Your Fourneau Grande is packed in recyclable cardboard and molded paper pulp. Before baking, give each part a light cleansing with warm water to wash away any packing debris. Always thoroughly dry parts after cleaning.
Oven Rack Setup
Adjust the racks in your oven to accommodate the height of the Fourneau Grande cloche. Oven rack position impacts performance: too much heat on top can adversely affect oven spring; too much heat on the bottom can result in charred bottom crust. You may need to adjust the rack position in your oven to find the best balance of top and bottom heat.
First place the baking stone on the oven rack, with the recessed channels facing up. The stone can be placed in the center of the rack or it can be placed to the side to provide room on the same rack for the Fourneau tray. Next, place the iron cloche onto the stone, nesting its base into the outer channel. Finally, securely place the hatch onto the front opening of the cloche. Watch Ted install one in his home oven.
Preheat your Fourneau Grande in the oven for at least 45 minutes at 480-500 degrees fahrenheit. Place your bread dough onto the Fourneau silicone mat and tray by either rolling a formed loaf onto the mat or placing the tray on a banneton before flipping the basket to transfer the loaf.
Open the oven, use a hot pad to remove the hatch, and use the tray handle to lift the tray and load it into the baking chamber. Optionally, using care, pour 1-3 tablespoons of water under the tray, into the inner channel of the baking stone. Using a hot pad, close the baking chamber with the hatch.
During the first stage of baking allow the loaf to “spring” inside the closed baking chamber.
After 15-25 minutes, depending on your recipe, remove the hatch with a hot pad and finish the second stage of baking, again typically 15-25 minutes.
In the second stage the loaf can remain in the baking chamber with the hatch removed, or the loaf and tray can be moved to another open spot in the oven, below or to the side of the Grande. Moving the loaf and tray for the second stage allows you to begin the first stage of baking in the cloche with a new loaf.
Allow the Grande to cool inside your oven. We recommend handling the parts individually rather than trying to lift the whole unit as one. The parts generally do not need cleaning beyond brushing to remove loose flour. 2-3 times a year, apply a thin film of grapeseed oil to your iron parts before baking. As the parts are preheated, the oil seasoning on your Fourneau will be renewed.