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Autumn a time to cook in your clay baker

Autumn a Time to Cook in Your Clay Baker

This information is for anyone pondering weather or not to purchase a Romertoph Clay Baker or who already has a Clay Baker.  When my mom died several years ago, myself being one of four girls we had the pleasure of going through my mothers well equipped kitchen.  My mother was a wonderful chef and baker so to say the least she did not skimp when it came to her passion.  Two of my beautiful sisters did not inherit the same passion for cooking that my mother had, but two of us did.  My mothers first born and myself love to be in our kitchens, so being able to pick and choose through the array of items was quite a treat.  Long story short that is how I came about my Romertoph Clay Baker.  Aside from the baker being decorated beautifully I could tell it was well used by my mother.

From my personal experience these vessels are a cooks magic pot they always guarantee your results for a delicious meal.  This single casserole dish can be used as a soup kettle, poultry and beef roaster, a stew pot, a vegetable steamer, a deep dish pie baker or cobbler maker.  This magical vessel is even your own little brick oven to make the crustiest bread you have ever eaten.  All the above can be explained along with some very delicious recipes in our cookbook….Complete Guide to Clay pot cooking.   The big difference between lets say our Cast Iron Casserole and a Clay baker, is that the clay baker is unglazed therefore making it very porous.  That brings us to the reason for soaking the Clay Baker before use.  Soaking the baker lets the clay draw up as much moisture as possible and then distribute it over the cooking time of the dish.  I place my Clay Baker in a clean kitchen sink and fill with room temperature water until it is completely covering the vessel.  Let it soak for 15 minutes, Now you are ready to work some magic.You always start with a cold oven this is very important,  because if you place the Clay Baker in a preheated oven the sudden temperature change could possibly crack it.  

 Most of the recipes you will find use a very hot oven of 400 degrees, this heats the water the baker has absorbed and starts the steaming process. The clay baker is covered throughout most of the baking times keeping all the moisture and flavor inside the baker.Unlike using some roasting  pans or dutch ovens you do not have to seer or brown your meat before placing it in the clay baker.  The browning capabilities of your clay baker will amaze you.  It can be used either in a conventional oven or in your microwave, but never place on top of the stove burner.

After using your clay baker let it come back to room temperature before washing it.  Never place it in your dishwasher as harsh dishwasher detergents can be absorbed and affect the flavor of your food.  Wash your clay baker in warm water using only a few drops of dish washing liquid.  Let is soak a few minutes to loosen the dirt, if you have tough food particles still too stubborn let the baker soak overnight with one to two teaspoons of baking soda.  Never use a soap filled scouring pad or sharp object to clean your baker.  When I inherited my clay baker it was already discolored from use but I knew this only adds to the attractiveness.  If unlike me you don’t like the discoloring effect you can line your baker with parchment paper this also will help if you are cooking something with a very pungent odor such as Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic, and then you want to make a blueberry pie in it.  Over time these odors will fade and will not effect the taste of your food unless you make one savory pungent dish and then the next day make something sweet…then the flavors may blend.  

 My favorite recipe is Wedding Chicken from Crete,  it has come out delicious every time I make it.The last information I have for you is to store your baker with the top inside the bottom I put a piece of paper towel between.  Store it in a cool dry place as if it is kept where there is any moisture you may have some mold growth.  Don’t worry this is washable and will not harm your baker at all.  Also, if you do happen to get a crack or small broken piece you can repair it with some heat resistant silicone glue.  I highly recommend you trying one of these wonderful Romertoph bakers for yourself,  and experience the magic of the Clay Pot!

By: Marjorie Cross

www.smalltownkitchen.com

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