Tuesday, February 7, 2012

White Loaves

White Loaves: The one on the right was baked in a 9 x 5 pan and thus came out shorter but tasted the same.
The first recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie baking group was scheduled for today.  I made it a few days ago when I had a bit of time.  Rhiannon (4 months) was asleep in her bassinet for the initial dough forming stage and her older brother Quinn (3 years) was out for a haircut.  It was one of those rare moments I could be alone in a quiet kitchen.  I will have to find more of those "moments" if I am to keep up with this baking crew.

I bought the recipe book, Baking with Julia, a week ago and I must say, at first glance I was thoroughly intimidated.  I consider myself a decent baker but not near the level of this book.  Croissants!  I have to make croissants.  Living in Portland, Oregon, where food snobbery is prevalent, there are heavenly croissants to be bought at my neighborhood coffee shop.  Why would I even attempt it at home?  But I will.  And it will undoubtedly be hilarious I do.

So, White Loaves, today's recipe, looked like something I could handle.  I have made plenty of bread loaves in the past and this did not vary too greatly from what I have done with one great exception: the instructions were written for a mixer.  I do not have a mixer (yet).  I have almost bought one multiple times but alas, I am mixer-less.  So, I did my best to adapt it to hand mixing the dough and it worked out great.  I added the butter and salt mid-way through the flour additions instead of at the end to get a better blend.  I kneaded for about 12 minutes.  And the dough felt good when I was done; it felt ready.

I made one plain loaf and one with a small cinnamon swirl like I had read about people doing on the main blog.  And they both tasted wonderfully homey.  But maybe I baked my a bit too long or added a hair too much flour because the shelf life was incredibly short (and not due to my 3 year old son).  The open sliced end seemed to dry out so fast.  And by the next day we had to toast it to make it more palatable.  Sandwich bread for one day only.  I will try this recipe again sometime to see if it happens again.   Maybe I will use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour.  Or if anyone has any insight on how to avoid this? 

To find the recipe used above or to join in on the fun, follow the link below.  Or buy the book Baking with Julia  by Dorie Greenspan.



  1. I wish I'd made one with cinammon, too, but I think the leftover bread will make great bread pudding! This was infinitely better than store-bought sandwich bread and very easy to make!

  2. Fresh bread is so great for sandwiches. Mine didn't dry out after a day, but it wasn't quite the same. Wish I had tried the cinnamon. Next time! Hope you find more moments to enjoy baking.

  3. Mine dried out as well, but it took about three days. I used the dried out bread for french toast and croutons. Both super tasty!

  4. Welcome to the world of blogging!
    Letting this bread cool completely before cutting helps - but this loaf isn't a long keeper (unfortunately). 2-3 days seems to be the shelf life - it does make great toast/ paninis after that. You could freeze what you aren't going to consume immediately as an option.
    Good luck on your journey!

  5. Lovely loaves! I think in general fresh baked bread has a shorter shelf life. Ah well, it made great toast!