On a recent trip to the Cayman Islands, my husband and I ate at a restaurant called The Brooklyn Pizza & Pasta. As a starter they bring out delicious bread in terra cotta flower pots. We talked about that bread for days, and I made it my goal to recreate it at home. Not only does this bread look beautiful, but it tastes great too. The pot preparation is the most time consuming, so I’ll show you how to do that first- but then I have a hack for the bread that will get you from oven to table in under 30 minutes.
Prepping your pots:
Wash the terra cotta pots in hot, soapy water. Wipe them dry and let them dry fully.
Heavily grease the inside and outside of the terra cotta pots with shortening and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the pots in a 300-degree oven for 30 minutes before removing the pots.
Let the pots cool, re-grease and re-bake them at the same temperature for another 30 minutes. Allow them to cool a second time. Do this 3 times.
Cut circles of aluminum foil or parchment paper to cover the hole in the bottom of the pots.
Spray the pots with non-stick cooking spray and fill no more than halfway with your favorite bread dough.
HERE’S THE HACK: Buy canned french bread dough from the refrigerator section at the grocery store. Each pot will take one half of the dough, rolled into a ball.
Once you’ve placed the dough in the flower pot, brush with melted butter or your oil of choice and top with fresh herbs, seeds, parmesan cheese and/or sea salt. I am obsessed with Arnold Myint’s Herbs de Provence, Maldon Sea Salt and sesame seeds.
Bake for 26 minutes at 350, or until the tops of the bread are golden brown.
You can either serve immediately (warn your guests that the pots are HOT), or pop the bread out to cool on a rack and place back into the pot when you’re ready to serve. Don’t forget there will be little squares of parchment paper or foil on the bottom of the bread, so popping it out real quick and removing it is ideal.
You can fill your pots with any bread you choose. I’ve found that quick breads like banana look fine, but they won’t have that beautiful rounded top like traditional bread.