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The Essential Kitchen: Clay Pot Cooking

The Essential Kitchen: Clay Pot Cooking

The Essential Kitchen says…

An Ancient Cooking Method With Modern Results

Is there room in your city kitchen for one more pan? Whether there is or not, I’m going to suggest that you make space for a clay baker.

The name is a bit misleading because while you can indeed bake bread in one of these pans, they are most popular for making one-pot meals and roasting. It’s an ancient method of cooking which uses a two-part (top and bottom) unglazed clay pot that has first been soaked in water. When heated to a high temperature, steam is created, adding moisture to whatever is being cooked and retaining nutrients.

In clay pot cooking, poultry or meat is combined with a little liquid, vegetables, and seasonings to produce the tenderness of a braise with the finish of roasting. Most of the cooking is done with the cover in place, but when the food is nearly finished, the cover can come off to get a golden brown finish.

Bread baked in a clay pot produces a crispy crust with a tender, moist interior. Some clay bread bakers are similar to metal or glass loaf pans but others come with a cover.

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