TWD:Baking With Julia-White Loaves
And so it begins. Today is our first Baking With Julia post. I’ve been so excited to start. When we got the recipe schedule I was a little shocked. I really thought we might start out with something just a little easier. After all I reasoned you want people to be successful with their first effort. I had never ever made loaf bread before, nor can I ever remember watching anyone else make it. I approached this assignment with quite a bit of trepidation. I even did it early figuring that it would give me time to try again if my loaves were less than successful or not photogenic. But just look at what I did. I am more than proud. I should have known just read the recipe and follow Dorie’s instructions. She wouldn’t steer me wrong.
I’m certainly glad I had the Kitchen Aid mixer. I’m totally in awe of our foremothers who kneaded this by hand and baked bread every week. Even my Kitchen Aid had a little struggle. It’s an older machine that I inherited from my mother-in-law but with my encouragement and my weight holding it down on the counter when it wanted to bounce off we made it through. We live in an older house with high ceilings so heating a room to 80 degrees as Dorie suggests to let the dough rise could was a challenge. As luck would have it our dining room has two heat vents and if the doors are closed it can be the warmest room in the house. We have a Victorian bread warmer that sits over one of the vents. It’s basically a metal pedestal with a marble top that sits on top of the vent; the marble gets quite warm so the bread basket can be placed there to stay warm during a meal. It also worked perfectly as a place for dough to rise.
My dough basically behaved just as described at each step. I appreciated the warning about the dough breaking down when the butter was added. It took a couple of readings of the description of the folding as the description is slightly different in the body of the recipe and in the picture caption but once I read it a couple times I realized it was just two ways of saying the same thing. My loaves rose beautifully I thought but not high beyond the top of the pan. I did take the loaves out of the pan for the last 5 minutes of baking so my crust is golden all the way around. The loaves are heavy and they do make quite a thump when struck but the bread was lovely and soft within.
We have totally enjoyed eating this bread. I don’t think my husband wants me to buy store bread ever again. Daughter removed the crust but she does this to store bread too. It made an incredible grilled cheese sandwich. It makes wonderful toast. Even PB&J seems special on this bread.While reading blogs on Saturday I discovered NummyKitchens recipe for Bruchetta with Gorgonzola and Honey and since I had just a little piece of Gorgonzola Dolce left from making quiche I decided to try it with this bread. Fabulous!
Thanks to Laura and Jules for picking a winning recipe to get us started and proving to us that we can bake anything. But please folks let’s wait awhile to bake the wedding cake. I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone else did. I’m sure they did great as well. My goodness, it may take all week to read 300 blogs.
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