Improvised clibanus at last

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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 9, 2004
Rossendale, Lancashire
A while ago i mentioned wanting to try using a clibanus to bake bread on a open fire. military bread making.html

However its taken until now for me to actually go to a garden centre and get the bits needed to mock up one. there's some lovely replicas out there but I cant afford them and i don't have the gear or skill to make one from scratch. I had seen on the internet a way of improvising one using a bowl shaped plant pot, a, well i don't know what you call them , a saucer that you stand a plant pot on and a few bits from a hardware shop so i thought I'd try that.

I didn't have a chance to shop around so the parts cost about £10 in all. I;m sure it can be done cheaper or made from dug and properly prepared clay in the field. This one can hold a 9", shallow, cake tin, A slightly bigger saucer thing would have been easier to use and more in keeping with the originals.but this is what they had.

When i can find it there's a pack of terracotta coloured fake Daz airdrying modelling clay floating about the house so I will probably add a rim of sorts near the now top to hold coals better. Since I don't know how much or little things will expand or contract I've left the metal work loose for the moment, its weight will make a good enough seal. Two large washers and two nuts on a screwed eyelet cap the drain hole on whats normally the bottom of the plant pot.

In use I'll use a few pebbles to make a air gap between the saucer and the cake tin to discourage burning.

Not sure when I'll next have a fire big enough to make enough coals to use it but ill post pics of the burnt offerings and anything Ive learned.

If your wondering the wooden thing top left is a nearly finished winding stooge for my silly vintage rubber powered planes and the piece or terracotta top right was rescued from a big planter that bust over the winter and which I'll use to have a go at turning spindle whorls from. I'll cheat and cut the blanks with a old tank cutter!



Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
That construction should bake a fine loaf of bread. Do you suppose that the conical top prevents a dusting of ash?
Or does it serve for heat retention as a cover over an open fire of hot coals?

Years ago, I bought a set of 6 German terra cotta baking plates which I'll use for breads or fruit pies 5-6 times per year.
I never cover them for anything but that's always in my kitchen electric oven.


Feb 10, 2016
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Tombear, the clay components can have been treated with plastics and so on. If I was you, I would fire it a couple of times in a fire, and see if any changes happen.

You guys know the Roemertopf? Very popular a couple of decades ago. You can find one dirt cheap in charity shops.
I would use that instead.
RV, those baking plates are the best there is for pies!
Or individual Pizzas.
Mum has some. Or had..