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  1. devlin, that's one freaking beautiful, gorgeous piece de resistance!
  2. Yes, but cast iron has its own issues. ... lousy for saucepans and saute pans and other things where you need control. true. frying is where cast iron really excells. i never understood why le creuset are making sauce pans... it's my experience that, once it's properly seasoned, you can deglaze to your heart's desire. only remember to wash it in hot water, put it back on the stove to heat gently through, and add a thin coating of oil.
  3. for frying pans, i prefer cheap, solid cast iron (if i can't have heavy copper). a cast iron frying pan's frying capability is splendid, once you get it good and hot (only copper is better imo), and the pan just gets better and better with time. save your big spending for the sautee pan or the french oven. frying with cast iron may seem a little difficult at start (cleaning it can be troublesome, too), as cast iron is not very conductive compared to aluminium or copper. the trick is to heat it slowly. once you've got it going, nothing really beats it at "caramelization". and slowly it will build up this almost non-stick layer which is the pride of any cast iron cook , given that you only clean it with hot water (of course, of course). and if you think cast iron is cheap in the stores, wait till you see the price tags at flea markets, thrift shops, garage sales etc.
  4. the ikea 365+ pots and pans are not bad at all. just stay away from the non-stick. they've lately started producing some enameled cast iron that looks nice. haven't tried it, though. their end-grain cutting boards are very good. "svalka" glasses are all right. so are storing boxes and mixing bowls. what really sucks: their knives, their cheap cutting boards and their balloon whisks.
  5. i'm rather old fashioned. i like spoons to be rounded, forks to have long teeth(?) and knives to have long blades. that's the way these things were made for centuries, and for a reason: they're comfortable to use. there have been very few succesfull modern designs, and i think i know of only one example of one-piece stainless knives that work: the knives made by the swedish "jernbolaget eskilstuna" in the 50'ies. so, as for your knives: no, i don't feel they're ugly per se - but i would certainly advice for knives with longer blades, and the dimples may, as some have pointed out, pose a problem re hygiene.
  6. so, i actually found one i could afford on ebay. must be from the -30'ies or -40'ies, i guess, as its details are not quite as refined as the very old knife i own. and how is it, then? well, it's quite flexible. it's light. it's wonderfully balanced. it needs to be honed quite often, as the steel is rather soft. and it actually cuts the carrots, instead of crushing its way through them. it immediately became my knife of preference.
  7. oraklet

    Le Creuset Sizes

    No...I bought the 2 quart Round Oven in Satin Black, and it's black on the inside, and doesn't seem as smooth as the pans with the creme colored insides. I haven't cooked in it yet though, so I'm not sure if it will make a difference for sticking or clean-up (I suspect it will though ). ← the matte black finish is better for browning. it's almost like raw cast iron, only it doesn't rust. i can live with the slight smell that always lingers in spite of my furious efforts to clean it.
  8. that might be it... i'll try to be very careful next time (tonight) and see if it makes a difference. thanks a lot!
  9. good suggestion; only thing is, i fold the dough in the bowl
  10. i've been baking for about 5 years and, thanks not least to all the great advice on egullet, most of my loaves are quite pretty. beautiful crust, nice open crumb and all that. but still... sometimes, like, every fourth batch, the crumb feels as if there were a tiny amout of unbaked flour in it. it doesn't seem to depend on which flour i use, as i'll mostly use the same formula. i can't figure out exactly why, really. any ideas? the formula is c. 15% durum wheat, 10% whole wheat and 75% "pizza" flour (12% protein). 70% hydration. method: folding; cool fermentation.
  11. ah, yes... my only rational excuse for, um, collecting is that in a few years time, my kids will need the stuff when they leave home. besides, it's mostly cheap finds from flea markets, thrift shops etc., and it doesn't take up that much room in the attic. and i don't collect half of what i'd like to
  12. i knew i'd get into trouble with that "organical feel" well, it's like, you know, it should kind of have the feel of a big relaxed muscle, yet sort of tacky... but actually, i think you'll know what i mean when you're there a baking stone will keep the temperature of your oven a lot more constant. if you don't have a baking stone (or some similar contrapment) the temperature may drop c. 20 C immediately as you shove your bread into the oven, and will take some time to recover. also, the stone will help a lot in gettting a good crust on the bottom of the loaf. actually there's a lot of useful information in this thread, too: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=81648
  13. pale, stone hard bread... well, there are a some basic rules for wheat dough which seem to work well for me: use a baking stone (and allow some extra time for it to get hot before you bake. one hour, at least). make sure your water is free of clorine. don't use very cold water. don't use hot water. and don't use water from the hot water tap. knead well. the dough should have an "organical" feel to it. (or you may use the "folding technique": first kneading just enough to make the dough, then let rest for 1/2 hour, then folding it in on itself a few times. let it rest for some time, then fold again, etc.) ferment, covered well, at a temperature that will allow the yeast to get to work. say, 20 C., untill the dough feels a little "wobbly". no more, no less. place on your baking parchment and let proof, covered well, untill wobbly. slash with a very sharp knife. bake. a standard loaf made with 3-400 g of flour should bake at c. 200 C for c. 1/2 hour, or untill golden brown. most of the recipes you'll find on the flour bags will tell you to use a lot of yeast. try cutting down on it and ferment for more time, cooler. also, in my opinion, most recipes use too little water. i feel that the ideal dough will be a little (or even quite) sticky. try using, say, at least 65 ml water for every 100 g of flour. you may have to dust your table (and the dough) well with flour when forming the loaf. of course, the kind of flour you use will make a difference, but just about any flour that holds c. 12% protein will do.
  14. that, and the fact that 1 mm is so thin that you're sure to have hot spots. personally i find that 2 mm is all right for saute pans, but sauce pans or frying pans should be as thick as possible. i must say that i see tin or silver lining as a thing of the past as it's terribly fragile. the stainless lining used on modern copper pans is supposedly so thin that it doesn't really influence temperature control. "supposedly", as i haven't used tin lined pans - but i'm quite happy with the amazing reactivity of my stainless lined pans besides, it can be quite difficult to find someone who'll do the tin or silver relining for you when it's worn out.
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