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Everything posted by oraklet

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. that might be it... i'll try to be very careful next time (tonight) and see if it makes a difference. thanks a lot!
  7. good suggestion; only thing is, i fold the dough in the bowl
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. oh well, personally, i'd give them to to someone who cares more about pretty serving vessels than i do. i don't think they'll be of any use for actual cooking
  14. i'm almost certain they must be silver lined. copper pans from georg jensen are seen on danish on line-auctions from time to time, and are without exception silver lined. which is to be expected from georg jensen, a major danish siver ware manufacturer. pretty, but probably very fragile, as mentioned by jackal10.
  15. cast iron, in my experience, never gets as extremely non-sticky as teflon. it is, on the other hand, a lot closer than is stainless steel. i have no problems with omelets or pan cakes in my well seasoned cast iron, whereas in my stainless steel... so, seasoned cast iron IS as non stick as i need it to be oh, and i just recieved two pre-seasoned "skeppshult" regular pan cake pans for christmas, and they worked like a charm straight from the factory!
  16. as a first simple step of progress from your squished white bread, i'd reccommend the following procedure for one pizza, appr. 25-28 cm diam., with thin, semi-crisp buttom. sure, you can get a better pizza by using the biga method, or perhaps sourdough, and fresh, very ripe tomatoes, and a super hot brick oven. but this is still a mighty fine pizza: dough, made 8-12 hours in advance of baking it: dissolve 1-2 grams of cake yeast in 170 ml tepid water. add 250 g bread flour and one small teaspoon salt. mix and knead. it is rather sticky. put in an oiled bowl. cover with damp cloth and lid, let rise at ca. 15-18 C. tomato sauce: 1/4 can of crushed peeled tomatoes (passed through food mill if you like). add 1/2 small-medium garlic clove, finely chopped, plus salt to taste. preheat oven, with pizza stone, as hot as it gets. expect it to take at least one hour. when dough is ready, transfer (carefully, so that it is still one big lump) to flour dusted table. dust the dough on top, too. transfer to baking parchment. start flattening the dough from the center, by hand. NO PIN! if the dough starts sticking to your hand, spread a bit more flour. add thin layer of sauce and 125 g mozz (preferably italian), plus what ever else you like, but thinly. transfer to pizza stone. bake 'till done. if your oven is 275 C with convection turned on, it's a matter of 5-7 minutes. ps: please forgive the metric measures, as i have only a vague idea of american measures
  17. i don't know if it's quite as useful as the same size rondeau is to me, as the handle may prevent it from going into the oven. anyway, i find my similarly sized rondeau extremely useful. but then, i've got a gas stove top. semi-deep frying potatoes on stove top, spatchcocked chicken in oven, meatballs, slowly oven braised leeks and other greens, large quantities of tomato sauce or curries, general sauteeing etc etc. we're a family of six, with frequent guests. this size pan suits our needs beautifully, but it may be a little too big for those who mostly cook for 2!
  18. i'm not sure if it's exactly the same thing, but here's a recipe for danish pebernødder: 250 g. flour 1/8 teasp. hjortetaksalt (not baking powder nor yeast, but the other rising agent) 1/2 teasp. cinnamon 1/2 teasp. pepper 1/2 teasp. ginger 1/2 teasp. cloves 100 g. cold butter 175 g. sugar 1 egg 2 tbsp. cream mix flour, raisin agent and spices. mix with cold butter, as for a pie crust. mix egg and sugar well, add cream. mix gently with flour etc. roll into sticks, diameter c. 1/2". cut in 1/2" bits. roll these to small balls. bake for 10 min, at 180 C.
  19. I've been using all manner of metal tools and scouring powders in my stainless-lined heavy copper for going on 10 years now. There is nothing more than mild surface scratching -- something in the picometer area, perhaps. ← i'm glad to hear that. thanks a lot!
  20. à propos scratching ss-surfaces: how will the ss-lining of copper pans take the intensive use of, say, a steel whisk, as when you make certain sauces? it is, after all, a very thin steel layer...
  21. noilly prat is great for deglazing, in particular after frying chicken and pork. i'm not too happy with it for beef-deglazing - don't know why, really.
  22. honing: like, every second day. f. dick steel. sharpening: dunno, would be every second month, i guess. very fine grained japanese waterstone.
  23. sounds very much like at typical danish "rye" bread, though wheat is mostly added to that only in small quantities, like 20%. no additives are needed to get that texture.
  24. oraklet

    Le Creuset

    i've had absolutely no problems with mine which are, incidentally, matte black on both inside and outside. and they've seen a lot of use before i aquired them, judging from the old burnt-on grease i had to remove from them.
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