So anyway, I have not made any of the bread yet because for his method to work you really need a heavy 4.5 to 5.5 quart dutch oven. I have a few Le Creuset pieces, but none of them are the exact size. And though I cherish my Le Creuset, for the most part I am a stainless steel girl and I don't use the cast iron pans often enough to justify buying another, very expensive piece.
So, what's a girl to do? Turn to QVC of course. QVC has some really nice knock-off brands cookware for great prices. So far I've been really happy with all the pans I've purchased from them. I found this Technique Enameled Cast Iron 5 1/2 Quart Oval Casserole for $67.50. It comes in a bunch of cute colors, and it is truly a very heavy, well made, gorgeous pan. I love it!
I've already made a big pot of spaghetti and veggie meatballs in the pan, and I'm really impressed with how well it distributes the heat--no hot spots or scorched sauce. (I tend to wander away from the stove when I'm cooking and so I need heavy pans or else everything I make would burn due to my neglect.) So, if you're interested in Jim Lahey's bread, or you just need a really lovely casserole, I highly recommend this pot.
I read about this T-fal fryer in a magazine, and so it's not something I've ever used. Here's what the blurb on amazon has to say:
With ActiFry you can enjoy cripsy, great tasting fries that are low in fat! By using just one tablespoon of oil you can make 2 pounds of fresh French fries, enough to feed a family of four. That one spoonful is over 200 times less than a traditional 3 liter deep fat fryer, which not only means that your food is substantially more healthy, but it is also more economical. The French fries have only 3% fat per serving.
One tablespoon of oil makes 2 lbs. of French fries? That would be a really neat feat if it works. It's listed at $299 so it's quite an investment; but if you do a lot of frying it may be worth it to you.
Here are the links: