A few years back, my mom and I were walking through an art fair in Tallahassee, FL and we came across a stand by Neal Pottery. Among the beautifully made pottery was one piece that caught my eye: a small blue round pot with handles. The inside was not smooth but instead featured a spiral. Next to the pot stood a little booklet with bread baking recipes…I was intrigued. After a few questions about the functionality of the pottery piece, in which one can bake a one pound bread.
Not so sure if I was sold because of the looks of the pot or the functionality of it.
Since the purchase I have used the pottery several times. It works great. I am sure that the recipe below that was inspired by a recipe that came with the pot can be baked in any other baking dish. The bread is small enough to finish it within a couple of days between two people.
1 1/8 teaspoons dry yeast
1 cup very warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter (use vegan butter to make vegan)
1 teaspoon salt
2 ½ to 3 cups organic all-purpose flour
1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and water. Cover and allow time for the yeast to “bloom” (about 20 minutes).
2. Add the butter and half of the flour. Work the butter and the flour in with a fork. Add in the remaining flour (it is very dry where we live, so I only used 2 ½ cups flour). Knead the dough for about 3 minutes.
3. Shape the dough into a ball, and place in a greased Neal Pottery bread baker (I used a little bit of olive oil to grease it). Cover loosely with plastic wrap (also greased) and allow the dough to rise until the top of the dough is about ½ to 1″ over the rim of the pot (approximately 60 to 75 minutes).
4. Uncover and place in a cold oven and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes. Carefully remove the bread from the pottery and tap the bottom of the loaf–it should sound hollow.
5. Allow the loaf to cool (on a wire rack, optional) before slicing. Enjoy with jam (we forgot to take a picture 😦 ). Bread also works great to make grilled cheese https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/epic-grilled-cheese-sandwich/.