More COOKING/BAKING numptiness

As the title says. Share your success and failures.

Seems with cooking and baking you only get better with more experimenting and baking.

This weekend will be sourdough loaf attempt number 2. Number 1 was ok but not great.

Last night was an attempt at an “easy” ciabatta which was an epic fail - I blame the equipment. It needed a stand mixer and I tried to get away with just a food processor.

Now I’m researching stand mixers…

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Ha ha ha :see_no_evil:
Love it!

I’m terrible at baking.
I hate the science of it.

Cooking? I love - pasta from scratch, I rarely buy anything in a jar.
Soffritto is made in batches immediately after visiting the greengrocers and frozen ready to use.

Did a 2.2kg pork shoulder earlier in the week for our sandwiches for the entire week.
Feeds 12. Or six days worth of sandwiches.
I’m pretty sick of it now, like :see_no_evil:

I’ve got a loaf tin for banana bread (as that’s impossible to make wrong)
And a sprung cake tin for the odd occasions I knock out a sponge for work purposes.

I did burn the pork scratching this week, as the new oven (Neff with a retracting door!) is WAY better than our old one (probably the right temperature for a start!)

Ooh!!! I could buy an oven thermometer :see_no_evil::money_with_wings::fire:

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I made a loaf last week - all a bit meh really with the long process and end result. luckily we have a local baker doing deliveries once a week so we buy his granary sourdough which is just lush. leave it to the experts I reckon.

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I have done a fair bit of baking int he past. Ciabatta is quite hard to be fair. Baking bread at home will always be a bit of a struggle because of domestic ovens.

My favourite bread to make is a sun dried tomato and chive focaccia.

Gordon Ramsay says when baking you should always use scales and measure the quantities exactly, baking is not the time to guess and wing it.

I’m rubbish at cooking. We are more the ‘chop and heat’ type of cooking, mostly because of the Asian thing. We cook nice stews in winter and Little One loves baking fairy cakes.

We bake ANZAC biccies on a regular basis but we have very few actually cooking h/w. A fairy cake tin, on flat baking tray, that’s about it.

We did cook a pizza from scratch ice, tasted ok but no way it worth the hassle!

I really enjoy pizza dough from scratch. Admittedly the supermarket pizzas have massively improved in quality lately so sometimes it’s just easier.

We did the full sourdough pizza thing once and that’s a bit of a hack. I’ll stick to simple ones. Endlessly entertaining competitions to win those gas pizza ovens.

I treated myself to another Le Creuset casserole to get the bread baking better. They really are good pots so it’s been a good purchase so far.

We have been having weekly challenges with our group of friends and all the kids, so far we have done animal shaped cookies, scones, meringues, millionaires shortbread, this week it is cakes! :yum:

Also made puff pastry sausage rolls and fakeaway greggs sausage, cheese and bean bakes :yum:

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if you want the quality of Le Creuset without the price, check out IKEA’s casserole dishes. just as good quality but at about half the price. we have a couple and they really are excellent.

btw - did you see the programme about making Le Creuset pots etc? fascinating but spoiled by Gregg Wallace and his inane gurning comments.

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I got mine for my 21st birthday - full set.
They’ve now got a lovely patina to them.

I might have done that with a few cakes recently! They came out ‘okay’. I did misread tsp & tbsp with one, and put too much baking powder in! I had to scoop it back into the tin midway, and then it sank in the middle; tasted good though.

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Hey where did the kitchen pic go? Was something out of place?

You could read the calendar if you zoomed in :see_no_evil:


Years ago, my sister and BIL drove from Bucks to France (not sure where) to buy a full set of Le Creuset at way less than half price, making the trip more than cost effective. They went all the way there, bought the set, came back and BIL built a lovely stand to put tem on.

About a month later my sister said they were too heavy to use regularly, so they bought a cheaper set and kept the LC ones as ‘display’. :laughing:

i do love cooking, but haven’t had the time to experiment much in lockdown, other than getting a little more creative with the store cupboard essentials, as we’re shopping less.

Made some really nice lentil and/or chickpea based dishes that have come out really well. Current love is harissa paste, though not so easy to get hold of at the convenience shops/Lidl etc. Also i’m out of decent quality smoked paprika. I blimmin love that stuff, and supermarket/shwarz level stuff just doesn’t cut it. If it ain’t in a little metal tin, it ain’t worth it!

We’ve also got a total chorizo obsession in this house!

Never been into baking, probs cos of the reasons suggested above - it’s too scientific.

I bake a fair bit when I have time. Fairy cakes take minutes to make. Kids love them. Oatmeal cookies another one that is hard to get wrong.

My wife makes bread. Just started to nail the sourdough after a year of failures. The improvement came when we splashed out on a Dutch oven and started following the 24 hour approach rather than cutting corners.

Just ate two slices of one that came out the oven an hour ago. Sticky, slightly sour, light, with air bubbles, and a proper crispy base. You can push it down from above and it just springs back. That is heaven!

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I didn’t watch it but I probably should. I always laugh at the name being synonymous with great cookware because in my previous role the “creusot forge” was a bit of a sore point for the company. They made nuclear reactor cores and other key active equipment and they were subject to a massive quality review because they falsified documents. Freely available in general press to read about.

Funnily enough my home cooking doesn’t require quite the same quality controls so I won’t put my nuclear engineering brain to it.

Edit: correct spelling of creusot - I should know better :woman_facepalming:t4:

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This was my justification for the big casserole.

A year… :thinking: I’ll give myself a bit of time then.

this is the programme

wasn’t aware that Le Creusot also made nuclear cores but it makes sense - it’s just a forge at the end of the day.

one of the intesting bits for me was the black sand moulding of the pots and pans. back in 1974 I worked at Broads Foundry in S Wales for a few weeks post Uni before starting a full time job (my Dad worked there so helped me get a fill in job). The company made manhole and drain covers using cast iron from scrap. The key machine was an automated one pressing the black sand moulds which the cast iron got poured into - bloody huge thing that cost £250k back then and amazing to watch in action.