I found this blackened earthenware dish hiding in a corner of an antique shop. It screamed rescue me. And it took almost not time at all to turn it from a eyestore into the centerpiece of my bread baking universe. It is surprising what you can do with a little baking soda, a nail brush and some elbow grease.
I had assumed most of it was burnt on and would be hard to remove, but very little was.
It is shockingly free of cracks and crazing for something that dates from about 1890-1910s. I beliebe this is the one that that had a cover, the exterior is unglazed, but so far I am finding that it is easy to clean if you do it right away. I suspect this lived someplace near a woodstove.