And it’s about to make you look look a genius of the grill!!
Looking for a last-minute holiday gift for the foodie in your life? The precision and elegance of this German-made knife sharpener is unique.
HORL founders, father and son Otmar and Timo Horl, don’t shy away from a challenge, and the foundation of their company’s success came about from finding a solution to a simple, everyday problem many of us face – how to sharpen knives easily and effectively. A mechanical engineer by trade and a cooking enthusiast by hobby, Otmar felt there should be a better, more efficient, and foolproof way for home cooks to sharpen knives than what was available to fix his dull knives. Given his professional background, he knew industrial diamonds are ideal for sharpening steel, so he started tinkering with a design using them. But it wasn’t till years later when Timo discovered the designs that they decided to make it available to the public.
For over two years, the pair worked at the family home in Freiburg in Germany’s Black Forest, coming home from their day jobs to work at night on the new venture. Along the way, they handled everything from product development to building the website and designing the packaging to building an infrastructure, and more. In 2016, they launched their first prototype and began hand-selling the first sharpeners at trade shows.
Today, their next generation HORL®2 showcases the best in German engineering made in the Black Forest by local craftsmen chosen by Otmar and Timo, who also continue to innovate and introduce different versions of the sharpener like the HORL®2PRO for professionals, as well as the just introduced HORL®KAGAMI, an ultra-fine Japanese sharpening stone disk to achieve ultimate sharpness and precision. This dedication to craft is evident in the unique design and high-quality materials used in its construction including solid wood, aluminum, and ceramic, stainless steel, and whetstone disks. HORL®2 is a high-performance sharpener that’s easy to use and built to last a lifetime – with proper care, it can be passed from generation to generation.
The famed Black Forest is also known for hiking, skiing, cuckoo clocks, and a variety of classic German dishes. Black Forest ham and Black Forest Gateau, also known as Black Forest Cherry Cake, are two of the most popular. Others include venison Baden-Baden, Schwartzwalder Schinkel, Schwarwaldforelle, Knopfle, Flammkuchen (See below), Scheckensuppe, and Lange Rote.
How to Make Flammkuchen
The Flammkuchen is Germany’s version of the flat bread pizza. It originated in Alsace (now part of France), just across the border from Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. Bakers would test the temperature of their wood-burning ovens before baking bread by making Flammkuchen. They’d roll out dough super thin and place it on the hot stone. The wood-fired ovens were so hot that the Flammkuchen would cook in just minutes. Then bakers knew the oven was ready! The edges of the Flammkuchen would become crispy, even a bit charred. Flammkuchen is spelled differently depending on where you are from, but all translate to “pie baked in the flames.”
Flammkuchen was primarily made at home until the pizza craze of the 1960’s. Restaurants and biergartens started serving Flammkuchen to their customers. The traditional dough for Flammkuchen does not call for yeast, so it stays thin. It is spread out in a rectangular or oval shape and topped with white cheese or crème fraiche, onions, and lardons. Some recipes call for placing the onions and bacon on the dough raw since the high heat of wood-fired oven might burn toppings that are already cooked. You can decide based on the heat of your grill.
I decided to keep my Flammkuchen as close as possible to the original. I placed a pizza stone in my Big Green Egg XL (BGE) and heated it up to 500 degrees. Next, I rolled out the dough I made earlier in the day (no yeast). I topped the pizza with Gruyère cheese, thinly sliced onions, and cubes of bacon I cooked earlier. I decided to cook the bacon ahead since the BGE would be hot and did not want undercooked bacon when the rest of the pizza was finished.
I placed corn meal on the hot pizza stone to keep the Flammkuchen from sticking. The Flammkuchen cooked quickly. The edges started to crisp up after a couple of minutes. I gave the Flammkuchen and quarter turn and cooked for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. I garnished the Flammkuchen with fresh finely minced chives.
I sliced the Flammkuchen (with my HORL-sharpened knife, of course!) and served it with a German Bier. The dough was crispy, and I enjoyed the slight char along the edges. The salty bacon paired well with creamy cheese. The onions still had some crunch and added a nice texture to each bite. Once you master the process of making Flammkuchen, try mixing up your toppings. Try salmon and leeks, or goats’ milk cheese and figs, or even a dessert Flammkuchen with vanilla-infused mascarpone and fresh cherries.
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