What a Lot of Bowls

I have to confess to not feeling terribly inspired this week, actually by anything really, just knew I shouldn’t have taken last week off! However, fear not, because Jacky (Reigate shop) came partially to my rescue in suggesting that I tell you about the new Salad bowls from Le Creuset  and Em then suggested that I use the bit she’s been writing up on the new KitchenAid “all in one” Mixing, Proving and Baking Bowl.


Anyway, before I get stuck into that, I did indeed go on hols last week, (as you will have gathered if you read last week’s email) with my little brother Jim. Now Jim for some reason doesn’t usually read these emails, (black mark Jim) but last week he did, and it transpires that he doesn’t like being referred to as “little brother”. This puzzles me because he’s six years younger than me (so he’s my little brother), slightly shorter than me (so he’s my little brother), and of course, when he was born he was tons shorter even if he could have stood up and run about and play, which to my disappointment he couldn’t (so he’s my little brother).


Having thus put a strong case for the defence, I now feel honour bound to also say that he is the kindest of men, he and I get on extremely well. He is very generous with his time in helping me keep tabs on everything that we do in the company that can be measured with the aid of Bill Gates' wonderful spreadsheet program. What Jim can’t do with Excel (and now with the addition of Power BI) probably isn’t worth doing. His programs allow me to sleep at night, and that has been the case for over 20 years. So little brother, you have my public and heartfelt thanks.


Le Creuset NEW Salad Bowls

Not ones to rest on their laurels, beeches or begonias, Le Creuset have come up with a very nice oval salad bowl. One size available in four colours. I think I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, but maybe add that in a conversation with Jacky, we were looking at their label on the bowls, of their do’s and don’ts and I was reminded of just how tough their stoneware is, because it says Freezer to Oven on it, but in fact, I realised after discussing it with her that I wasn’t clear, exactly what that meant. So I rang Vicky our account manager at Le Cresuet and she said it means you can take something  frozen and place in a COLD oven and it’ll be safe as houses (won’t crack). This is an impressive guarantee, there aren’t many ranges around that will achieve this height of durability. And it may be worth saying again that it’s all oven proof, not just the lasagnes dishes and casseroles, but also the mugs, plates bowls, jugs etc. etc., can all happily go in the oven and microwave or freezer. They are expensive, but they are very tough, very chip resistant and therefore very long lasting and I think, very attractive!


Here are the bowls in the four colours available at present. My offer for you this week is £5.00 off one of these bowls bringing it down from £32.00 to £27.00. Please tell us who you are if coming into the shops, or use code LCSALAD20 if shopping on the website.


KitchenAid Mixing-Proving-Baking Bowl

Ok, so over to Em and her take on this quite original product. So far as I know we only have eight of these in the company, but can get more at the drop of a hat I believe.

Our friends at Beam were very kind in sorting a free sample of this new accessory for the KitchenAid stand mixers. I myself don’t have a KitchenAid, because I inherited a Kenwood from a lovely auntie, but Andrew let me borrow Babette’s pale yellow stand mixer, a well-used and loved machine, which featured in a lot of the classes Babette and I ran.

The bread bowl feels lovely, heavy ceramic with a light speckled finish to the glaze. It comes with a few recipes to get you started and this helped me understand the capacity of the bowl and how it was designed to work. There are some great videos and recipes on KitchenAids website.


The biggest benefit of the bread bowl is that it is an all-in-one accessory that you can mix in, proof in, and bake in. For someone new to baking who only wants one piece of equipment, this could really make sense. It works well as a mixing bowl and a bread baker. 

The confident baker could use a banneton for the second proofing, which, because it is much shallower than the bowl, allows a gentler transfer of the dough to the lid for baking. 

Once it gets into the oven, the mixing bowl and lid create the perfect steamy environment  for the loaf to rise (oven spring) and create a crispy crust. Because the bottom of the bread is baking on the lid, the bread slides right off when done. All in all, whilst I think the product could be improved by making the bowl shallower, it succeeds as an all-in-one accessory for creating tasty, crispy bread.

  • Easy to clean
  • Two inner marks to gauge the rise of dough
  • Can store bread in it afterwards
  • Tip - Use parchment when placing the dough on the lid before baking (lots of reviews say the dough sticks)
  • I saw one review that said you don’t have to have a stand mixer to use it and I guess that’s true, you could mix by hand, prove and bake.
  • Easy to follow recipes to get you started. Bit prescriptive though with timings. A new baker might get put off.
  • Mix, prove, bake means less washing up!

So, as the tester of this product I really like the concept. Whether it’s the right product for me, I’m pretty sure it isn’t. I am an on / off bread maker, I go through phases where I love bread making and then one bad bake can put me off. Also, I only do sourdough or artisan hybrid loafs (starter plus a tiny bit of yeast to speed things up if I want a 6hr proof not a 12 or 24hr proof) plus (and I’m not showing off) I don’t tend to weigh my ingredients anymore (why my baking is a bit hit and miss?). So, all of these things mean the bread bowl has some restrictions for me, but I know lots of bakers who stick to recipes and would get a lot of enjoyment out of the fact this bowl offers so much in the complete process of bread making.
It's also a great second bowl when you’re not making bread too!


That’s it for this week, I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend.


Kind regards


Andrew Bluett-Duncan


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