Henry Watson Bread Baker

I obtained a new kitchen item via eBay this week. I was looking at auctions last week and found something I’d been considering wanting: Terracotta baking and tableware pottery.

What I found was Henry Watson Pottery, Wattisfiled, Suffolk, England.

There is some of this on eBay, though not a whole lot. I started comparing pieces and prices, and looked at the one US Distributor’s web site, and figured out that most anything on eBay for this company would be a good deal.

I got my bread baker for $5.50, plus $8.00 S&H. A good, good, buy at $13.50 total! It’s brand new, in a box and has instructions.

Here it is, as it’s about to come out of the oven after it’s inaugural seasoning earlier today.

Henry Watson Pottery is nice stuff. From having just one piece now, in hand, I do think I’d love the rest of their Original Suffolk Collection, as well as the blue glazed tableware of their Suffolk Tableware Collection. Since we aren’t well-to-do, I’ll have to totally piecemeal these items into our home as they become available on eBay and elsewhere for reasonable amounts.

This is the catalog for UK operations, and here you can see the different collections and what they offer in pieces.

Kitchen and Beyond is one of the USA Distributors, the only online comparison here for such. Compare the price of my bread baker dish to this place, mine was $13.50 including shipping, this place charges 20.99 — before shipping. I like finding stuff through alternative sources, so I’m glad to have found this stuff on eBay to some degree.

I’ll be baking some bread in this tomorrow. It’s a french bread type recipe, but it’ll just be a nice rustic loaf in this pan, good for french toast, or dinner bread. I usually make a long loaf free form on a sheet for this recipe, but this is a nice pan to try something different with. I’m glad to add this terracotta bread baker to my kitchen utelizational stuff. 🙂


10 responses to “Henry Watson Bread Baker”

  1. I just today purchased a Henry Watson Bread Baker at a resale shop and it looks identical to the one in your picture. I did not have any instructions. Do I need to season it? Oil it before putting in the dough? Can you preheat the oven? Any info you have would be much appreciated. Please send it to my e-mail address beanwoman1@hotmail.com and so I won’t think you are junk mail, put Break Baker in the subject line. Thanks and I really like your website!

  2. Cheryl, I’ll see about emailing the info, but I’ll post it here too right now, from memory. I may be able to find the phamphlet and scan it in for you.

    Terra Cotta should be seasoned before first use, and oiled before each use. Just use Olive Oil, for instance, as I do, and rub it inside the bread pan. Bake it at about 350 degrees F. for an hour to season it. I also use Olive oil before putting the bread dough into the pan. Usually the bread comes out smoothly, but sometimes I need to run a knife down the sides to get at a spot to loosen that is sticking to the side, just a little spot or two, clinging holds it in tight, but it’s only a spot or two that need loosened usually, if at all. (it’s not like the bread is ruined or ripped or anything, it’s only a rustic crustiness that is sticking.)

    When the pan is hot do not place it on a cold surface, always place it on a kitchen towel or pot holder or something that can absorb the heat but not draw it fast as in something like cold metal, etc.

    To use you may put the bread dough in when the pan is cold. You may pre-warm it too. It works fine either way.

    I bake my bread in it at 350 or 400, depending on what I feel like at the time. I also do bake by smell and touch and look, I don’t time it.

    Put the bread pan into a hot oven just as any other pan, that is fine –works right. It’s only the opposite you must be careful of, shocking it by hot being drawn from it too fast on a cold surface, that can crack it. I’ve had my Henry Watson pan for over a year now, and it’s my favorite bread pan! I have stainless steel ones too and would gladly have several terra cotta bread pans. It’s just a special pan that I baby, it’s not a problem to do that, it’s special, I like it a lot. It makes making bread more fun to have a special “friend” to use.

    I don’t wash my pan usually. Get it wet on occasion if it needs it for any reason, but I let it go usually with no cleaning except for picking out any sticking spots of dough or crusty that are loose. I let it get brown and take on more character. That’s the inside part. The outside part does fine with no cleaning or oiling.

    Hope that’s a help to you!

    • Use this bread baker like anything else you’d bake bread in. Butter or oil the inside, shape & place your bread in the bread pan, let rise, then bake in hot oven. (temp. depends on the recipe.)

  3. I, too, just found this pan second hand! Thanks for the instructions on oiling etc. It seems like this is used the same way my glass or stainless pans would be so my question is – what’s the advantage of the terra cotta?

    Also wondering if you have ever soaked the pan in water prior to baking? Wondering if this would have the effect of making the crust “crustier” and the interior chewier, just as putting a dish of water in the oven might?


    • If it has a lid, it traps the steam escaping from the bread as it bakes to make a crustier crust. Remove it the last third of baking time to allow the bread to brown.

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