I had dropped a peel-related hint or two to Tallboy, and having made him read Richard Bertinet's books, he now knew what one was. In fact, I'd idly speculated about the possibility of fashioning one from a spot of plywood or similar, not detecting the gleam in his eye as he pondered the possibilities... One day the next week, he bounded home from work with a big grin, presenting me with a peel crafted at lunchtime with his own fair hands. It was brilliant. And wonderfully kind of him to make it for me. Except, well - there was just the one thing... I don't know if you've ever seen 'This is Spinal Tap', but there's a scene where the band are belting out a song called 'Stonehenge', the high point of which is supposed to be the lowering of a monster trilithon from the ceiling onto the stage, all massive and atmos and stuff. Due to a notational error, the structure is inches rather than feet high. I think I've painted enough of a picture here - I assured Tallboy that should I need to introduce bread rolls into the oven a pair at a time, his would be my peel of choice.
He did bound home one day the week after, with an even wider grin, flourishing the widest peel I've seen, again lovingly crafted from plywood during his lunch break. Accepting it with thanks and a wide grin of my own, my eyes flickered from it to the oven. 'It's ok!' he was quick to tell me, 'It fits!'
Being already so richly furnished with peels, you might think it a little greedy to contemplate another, but I saw such a magnificent aluminium one on the site that I simply couldn't resist it, reassuring a slightly crestfallen Tallboy that it was for purposes of comparison and bulk baking and not at all that his peel wasn't up to the task.
My wishlist all trimmed, expanded, trimmed again and finally decided on, I clicked and coughed up my card number and submitted and gleefully received an order confirmation. The next day I had a despatch confirmation, and the next morning the nice UPS man was handing me my parcel.
The peel is fabulous (as is Tallboy's, natch) and the proving baskets are superb. I was concerned that my sticky sticky dough would, er, stick - but a generous dusting of rye flour made it really easy to turn out my beautifully be-striped loaf. I got a couche too, and a lame, and some other stuff, but the baskets and the peel are most definitely the stars of the show. Trouble is, now I know how fab they are, I reckon I need some more baskets in different sizes...