Project BreadHead: 05 Welsh Clay Pot Loaves

Well, loaf!

Hello again! I’m jumping back to loaf number 5 of Project BreadHead this week after getting a clay pot. Only got one because they’re so big. The smaller ones at the garden centre were plastic. Had a sneaky suspicion that they wouldn’t bake so well!!

Ingredients:

Wholemeal and White Flour, salt, yeast, milk, water, butter, mixed herbs. Again, I used milk powder for the milk. The recipe called for chives, parsley and sage but I just went for mixed herbs. It also wanted an egg for glazing but we were out of eggs! Shocking!

Time to prepare the yeast. Mix in with 150ml water.

Cover with cling film and leave to rise.

After about 10 minutes, you should get a nice foamy layer on top.

Prepare your milk mix if using this.

Slowly pour the milk into the yeast and stir to keep smooth.

Sift the salt and both the flours into a bowl. Make a well in the centre.

Pour in the yeast and milk mix. Take some of the flour from the outer edge and cover the centre well. Leave for 15 minutes, covered with cling film.

Add the water, melted butter and herbs and mix to make a dough. Mine was quite wet so I added more flour to absorb the excess liquid.

Knead for 10 minutes and then place in an oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave for 1.5 hours.

Mahoosive!

Prepare a clay pot! Ideally you would do this a couple of days before starting your bake. Buy an ordinary terracotta pot from a garden centre. Liberally coat in oil inside and out and bake on gas mark 6 for 30 minutes. Leave to cool. Repeat several times. I did mine 4 times. The first time you do it, the pot will go really dry. After another 3 bakes, it will retain the moisture from the oil. This apparently makes it easier to remove the bread when done.

Knock back the dough. Don’t knead, just shape and place in the clay pot.

Leave to rise until it comes to the top.

Glaze and add a topping e.g. fennel seeds or wholemeal flakes.

Preheat the oven on gas mark 6. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the pot and leave to cool. This can be difficult!!

And done! It’s interesting having a completely rounded bread with no crusts. I still question why anyone thought baking in a flower pot was a good idea though. Ah the Welsh! Bless ’em! My pot is going out in the garden now. With a plant in it.

Until next time!

Leave a Reply