Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie: The Beginning--White Loaves

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!


  1. Yup, relatively easy. I'm jealous that you can buy King Arthur flour in bulk for under $1 a pound!

  2. Very nice - this was a great starter recipe for this adventure.
    I love KAF bread flour (I wish I could get it in bulk) - sounds like you were able to get a good deal on it.

  3. I like your blog and the fact that you were not intimidated to make something new. Starting and stopping your mixer is actually a standard technique when kneading bread. It is called autolyse and is rest time for the dough to let the gluten relax. One handy tool to get if you want to portion evenly is a digital scale. They aren't too expensive and are a really useful tool for lots of pastry recipes that give weights instead of measures. I'm really looking forward to baking with you. What a fun adventure!!!