I'm starting this blog primarily to follow along with the group on Tuesdays with Dorie. Tuesdays with Dorie is a group of bloggers who bake the same recipe every other Tuesday. I found out about the group after I received Dorie Greenspan's book Baking: From My Home to Yours and I was googling recipes before I made them. It was too late for me to join in then, but I was excited when I found out they were starting again with one of Dorie's older books Baking with Julia. I've developed an interest in baking and I thought this was a great way to challenge myself and make sure that I'm continuing to bake on a regular basis.
Our hosts this week are Laurie and Jules. The first recipe is great one to start with: White Loaves. I have to admit I haven't actually made real bread before. Sure, I've used a bread machine, but to bake a loaf from scratch with the rising, in the loaf pan, no, I've never done that. My baking leans toward the sweet category.
I won't post the recipe here, but check it out in Dorie's book. It is well worth the investment!
I was on a time crunch, as usual, when I started making this bread. I bought the only yeast in the grocery store and it turned out to be "fast rise," but that worked out ok since I was in a hurry. I used King Arthur "Special Bread Flour" from the bulk section of my health food market. Side note: that flour was less than $1/lb!
I got out my trusty KitchenAid and proofed the yeast as instructed. Then in with the first batch of flour and the water, then the rest of the flour. I turned the mixer on and it was fine at first, but as it churned, I noticed a burning smell, and it really looked like it was struggling. I turned it off for a bit, then back on, then off, just trying to give it some time to rest in between working.
Finally the kneading was done and my mixer was still standing. I formed the dough into a ball and sat it aside to rest. This was all pretty familiar me because I've made pizza dough several times before. Because I had used the quick rise yeast, the dough didn't need the full 45 minutes to double in size. It was ready in about half that time. I beat it down and pulled out half to form my first loaf. I had to re-read the instructions several times but once I got it, it was easy. I thought for sure the seam would turn out weird, but the loaves came out perfect. I baked them for about 30 minutes then took the loaves out of the pans to brown in the oven for about 10 more minutes. Only one minor imperfection--my loaves were not the same size. I guess I'll get better at portioning as I go along.
I gave the bread time to cool, but it was hard. Man, that bread smelled so good! When I cut into it, honestly I thought it seemed a little hard, and a little dense, but when I tasted it, yum! My husband loved it also. Now that I know baking my own bread is so (relatively) easy and so tasty, I don't think we'll be going back to the grocery store bread!
If you've been intimidated by making your own bread, I definitely recommend that you give this recipe a try.
|The delicious finished product!|