I got a covered baker from King Arthur’s Flour from Tom for Christmas. Of course, with a house full of perfectly willing bread-eaters, I had to put it to the test. The test, it turned out, that I miserably failed. Don’t get me wrong, the bread was delicious tasting, disfigured and ugly as it was after we chiseled it out of the pan. Not once, but twice, I might add.

The first time was just plain stupidity. I am used to baking in my cast iron and simply threw the dough in without thinking of the whole “seasoning” thing. The second time, I took the time to follow the directions. Soak the baker in water for 15 minutes to immerse it and so that the pores gather the water to use as steam when it bakes. All seemed perfect, until of course, we attempted to remove it from the pan. The bread, looked darn beautiful in the pan. We could stare at it and drool just fine. If we wanted to eat it though —well, dig out the chisel again. We decided that perhaps I had formulated a new type of bread, single crusted. In fact, we joked that maybe I should tell our New Year’s Eve company that it was planned that way and wait to see if anyway actually asked for the recipe.

Tonight, I again confronted the new pan. This time, I oiled every nook and cranny of the bottom part with vegetable oil. The top was inverted in the sink and soaked for the required 15 minutes. The bread baked, we held our breath (figuratively mind you or I would be dead obviously). The cover came off and the bread baked for its last 15 minutes uncovered. It was removed from the oven and looked like this:

Beautiful, isn’t it? Yes, that’s exactly the way the other, single crust, chiseled out of the pan loaves looked too.

The real test came in the removal process. Tom stood at the ready, chisel in hand. But alas, it was not necessary, the bread flipped from the pan like a fish out of water. Here’s the finished product.

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