Baking bread in my Römertopf baker

076copy

Bread baking is so much fun, I just wish everyone would do it.  I know it seems a little tricky to the uninitiated but it needn’t be.  The hardest part is getting the dough into the blazing hot oven.  This usually requires either:

  • heating up tiles for one hour on the oven’s highest setting, then sliding the loaf onto the tiles and pouring boiling water into a tray on the botton shelf; or
  • heating the oven and an oven proof pot (usually cast iron) for one hour on the oven’s highest setting and then manoeuvring the risen dough into the pot.

042copyThe Römertopf baker simplifies all that.  Like all Römertopf products, it and the dough are put into a cold oven.

It certainly is much simpler and, in summer, much less heat is produced in the kitchen.  Because of that, I wanted to give it a go and willed it to work.

This is my third loaf.  No matter what I do, I can’t get a good looking loaf using this technique but the bread tastes absolutely fine, the crumb is nice and open and the crust light and crisp.  In the circumstances, I am willing to forgo good looks.

039copyFor some reason, the loaf seems to rise from its midriff so you get a big open crack around the circumference of the loaf rather than on top.  I did slash my second loaf but it still rose in the same manner so this time I didn’t bother.

The round baker takes 1kg of dough and the loaf pan takes 750g of dough.  Peter’s of Kensington sells both bakers for $28 each.

You can use any bread recipe, sourdough or commercial yeast.  Just do the sums and convert your recipe into either 1kg or 750 grams (depending on which Römertopf you have).

Line the Römertopf with baking paper.  I just pushed a sheet into the bowl and then nipped it so that it would sit flatly in the bowl.  I did try greasing the pan but the bread stuck.  Baking paper works perfectly.

Make your dough as you usually would but put the dough in the lined bowl for its last rise.   Cover with some Glad Wrap that has been sprayed with water and oil to stop the dough forming a crust and the wrap sticking to the dough.  About half an hour before you want to bake, put the bowl (dough and all) into a sink of luke warm water.  I found that the bowl floated in the water.  When it is time to bake, put the wet bowl in the oven.  For the 1kg loaf :  turn your oven onto 200°C for 45 minutes.  After 45 minutes, take the bowl out of the oven (remembering to rest the bowl on a towel so you don’t break it) and take the loaf out of the bowl.  Put the bread back in the oven, upside down (to brown its bum), turn the oven down to 175°C and bake it for another 30 minutes.  The 750g loaf would probably take about 15 minutes less but I haven’t tried it.

135copy

Ok, it is not pretty but it is very easy and there is no need to slide your loaf onto hot tiles or handle a hot cast iron pot.

16 thoughts on “Baking bread in my Römertopf baker

  1. Hi Glenda!

    I just wanted to thank you for the sourdough starter. I’ve been baking every week since you gave me them, and they are so active! I’ve been having to proof my breads in the fridge now, if I leave them outside overnight they triple in size! I even purchased a Romertopf and I found that the bread turned out a lot nicer baked in it. I remove the lid in the last 10 minutes to make it golden.
    I’m still learning but I’m pretty happy with the results so far and slowly turning into a baking addict!
    Once again, thank you very much 🙂

    • Hi Patricia, No problems. I am glad you are having fun. In summer, the bread can take as little as 4 hours to prove. I usually leave the starters out over night and start making the bread in the morning. I can usually bake by the evening. I would love a photo of your bread. Cheers Glenda

  2. What do you mean it’s not pretty? I’ve never met a loaf of bread that isn’t pretty because once it hits my mouth, it’s all the same to me. I think it looks great. And I see you’re really into the Römertopf. I’m still debating whether or not I need one of those but at least I’ve found a store that has them – my favorite Le Sur where my husband (ok, where I) got my baking rings.

  3. Glenda, I love your round Romy! I have the loaf pans, but I don’t use them as much since I’ve started baking in the enamel roasters. The Romy is perfect on a hot day though – so much easier not having to preheat everything. Your loaf looks great – is that nigella seeds you’ve got on the top?

    • Hi Celia, They are the black sesame seeds I bought with you at Herbies. I don’t know about baking in the Romy. It is so much easier but the round loaf seem to take off like a flying saucer rather than erupting volcano. It has happened every time, maybe I should try the loaf pan. I am still dreaming of your huge loaf.

      • Glenda, I love everything about baking bread in the Romy except for how they end up looking. I’ve tried in every pot I own now, and they all end up as delicious tasting spaceships. Actually, that’s not true, the loaf pans turn out an ok looking loaf, but you really have to shape the dough well before they go in. I now bake all my bread in the enamel roasting pans and haven’t looked back. 🙂

        • Hiya Celia. It must be because they rise as the oven warms up rather than have a spurt when they hit a very hot oven. You are right, the best loaves are produced in a enclosed pan.

  4. Glenda your bread look wonderful. I have never used a Romertopf before and did not know you could put bread dough into a cold oven using this baking dish. Might think of getting myself one 🙂

    • Hi Moya, It is all Celia’s fault. She got me interested in the Romertopfs. The big baker is fantastic for meat. Because the pans are soaked, the meat stays lovely and moist. It is the same principle with the bread. Because the pan is soaked you don’t need to spray water into the oven.

  5. After we return from our final for a while upcoming long weekend away I’m going to start Celia’s starter, get my Romy down from the shelf and dip into the world of sourdough baking. I’m glad you emphasised using baking paper because my last efforts stuck when I oiled my Romy… and it doesn’t take much to deter me. But I’ll be bread baking this year… whatever the outcomes…

  6. Sounds perfect to me! Celia very kindly sent me a starter, which arrived this morning (the other one seems to have disappeared in the fridge!)… and a special friend gifted me a Romi, so what am I waiting for!? Love your guidance, Glenda x

Please, leave a comment - it makes me feel loved.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s