Intl Breads 5: Baking in Pots

2007-12-05

Welsh Clay Pot BreadWelsh Clay Pot Bread - InteriorOne of the stranger items Chef talked about on the first night of this class was a clay pot to be used later in the course. My partner graciously bought and prepared the terracotta containers, oiling and baking them at home so that they would be sealed. However, during class, Chef suggested we line them with aluminum foil for fear of ingesting lead which might be in the pots. Anyway, the dough for the Welsh clay pot bread contained cornmeal, garlic, chives and parsley. The risen ball of dough looked quite small at the bottom of the pot and the bread didn't rise too much either. Unmolded, the bread looked like a giant cupcake. The texture was a bit coarse from the cornmeal, but had an incredible garlicky-herby flavour. It would make a good side with a stew.

Pane al CioccolatoThe other bread of the night was baked in a different kind of pot, a small saucepan. We added cocoa powder to the dough, and then folded in chopped bittersweet chocolate during shaping. The pieces threatened to tear through the dough so we had to handle it gently. I tried to distribute the chocolate evenly throughout the bread. Of course, adding chocolate has a way of making any bread (or cookie or pie or square...) taste better and everyone enjoyed this pane which was sweet and tender, dotted with morsels of sweet chocolate.

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