Sunday, 30 March 2014
One thing which I discovered very early on when I first moved over here to the UK, was the fact that a good set of kitchen scales were going to be a must when it came to do any baking etc. using British recipes. All recipes here in the UK are written according to weight, instead of volume. Cups just don't cut the mustard . . . at least as far as dry measures go. Things of a solid nature, such as sugar, solids fats (butter and shortening) and flours . . .
The first set of scales I bought were a cheap set that I got at an el cheapo shop. Not very good to say the least, and the measuring container held but a mere pittance. Needless to say I didn't hang onto those for very long.
In culinary school they had digital scales . . . battery operated and they worked very well, so long as you had batteries . . . if the batteries ran out, you were out of luck until you replaced them. One advantage to them however, was being able to put your mixing bowl right on the scales, adjust them back to zero and then re-measure ingredients, adjusting them back to zero with each addition . . . and they measured in different tares . . . millilitres, grams, ounces, etc.
When I cheffed at the Manor, this is the exact scales I had . . . the Hanson Traditional Cream Mechanical Kitchen Scale by Salter Kitchen Scales. I have to say I loved them and had long wanted a set for myself to use at home.
I am happy to say that the people at Salter recently sent me a set to use, and I have been putting them through their paces for a couple of weeks now.
I have been using them to measure flour and sugar . . .
and butter for all of those goodies you have seen me creating . . . even pasta shapes . . .
It is a beautiful set of scales . . .
I have found them to be perfectly precise and simple to use, accurately weighing and measuring my ingredients. It's stylish traditional metal design is very attractive, and looks quite retro, which I love. The scales feature a large and easy to read dial with a brilliant red pointer for easy of use and reading.
They also boast a simplistic but precise manual tare function dial for enhanced accuracy for adding and weighing and these scales display the weight in either imperial or metric measurements. This scale can hold up to 5kg/11lb capacity and the removable bowl will fit the scales inside most cupboards for easy storage after use. They wipe clean with a damp cloth and come with a 10 year manufacturer’s guarantee for user piece of mind.
The dial is large and easy to read. This is a real bonus as I find that as I am getting older, large print, etc. comes in very handy as my eyes don't always work the way they used to!
The graduations in weight go in 20g/1 ounce increments, which covers just about everything solid that you may have to measure.
And they are very well priced and good value for money spent in my honest opinion, ranging every where from £10.99 and up at a variety of locations.
I give these scales the "English Kitchen" seal of approval! 10 out of 10! 5 Stars! Two thumbs up! Many thanks to Simon of Salter Kitchen Scales for sending them to me!
And now . . . for something tasty I have used them to help me create . . .
*Herbed Oatmeal Pan Rolls*
Makes 9 pan rolls
Wholesome and delicious. These tasty rolls are perfect with soups, stews or even on their own, buttered with some tasty strong cheddar on the side.
250ml boiling water (1 cup)
40g rolled oats (not old fashioned) (1/2 cup)
2 TBS butter
200g strong white bread flour (2 cups)
65g granary bread flour (1/2 cup, multigrain)
2 TBS caster sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 TBS easy bake yeast (bread machine, quick rise)
1 large free range egg, at room temperature
For the herby topping:
2 TBS butter, melted
1/4 tsp dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp finely grated Parmesan Cheese
Combine the boiling water, oats and 2 TBS butter in a small bowl, stirring to melt the butter. Let stand and cool to just warm before proceeding.
Measure the white and granary flours into a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar, salt and yeast. Beat the egg into the warm oat mixture. Stir this into the dry ingredients until all are well incorporated. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead dough until you have a smooth, soft dough, which is not sticky, adding more strong white flour as needed. Shape into a ball and cover with the bowl. Let rest for 20 minutes.
Grease a 9 inch square metal baking tin. Punch the dough down and then press it into the baking tin to fill all the corners. Take a sharp knife and cut down through the dough to the bottom of the pan, cutting it into 9 equal squares. (3 cuts across and 3 cuts down.) Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Once the oven has heated bang the pan of rolls into it and bake for 15 minutes. While they are baking, stir together all the ingredients for the herby topping. At the end of 15 minutes, remove the partially baked rolls from the oven. Brush the tops with the herby topping. Return the pan to the oven and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown and they sound hollow on the bottoms when turned over and tapped lightly with your fingers. Tip out onto a wire rack to cool to warm. Best served fresh, but can be revived by a gentle reheating in a warm oven for 8 to 10 minutes.