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I am getting a La Cloche bread dome. Anybody used one? Got any tips on using it?

It’s an eBay bargain (thanks for the heads up, Gill) used, at £5.50 – Bakery Bits have them… at £47.49.  I had discounted the La Cloche in my head until I read a review in which somebody says it’s big but doesn’t need storage space as it lives on the table and acts as the bread bin once the bread is baked. This, I believe, is a genius idea.

Bakery Bits provide a leaflet with theirs (available for download), with recipes, in which they say this:

La Cloche Baking Dome
Instructions for use
The La Cloche baking dome is made from stoneware and designed
to fit inside a standard domestic oven to mimic a wood-fired oven:
the oven dome traps the steam and maintains an even baking
temperature to give you moist bread with a golden, even and
crackly crust. It is suitable for loaves up to around 1kg.
Before using the La Cloche for the first time, apply a light coating of vegetable
oil (not olive oil) to the inside base and heat the La Cloche before first use.
When the oven is up to temperature, remove the La Cloche, gently tip
your proved dough onto the centre of the base of the dome’s base and
score the dough using a grignette, as required.
Bake for 40-50 minutes after which remove the dome and bake for a
further 10 minutes by which time the loaf should be evenly golden
brown with a blistered crust. Put the loaf onto a cooling rack to cool.
To clean the La Cloche, allow is to cool and then wipe it clean – do not
use soaps – and over time, the La Cloche will darken as it
becomes seasoned.
Note that Sassafras suggests placing the dough into a cold La Cloche.
However, although of course you may do this, we believe that putting
dough into a hot La Cloche allows the dough to develop a steamed
environment and to heat quickly which will give better results.

According to the review here the domes are recommended by Dan Lepard and the reviewer says:

I will never go back .. now I have my dome. There have been several things I have noticed about my bread since I have started using it. The bell traps the steam which maintains an even baking temperature which mean the my bread had a superb crust and more importantly stayed fresh for an extra 24 hours.

I am looking forward to forming my own verdict.

What a bargain, I can’t stop grinning.

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