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  1. Thanks for your report, sparrowgrass. I have a Misto hidden away that I have kept in the hopes of being able to revive it. I'm off to try your method! It would be nice if this worked. Meanwhile I've grown accustomed to drizzling olive oil with abandon on everything. Not such a bad alternative, except the few times when you really need that light mist on top of crumbs or something.
  2. Hi Porthos, I don't know if you are still looking for responses on this, but if you are, here's one more. I have cooked on a mishmash of cookware for years, some nicer pieces, most not so great. The cookware was acquired many years ago, before I had a steady job. I got it as I haunted second hand shops and occasionally scored OLD copper bottom Revere (maybe from the 50's?). I've used that stuff day in and day out for 30+ years. That old Revere is heavier stainless steel than what they made in the 90's. I haven't looked at Revere since then, so that is my point of comparison. Given your timeline, that might be what you are cooking with, too. As you have probably noticed, even the older, heavier Revere warps fairly easily. When I think I can get away with it I'll start and finish cooking in the same pot. You definitely have to be attentive, as you end up with the hot spots your note. I imagine that you, as have I, learned to adapt to the idiosyncrasies of this cookware long ago. It can be quite a dance to turn out something decent. I'll add that I am doing this cooking currently on some sort of strange electric disks that don't produce even heat, either. Recently, I got a 12 inch AC MC2 fry pan and a 4 quart AC LTD saute pan from CookwareandMore. Wow. Everything is easier, from browning to simmering to cleanup. I'm nuts about this heavier cookware. It makes cooking easier. I'll never forget the first time I sauteed onions in the new fry pan and then added some lovely fresh frozen whole plum tomatoes from the freezer. No little brown onion bits. No sticking. No need for my Revere Ware tricks! Now I'm in the process of added a few more pieces. I think the old Revere Ware has it's place, but I'm thinking it might be in someone else's kitchen.
  3. Like all of you, I have been inspired, too. We have been snowed in here, so in honor of being at home and wanting to make the house smell wonderful, I started a recipe of something I grew up on called "Chicken and Biscuits" or "Chicken Fricassee." Mom uses the names interchangeably for a stewed chicken dish that gets ladled over wonderful, light, baking powder biscuits. Having more time than usual, I thought I'd browse through eGullet and see what you all were cooking, and headed down a different road as a result! I went from this cook-off to wondering "what is a chicken pie?" to realizing I need to learn more about stocks (where I was immersed for a long time), and am now back here, determined to use my chicken stock to first try dumplings and then with what is left use it to make the gravy for biscuits tomorrow. I think. The chicken and dumplings look so wonderful here that I've just got to try them! Whether dumplings or biscuits get paired with it, the chicken and aromatics have already throughly perfumed the house. Yum! Thanks for the cook-off inspiration.
  4. That sounds really good. I'm going to have to try it. Thanks for posting!
  5. Contaminated starter; I don't know. It smells really good to me. But then cheese smells good to me. I am definitely going to work on making the starter more robust, though I truly THOUGHT it showed all signs of strength and health as per Jackal's lessons. My dough temperature was 75 to 78 degrees during the fermentation period. Your loaves look gorgeous!
  6. I have a new sourdough starter. When I started the culture a few weeks ago with only water and flour I got a very bubbly starter in 24 hours - it looked like a pancake ready to turn. I was so excited to see how lively it became in so little time. I continued feeding it, and ended up with a starter that regularly doubled after feeding. It's been in the fridge for a week. I decided to use a recipe from Dan Leader, and refreshed the starter according to his instructions. He says to ferment the dough until it is doubled, usually 2.5 to 3.5 hours. I gave up after 9 hours. (I did turn it as he suggests for a dough that isn't rising.) In disgust, I put the unrisen dough in the fridge to deal with today. I decided to divide the dough and shape the loaves and leave them to rise. It has been 1.5 hours since they came out of the fridge. If anyone sees this in time, what do you think I should do? Leave them to rise for hours and hours and then throw them away? The Leader recipe calls for 50% water and 62% liquid levain. The liquid levain called for 50g starter, 175g water, and 135g flour. I'm not sure what that makes the hydration. Pictures may help: Here is the dough in the fermentation phase: It was supposed to have risen to the bottom of the tape. After 8 hours, this is what I got. When I cut into the dough to see if it had any webbing or trapped gasses, there were none. But, in this photo you can see a big bubble. There were a few of those in the course of the fermentation. And here is the loaf proofing, at least in theory: I'll proceed somehow with this, but am very disappointed. I hope someone can help me to figure out what I've done wrong. I'd like this sourdough loaf to be my everyday bread. The results, so far, make me think I should go back to yeast.
  7. Thanks for the link, agray. I have a sourdough rye loaf retarded in the fridge right now. I had planned to just bake it on the stone, but may go with the make-shift couche. Then again, maybe I should keep my learning experiences themselves separate, and just proceed as planned with the sourdough, as it is my first foray in the direction of wild yeast after many years absence. I planned to start a "minimalist" loaf today if the sourdough turns into a brick.
  8. Well, I'm out on this one. I've never seen a notch quite like that one, in that location on the spoon, rather than on the handle. It looks a little like a rice paddle, though.
  9. Could we get an update on the book from those who are working with it? I am particularly interested in comparisons with Bread Baker's Apprentice or other earlier Reinhart books, depending on your collection.
  10. agray, this is the one I was thinking of. It was posted in this thread in November of 2006. Fromartz used a sourdough modification.
  11. prasantrin, you are using a Le Creuset pot for this, too?
  12. That is the question. I remember reading somewhere in this thread or in others about people using a peel for a very slack dough and having good results when depositing the dough on a stone.
  13. I think my next loaf will go in with a round of parchment on the bottom of the pot. This may be the simplest solution. I'm also going to keep my eye out for a good deal on something about the same size as the LC casserole that I would then use only for bread baking, as much as I hate to have something that big that is single use. I've also read with interest about people's positive experiences baking without a pot, directly on a stone, with water for steam on the floor of the oven. If that worked as well for me as it seems to work for other people it would certainly remove the pot issue! The simplicity of the no-knead process with the pot has worked so well, and produced such a consistently delicious loaf, even with a little sticking, that I've been loath to stray too far from it. I am going to try using a cloth, too, at some point.
  14. The pot in question is a 2 1/2 or 3 quart Le Creuset enameled cast iron casserole. It's always been my small "go-to" pot. It's mostly been used for sauteing savory things that wind up in a small stew or soup simmered in that same pot. My bet is that a pancake would stick to it like crazy. The bread has been so different than a pancake though. As I mentioned up thread, about half the time the bread releases perfectly, and the other half it only sticks for a while in a limited area on the bottom. I really appreciate your discussion of the well-floured cloth. I have a pastry cloth that I only use for pastry. Sounds like I need to do the same thing for bread. Intuitively, I thought the well-floured board would stick less than a cloth. It does make it easy to move the dough across the room and into the super hot pot.
  15. I've had my dough stick to a well-seasoned cast iron dutch oven thoroughly preheated and measured by my infrared temp gun to 450 degrees. Hmm. Do you use the dutch oven for other things, too?
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