Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Danger, danger

I've been looking for a smaller enameled cast-iron pot to make no-knead bread in. My big Le Creuset Dutch oven lets it spread too much. So I looked on eBay, and just won this Descoware pot tonight. I've bid on another Descoware item whose auction ends tomorrow morning, just because I liked the looks of it. The brand became popular after Julia Child endorsed it, but eventually went out of business in the face of heavy competition from Le Creuset, which bought the company's patents. They originated the "flame" color that Le Creuset still markets, though in a brighter shade.

I love cooking with enameled cast-iron, and am in trouble now, knowing I can find pieces online at a fraction of Le Creuset's retail cost. It's amazing what some of the vintage (or even new) Le Creuset pots get bid up to, though! I won't get involved in those battles; I want pieces to cook with, not to simply collect for collecting's sake.

P.S. from March 2008: The link above to the Descoware history has not been working lately. Here's a link to a cached version. Don't know how long it will be available, sorry.


  1. That looks so pretty too. Better get someone making sturdy shelves for you!

  2. Nice pot. What size are you using for the no-knead bread?

  3. Nice. I need a big Dutch oven sort of pot and never thought of eBay. Duh.

  4. I never should have come to visit. I'm slobbering for a cast-iron enamel skillet and even the Le Creuset outlet is pricey.

    Ebay, here I come!

  5. Sturdy shelves I've got! Though all of these will live on top of my cabinets. It helps that they are pretty colors.

    Miss T, I've been using a 5.5-quart oval, but I want a smaller pot that forces the bread to rise a little more. I've used a pate terrine for smaller batches of dough, too, which makes a nice rectangular loaf.

    If you're willing to use something other than Le Creuset, there are many options on eBay, and even more so if you're willing to use plain cast iron. Someone is selling sets of Cottage Collection enameled cookware that looks pretty nice, if you want a whole set for cheap.

    I noticed that Le Creuset pieces get bid up immediately upon listing, which is a little crazy.

  6. A note on sizes: You can make a nice loaf in a 2-quart round if it has a domed lid. Otherwise, a 3-quart is good.

    You can also use a smaller pot if you don't put as much dough into it. I've been very happy with a Le Creuset terrine for making long, rectangular loaves.

    The newer version of no-knead bread that I'm now addicted to can be adapted to any size.