A Frederick Food Garden

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Tuesdays With Dori- Week 1- White Loaves

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I've joined the Tuesdays with Dorie blogging project. Twice a month, I'll be baking and blogging about it. We're using the book, Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan and Julia Child. Want to join in the fun? Check them out here.

White Loaves. Okay, not the most exciting recipe title ever, but check out this beautiful baby. This is a pretty basic white bread, but there's no denying its appeal. This will make great toast, terrific sandwiches and awesome french toast. Want more? I can imagine it in a chocolate-hazelnut bread pudding or a spinach-gruyere strata. Let's get baking.

This is a direct-rise bread. No sponges or starters to worry about, so it's a great one for beginners. The recipe directs you to put 1/2 cup of the lukewarm water and the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. After 5 minutes, the mixture will look "creamy" according to the book.
I think it looks like the foam from a latte. Mmmm. Coffee would probably go great with this bread in the morning.

Next, we add all of the other ingredients, except the butter, and mix on medium. I used half KA bread flour and half KA all-purpose. I resisted the urge to add wheat germ, potato flour or dry milk powder. (I bake a lot of bread and often tweak recipes. But I am resolved to follow each of these recipes exactly as written. At least the first time...)

This recipe suggests that you can mix the dough in the machine for half the time and hand knead for the rest. I like to knead, so I did half and half. Check out that gluten!

Time to get my hands dirty. As you can see, this dough is a little sticky. I held a 1/2 cup of the flour back, to dust the countertop with. You don't want to knead too much flour into a dough like this, or the bread will end up dry. I put the dough back in the machine and beat in the butter.

This dough does a nice windowpane. It's also pretty soft, but the butter cuts down on the stickiness.

Here's the dough, ready for its first rise. The recipe calls for a buttered or oiled bowl. I always use Pam (or other non-stick spray.) Don't forget to give the top of the dough a squirt. See you in an hour or so.

Check it out. Do NOT leave this dough for more than an hour. This bad boy was ready to ooze across the kitchen.

I dumped the dough out onto the counter, cut it in two with my trusty scraper, and patted each piece out to a 12" x 9" rectangle. Yes, I used a ruler. Because I am a nerd detail-oriented. Yes, that's the stainless steel ruler that I got in art school (many, many years ago).

And they're ready for the second rise. I know that looks like gratuitous product placement. Trust me, KA flours are really worth the extra cost. They never let me down. And no, they are not paying me to talk them up.

45 minutes later, my oven is preheated and they are ready to bake. A tip here: don't ever skip preheating your oven, especially when baking with yeast. A hot oven ensures "oven-spring". That's a fancy baker's term for "the yeast knows it's dying so it gives one last gasp and pumps your bread full of carbon dioxide gas." You could've lived without that knowledge, right?

And 50 minutes later, here they are! As promised, they did indeed rise very high. Aren't they pretty? The recipe is very specific about letting them cool almost completely, so hands off for at least an hour (or in my case, overnight.)

The next morning, they were very tasty with butter and jam. And it was great with my coffee. I'm going to try to make panini out of them tonight. The crust is pretty firm and the crumb is even with no large air bubbles, so panini should work. I'm thinking prosciutto, comte, and caramelized onions. BTW, my husband and (picky, 5-year-old) son both gave this recipe a big thumbs up!

 

 

Author: cathybruce

I'm a graphic designer, cook, gardener, geek, wife, and mom. Not necessarily in that order.

38 Comments

  1. I loved your write-up! And your loaves look fantastic.

  2. I think a panini is a fab idea! Wasn’t this such a simply fun loaf? I’m hooked! Cheers!

  3. Your loaves look great! And I can’t believe we got through eating two loaves with out using butter and jam.

  4. We made panini with it and it was great! Your bread looks beautiful!

  5. Looks gorgeous! That dough almost took over your kitchen. ;-)

  6. I always knew my bread rose a little more in the oven but I never understood it. I can bake in peace now.

  7. very beautiful. well done

  8. Great photos! Your bread looks terrific, and I love your ideas of how to dress it up a bit.

  9. Sounds/looks like you’ve got a little bread baking experience! Very good write up w/ pictures. We really liked the taste of this bread, especially w/ our tuna salad, but usually we prefer whole grain loaves w/ lots of goodies (seeds) in it. Are you in Columbus? (saw it on the ruler) I am from Columbus OH; we just moved to KY a couple years ago when hubby got new job. Looking forward to reading your posts!

    • I’m originally from Pennsylvania. We’re in Maryland now. I met my husband in college at CCAD in Ohio, so I have fond memories of the state.

  10. Your loaves are beautiful! I’m a bread baking novice but my husband ate both loaves so they must not have been too bad!

  11. Oh man, my dough was the same way. I’ve never had dough rise so well!

  12. beautiful bread.
    love your stainless steel counter. we discussed doing that when we renovated our house, but didn’t have the guts to do it. Kudos to you!

    • When we moved into our 100 year old row home, there was only one very small counter in the kitchen. Since we didn’t have money to remodel, I bought two stainless steel tables at a restaurant supply store. Seven years later, I can’t part with them (although I’d kill for a new oven.)

  13. Your bread is gorgeous! I agree, bread pudding made from this dense bread would be delightful!

  14. Very nice blog. Your wrote:I resisted the urge to add wheat germ, potato flour or dry milk powder.
    What effect does this have on the bread? I am so curious to know and try it later.

    Happy Baking!

    • Wheat germ adds flavor and some very nice flecks of color to the bread. Potato flour helps produce a moist loaf (and helps it to keep longer by holding onto that moisture). Dry milk powder adds some sugars, which help browning and also tenderizes the loaf. These loaves really didn’t need it though.

  15. Your loaves look beautiful. Look forward to more TWD results!
    I 100% agree with you about KAF – with the exception of some specialty flours, its the only kind I will use. I only live 3 hours from them, so I love making the pilgramage to their store a couple of times a year (dangerous store for a baker).

  16. MMmmm. Looks wonderful with the raspberry jam!! I’ll have to go dig out some jam & give it a try.

  17. Lovely loaves! Nothing better than toast and jam. :)

  18. Its great to see another person’s loaves rise as much as mine did!! I have been seeing all these rather flat loaves (in comparison) and wondering if I missed a step or everyone else missed something… they look great though! :)

  19. Wow! Your loaves look amazing!

  20. Yum…the toast looks luscious with the jam spread all over it. This bread really knew how to rise, right? Very nice.

  21. Your bread is lovely- I found this bread very easy to produce & the addition of the butter at the end of kneading was a 1st for me. And, boy- did it rise pronto; as you said. Not one of those you can leave & go run errands for a few hours! Cheers, so happy to be cooking along with you in TWD

    • Hi Beverly, it’s nice to be cooking along with you too. I’ve never added butter at the end of kneading either. It really was a nice dough to work with.

  22. I enjoyed your photos! I used All Purpose KA flour, I feel the same way you do about it! We had sandwiches for supper, and bread for snack and still have a loaf left for tomorrow–I know I’m a couple of days late!
    –To future projects!

  23. I love your rising bucket. I need to get one of those! It was hard for me to tell when mine was doubled since I was using a slanted side bowl.

  24. Beautifully golden loaves! I hear you about the rising – mine doubled in size in under 45 minutes.

  25. I am going to get me one of those buckets and a scraper and KA flour. Thanks for the details information and tips. Your bread looks yummy :)

  26. Beautiful loaves! I love your proofing container, too. It really shows how much it increases in volume. I’ve heard so much about King Arthur flours and recipes from the American blogs I read – here in my region of Canada, Robin Hood is the most widely available brand.

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