The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Corning Ware for baking

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Corning Ware for baking


Hi. Since starting baking I've been slowly adding to my equipment, old and new. I particularly like the character and quality of older styles of cookware and was delighted, on a treasure hunt of Oxford's second hand shops, to come across a Corning Ware pan.

This is not a familiar brand in the U.K. so I would welcome any reflections on its provenance and use.  The bottom is stamped 'corning 1654'. It is 7.25 inches in diameter, 4 inches deep and holds 1.5 litres/U.S. quarts of liquid, but came without any lid. The sides are slightly fluted. It is in lovely condition with only one tiny (1mm.) scratch on the underside and some iridescence on the bottom interior. However it is not 'mint' and I am hoping it is pre-1990s and not post 2009 production. I'm pretty sure it's the glass-ceramic ware, probably Amber Vision. I've included some pictures at the bottom.

It's obviously made to be used on the stove top. However I understand that older Corning Ware in particular, like vintage Pyrex, is resistant to thermal shock and can be used in the oven. I am very much hoping that will be the case with this pan. Some sources suggest it is dishwasher proof but I would prefer word of mouth on this. When using eco. dishwasher tablets our dishwasher is fine with glass. However the 'high finish' tablets that came with it left clouding on our (admittedly cheap) duralex bistro glasses.

Can anyone who has greater knowledge of this cookware shed any light on these things? I would be particularly pleased to know how the pans handle during cooking and whether they are oven and dishwasher proof.  I have vintage Pyrex and that handles well. However I have a newer (non Corning) glass-ceramic pan which is thinner gauge and that heats up quickly but tends to burn food if not monitored.  I tend to use Le Creuset on the stove top but am reluctant to use it at very high (eg. baking) heats in the oven so hope the Corning Ware might rise to this.

Thanks in advance.   Daisy_A

 

 
dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Daisy.

I have never had that type of Corning Ware. Since it's shaped like a sauce pan, I think it's safe to assume that was its intended use. I don't know offhand if it's oven-safe. I don't know if it's being made currently.

The Corning Ware we have is meant to be used as bakers. It's wonderful - almost indestructible, cleans easily and heats very evenly. Here's a link to the current version of what we use:

http://www.amazon.com/CorningWare-French-White-3-Quart-Oblong/dp/B00080XG8A/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1276042990&sr=1-3

If the Le Creuset you have is enameled cast iron, it is wonderful in the oven. The only exception would be pieces with wooden handles. We have gratin dishes in 3 sizes and use them more often than anything else for baking/roasting meats, fish or vegetables. 

David

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

See this:  http://www.corningware.com/index.asp?pageId=99

 

I've used pots from a collection much like the one you pictured, though with a non-stick inner-bottom surface, for no-knead breads.  High heat's not been a problem.

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Thanks richkaimd for the information and link. I was hoping I could bake a small boule in this pan. I have a formula for a bread of around 430grams that I've tried once and hope to try again. The bottom's not non-stick though, as you note, so I may try a bit of oil or circle of parchment in the bottom. Will see how it goes. Good to know that it can handle the heat.

Kind regards,  Daisy_A

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Dear David,

Thanks for the message. I should try Le Creuset in the oven. I cook mostly on the top of the stove with pans and a tagine but have a lovely little gratin dish I could try. I had read on other boards that people baking bread in Le Creuset had found the enamel cracking so will probably avoid this and keep it for baking and roasting other things as you suggest.

Thanks also for the information on contemporary Corning Ware. It's good to know it cooks well - looks like it would be elegant on the table too!

With best wishes,  Daisy_A

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

Hi Daisy,

I have the exact saucepan shown in your picture and have used it for years to boil water on the stovetop.  It holds up just fine to direct high heat.  The glass has dulled over the years, probably due to the accumulation of hard water particles, but seems to clean up OK with an occasional application of some soap and a steel wool pad. I don't put it in the dishwasher very often. 

Barbara

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Barbara,

Thanks for your message. Good to hear from someone who has the same version as they are quite rare in the U.K. Good also to know that it has held up so well - love cookware like that! I think I will be the same about the cleaning. I like to put the Pyrex in the dishwasher when it needs a good buffing up but I also clean it by hand.

Kind regards, Daisy_A

 

 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Thanks for this advice Susan,

Wow - that was timely! Have just this minute put the pan in the oven to preheat so have turned the temperature down 25F. That's easy with U.K. gas - it's more or less one gas mark.

As for Le Creuset I would need to replace the handles then. Thanks for the advice.

Kind regards,  Daisy_A

serenityhill's picture
serenityhill

I'm familiar with this stuff.  Your pan originally came with a lid.

My mother gave me a set in the mid-1980's.  As microwave cooking became more popular, the pans with long handles were no longer made after some time in the 1990's.  The handles became either small stubs or a lip all the way around the pan.  I gave away my pans with long handles because, as you noted with other glass cookware, they scorched very easily when used on the stovetop.  I replaced what I gave away with short-handle versions, since they are good shapes for microwave and oven.

A Google search can probably solve the question about timing of the handle change. 

The Visions cookware can withstand any temps you are accustomed to putting your Pyrex baking dishes to, with no risk to the handle.

The best way to remove hard water stains is to use vinegar right out of the bottle.  Let it soak, if need be, or soak a dishtowel in vinegar and drape it on the surface so it'll have time to dissolve.

The directions that come with the cookware says never to use a steel scrubber or scouring powder because it will scratch the surface, making it even harder to clean next time. I found this to be true even with the green Scotchbrite plastic scrubber, which I prefer.  When I scorched stuff on the cooktop (too easily) I filled the pan with soapy water and simmered the mixture till the stuff came off.  If you absolutely must scrub, use wet baking soda.  Visions ware is dishwasher safe.

I used to put a drinking glass in the center of my 6-qt. dish and pour cake batter around it to bake an angel food shape cake in the microwave, since it didn't heat up the kitchen in the Texas summer.

I haven't seen any amber Visions sold new in a number of years.  The color was changed to a 'cranberry', and is no longer sold at all.  I prefer the amber, myself.

Enjoy that pan.  The lip does make it perfect for boiling water, and I bet it does make a nice boule.

 

 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Thanks serenityhill,

It is the long handled version from what you are saying, then. I did manage to get it into the over with the handle sideways on so that was good. Good also to know that the whole pan can stand the heat.

I thought it probably came with a lid. I guess it would need 7.25 inches. Saw some online but at 4 times the price of the pan!

I'll take care with cleaning. Thanks for the vinegar recommendation. I use vinegar quite a lot already in the kitchen as a natural cleaner.

What a clever idea about the drinking glass. I imagine that would be possible in the oven too.

I do like the amber colour. It goes with other things in the kitchen, like the volcanic orange Le Creuset and terracotta tiles. I say this not because our kitchen is styled to within an inch of its life - it isn't! It's just nice on a grey, rainy English day like today to look and see warmer colours in the kitchen. It makes it more inviting.

Thanks for your invitation to enjoy the pan. I'm sure it will make boiling and pouring water easier. My stainless steel pans have no lip and the Le Creuset is too heavy to lift one handed. Had to boil more water here recently as the electricity has been going off unexpectedly so it will come in handy! Also hope it will be good for a boule, as you say.

Wishing you happy baking. Best wishes,  Daisy_A

008cats's picture
008cats

Seeing that photo was definitely a blast from the past... since others have stated as much, I will just add that the glass does cook faster - you may decide to reduce your temp or time - but the beauty is that you can see browning start in the bottom corners, which will give you an instant visual report as to how far along you are in the baking process.

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi 008cats,

Glad to give you a vision of the 80's! They just had an 80's retro weekend here on British t.v. Don't recall much cookware though, although I remember Alessi being big back then.

Thanks for the advice on heat. I did turn the gas down one mark when using this pan in the oven. I have to say the loaf browned well on the bottom. I used a stone to even out the heat in the gas oven but got a more even brown colour on the bottom that I've sometimes had straight onto the stone.

Wishing you happy baking,  Best wishes,  Daisy_A

 

 

008cats's picture
008cats

If you are troubled by excessive bottom-browning, try putting a cookie sheet (biscuit pan?) or a broiler-pan bottom on the bottom-most rack to "deflect" the heat from your stone. 

I started doing this when I got my stone and found my bottoms burnt; common rule says to put the stone on the bottom rack but some people DO find this leads to over browning on the stone.

I raised my stone one up and keep a broiler bottom (suitable for pouring water in to steam) - no problems anymore, though I do routinely keep my preheat time to 30 mins., just in case.

Cheers!

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi oo8cats,

Thanks for the advice. My problem has been the other way round - not browned evenly enough on the bottom and the glass started to sort this out.

However your suggestion gives me a lead on what the problem is likely to be! I have been using a large (oven-wide) cookie/baking sheet or roasting pan under the stone and this probably deflected too much heat away from it. Have started again with a small iron skillet designed to hold fajitas. Will see if this improves things.

Best wishes,  Daisy_A

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi everyone and thanks for your encouragement to bake with the corning ware.

Tonight I oiled the pan, tipped the dough in seam side up, unscored, and did manage to cook a lovely little boule. This is after a run of feeling I wasn't really on top of the baking process.

I've not been baking sourdough long and made bold by a couple of early successes I set off to try a range of formulae. Queue a steep learning curve in which I found there was a lot more to discover about the starters, the oven, changing temperatures, different flours, my management of the dough...All the breads tasted good but they weren't all pretty.

I've gone back to basics and have adapted the most successful formula to make a boule of around 400 grams, so I can play with proofing times, proofing and steaming methods and all the rest without having to wrangle 1 or 2 kilograms of dough.

The corning ware proved to be a good little 'test kitchen'.

Pictures below (still cooling so don't have a crumb shot) and thanks again, Daisy_A