Today is the first posting of the new Tuesdays With Dorie baking group! The group finished up Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours at the end of the year and is now baking their way through every recipe in the cookbook Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan. This hefty cookbook focuses on Julia Child’s recipes from her Master Chef cooking series. Julia Child + Dorie Greenspan = fantastic book. I will be very surprised if any of these recipes turn out to be duds. Instead I expect a delicious year (or two) ahead of fluffy biscuits, rich cakes, decadent tarts, and moist breads. Exciting!
I’ve had this book for ages… at least 3 moves ago. So – probably over 10 years. And while I’d put post-its on at least 10 recipes I wanted to make – I’ve never ended up baking a single thing from it yet. Terrible. I’ve got so many cookbooks that sometimes I suffer from recipe overload…too many recipes to choose from so I go back to the same recipes and books over and over again. It’s probably odd to say, but I probably get as much pleasure in reading my cookbooks like novels, as I do cooking and baking from them! They’re like picture books for adults. Anyways, needless to say, I’m thrilled to finally shake the dust off this beautiful book and begin using it as was intended.
The first recipe we tackled was classic White Loaves of bread on page 81 – starting with the basics is always good! I love that although this book came out in 1996 it still assumes home bakers have good quality stand mixers at the ready. It’s so much easier (and realistic) to follow a bread baking recipe that says “Working in the mixer with the dough hook in place…” then to find out you’re expected to knead the dough by hand for 20 minutes.
|Risen dough about to go in the oven|
Following the recipe was straightforward, easy, and rewarding. Very few bowls to clean, hardly any flour strewn about the kitchen, and as promised: loaves started in the morning were ready and waiting by lunchtime. The texture of the bread is moist with no air pockets, the crust is nice and crisp, and the taste is fantastic. And of course – the kitchen smells incredible for hours and hours.
This bread is perfect for sandwiches (a huge upgrade from normal sliced supermarket white bread) and even better toasted. The recipe would be easy to dress up with some raisins and cinnamon or cocoa powder for a sweet breakfast bread as well.
I’m thrilled with the results of the first recipe in Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan – and I look forward to the happy hours ahead in the kitchen with this baking group! If you are interested in tackling this White Loaf recipe at home you can find the recipe here on Julies’ blog Someone’s in the Kitchen (this week’s challenge host).