February 7, 2012
Way, way back, when Tuesdays with Dorie first started, I was a member and baked along with everyone else. However, it soon became a little daunting and quite costly, both in the monetary sense and the calorie-count sense, as we were baking something every week. I stopped baking along after some time, though I continued to follow the blog and everyone else’s creations.
For Christmas, I received the Baking with Julia cookbook. Imagine how happy I was when I read that the new Tuesdays with Dorie group was not only beginning to bake from this book, but that the rules had relaxed, and now members only had to bake a selected recipe every two weeks. Not only that, but this cookbook is a bit more lenient on the waistline, as the cookbook is not only a slew of desserts, but also includes many bread recipes, which I wanted to get more experience baking anyway! All in all, this is a perfect situation for me, and I am excited to be involved with the group and to have something to motivate me to bake regularly!
I loved the first recipe we baked: White Loaves. It’s a great way to start, as it’s a simple, easy enough, plain bread. Making these loaves reminded me just how easy it actually is to bake bread. Granted, it is a bit time consuming, so you are sort of stuck in the house while the dough rises and then rises again, but if you’re planning on being home anyway, why not bake a couple of loaves of bread?
These white loaves are definitely easy, and call for few ingredients. It seems a lot of people were fancying them up, adding cheese and cinnamon swirls and other delicious things. I decided to start off simply, and just make the bread the way the book tells me the make the bread, and see how that goes before going all creative. I ended up with two loaves of amazing white bread, perfectly risen, with a slightly crispy, slightly buttery crust. I enjoyed eating slices just as is, nothing gspread on, not toasted, nothing! I can only imagine cheese or cinnamon swirls would’ve made this bread even more closer to perfection.
The only “problems” I had was with my standmixer and the baking time for my first loaf. The recipe makes enough dough for two loaves, but my mixer couldn’t quite handle all that dough! While it was “kneading” the dough, the hook kept getting stuck and stalling, so I ended up taking out half the dough, putting it aside while the machine kneaded the other half. I kneaded the put-aside dough, then switched…it was a long process, but I think it ended up working out, because the loaves had the ideal texture, density, crumb, everything!
The second (slight) problem was that my first loaf wasn’t baked all the way through. I couldn’t help but cut into it about 30 minutes out of the oven, and I saw its middle was definitely underbaked. I popped it back in the oven (as my 2nd loaf was still baking), and baked for another 10 minutes. Then it was fine. I also added 10 minutes to the 2nd loaf, and it came out wonderfully baked.
I’m not only looking forward to continuing to bake with the Tuesdays with Dorie group, but I am also excited to keep making this bread recipe. Nothing beats a simple bread, baked right!