfast, and is the perfect accompaniment to a warm bowl of soup. Feel free to come up with your own combinations; the possibilities are endless!

Just resigning this baking device to bread-making seemed like a crime, so I became determined to find other uses for the bread cloche. Seeing as the bread cloche is a nice tool for baking, I thought it might work to roast chicken too. Boy was I right! This baby makes a mean roasted chicken and vegetable dinner. The first time I did it, I couldn’t take pictures fast enough before we devoured it, so I had to try again. This time I used pork, and it was fantastic too. It’s my new favorite simple method for cooking pork.

Using this bread cloche just makes whole wheat bread feel fancy without the fancy process,  and lends the most rewarding results. It’s also a great tool for making a healthy whole wheat pizza crust. Not a big bread fan? You can use this for roasting lean meats since the bell of the bread cloche helps hold in the moisture.

It’s a multifunctional healthy cooking tool that’s sure to become a favorite, and this is coming from someone who has to be very selective about their prized cooking tools since I have such limited kitchen space. Luckily, it’s so pretty; I never want to put it away. I seriously can’t wait to keep exploring more ideas with my magnificent red bread cloche.


Jalapeño Cheddar Whole Wheat Bread

Recipe by Meme Inge, MS, RD, LDN

Ingredients
7 ounces warm water
2 teaspoons dried yeast
2 teaspoons sugar or honey
350 grams white whole wheat flour (about 2.5 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup minced jalapeños (about 2 to 3 peppers)
3 ounces (or ¾ cup) reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
Cornmeal, optional

Directions

  1. Stir together the warm water, yeast and sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until it starts bubbling.
  2. Whisk together the flour and salt.
  3. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour and knead for about 2-3 minutes. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 1 to 1-1/2 hours in a warm area.
  4. Punch down the dough, stir in the jalapeños and cheese, and knead for about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the surface of the bread cloche with a little bit of cornmeal. Shape the dough into a ball and place on top on the cornmeal, if using, on the bread cloche. Let rise for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 460*F. Using a knife or baker’s blade to make a few slices in the top of the dough for steam to escape. Cover the bread cloche, and put in preheated oven. Bake for 40 minutes; remove cover and let cook another 5-15 minutes until done. Carefully remove from oven, and let cool slightly before serving.

Cooking Notes

  • Any cheese, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, vegetables and/or fruit will work in your bread. Just use about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of desired add-ins. Pick those with a lower water content to keep the correct consistency of the bread. For example, mushrooms release a lot of water during the cooking process, so it’s best to sauté them prior to adding in the dough.

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin & Onions

Recipe by Meme Inge, MS, RD, LDN

Ingredients
1 (1 to 1.25 lb.) pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Directions

  1. Put the pork, olive oil, vinegar, rosemary, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a zip top bag or sealable container. Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 90 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cover the base of the bread cloche with chopped onions and sliced garlic. Preheat the oven to 375*F.
  3. Remove pork from marinade and let excess drip off. Top the onions and garlic with the pork tenderloin. Add the rosemary sprigs around the pork. Cover, and bake in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes until pork is done.
  4. Slice pork and serve with onions and garlic.
  5. Serves 4
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Meme Inge
Meme Inge, MS, RD, LDN, is a registered dietitian in New Orleans by day, and a food writer in her free time. Read her recipes, advice and restaurant reviews on her blog, Living Well Kitchen, and follow Meme on Twitter and Pinterest.