A very fancy peel...
Here's what me and my Exacto blade did this afternoon:
It's technically called a divider shelf. Came with a suitcase we bought. You're supposed to put your shoes and other odds'n'sods in the bottom of the case, then the shelf, then your nicely folded clothes. Harumph! I have my own method.
Thank goodness, a suitcase shelf is one of those things I don't get round to throwing out. Today it became my very fancy Eiffel Tower Baker's Peel. I sliced the excess off one long side to make a straight edge -- those are the two black bits upper left corner -- but left the other long side "as is." The indented area forms a good place to grab hold.
My new peel is thin, fairly sturdy but also slightly flexible. And it works! I just transferred the next attempt at Jeffrey Hamelman's beer bread with roasted barley from the canvas couche where the loaves rose to a parchment-lined half sheet pan. Into the oven they went. Looking good. Will post to the blog later.
Now that is a good lateral idea...I don't have a suitcase divider, but must have something else that could be recycled to a better use.
Currently I am using a very heavy flat baking sheet, but really I want this to put the bread on, not slide it off.
Thanks, Lynne. It made me unaccountably happy to do that. And bonus! The sliced off bits turn out to be useful bookmarks, when I'm jumping around in a cookbook.
It was Jane and David's use of scrap lumber that opened my mind to looking around the house for possibilities. Did you see those posts? David's was an upscale scrap -- the side panel from a case of wine! Maybe you'll find something, too. Happy hunting!
Did you see Jane's and my posts in David's Pain de Campagne blog http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/8454/pain-de-campagne about making scrapers from an icecream carton lid? that has worked very well...I got the idea from here
Recycle or be damned!
Yep, saw those too. What I love about things like this is not just the importance of recycling for the sake of the planet, but feeling in tune with the bakers before us back into the mists of time. Using what's handy, what works, what adds creativity or taste or ...whatever... seems to me more appropriate in working with the "staff of life." As opposed to thinking you can't make good bread without buying all kinds of special gear and esoteric ingredients.
Oops, down off the soapbox and back on topic....
I really do hate waste. I check out leftovers in the fridge and use those up first, buy meat for the freezer and veg and fruit to eat straight away from the nearly-out-of-date counter at the supermarket, and generally try to be as frugal as I can without giving up any of the pleasures of life.
Makes me feel better when I splash out on something completely hedonistic or extravagent!
Me, too! And must admit I miss some of the stuff that was available to me at baking school (gear and ingredients). I might have to splash out myself soon or at the very least, make sure my wish list is up to date for Santa.
I haven't tried this yet, but old CD/DVDs should work nicely as a dough scraper and big enough to help in keeping your hands out of the dough.
Ah, but Carol, we can justify that with the savings we have made elsewhere :)
I want one of those Kamachi Pure tomato knives that aren't available in the UK that I will have to import. I was thinking about getting a baking stone, but I'm not so sure about it now. I might just invest in a couple of very heavy baking sheets instead.
Got a couple of used 500g boule bannetons from Justin - did he advertise here as well as on Dan Lepard's forum? I can't remember.. anyway he has some more still on ebay for a day or so - mine arrived today, I am very pleased, they are very very cheap, and very very good! All nice and floury too!
Wish lists deserve their own thread, at the very least! Maybe their very own section of the forum!! :)
Sorry I didn't get back to you until now. Busy, busy. Enjoyed seeing Justin's ebay listing. I'm in Canada, though, so maybe I'll look for an option closer to home. But glad you've got your bannetons. Look forward to seeing your reuslts using them.
Have you checked amazon uk for the knife? It was featured on amazon.com today. On sale!
Yeah, checked Amazon and all the specialist Komachi suppliers - that particular knife is not available here in the UK. I would have to buy it on Amazon.com or one of the US specialist dealers and import. I'll have to have a look again at the postage prices. US$ to UK pound isn't too good at the moment though... :(
BUT I was looking again at Hamelman's description of slashing directions, following the comments here (I've lost the thread again) and I THINK I have been working in the wrong direction, and certainly not backhand. So I will have another go with my old Kitchen Devil scalloped knife and see if the direction helps the dough to drag less. if so, I won't need the Komachi!
Ask Justin for a postage price for Canada - they are not very heavy, he might be able to give you a price that will still be less in total than buying one locally.
When I started baking bread 6 months ago, I knew I couldn't do without a peel (or two). I was lucky enough to have my other half fashioned these two peels for me. I found myself using the half size one more often, the larger one is good for pizzas.
Half Rice Half Woman
I'm pretty sure it was Howard (holds99) who made a transfer peel out of a legal-size clipboard covered with panty hose. (There was some discussion regarding what color panty hose is preferred.
I am very happy with the one I "made" out of the side of a wooden wine case. I rubbed some flour into the surface after sanding it moderately smooth. The baguettes didn't stick at all.
You can probably get an empty wine case from your local wine merchant, if they sell European imports. They may charge a small amount.
I would just be concerned with using things not meant for food - especially for hot foods.
I'm all for recycling, but we need to be careful when it comes to using household items in conjuction with food - especially plastics.