|White Loaves: The one on the right was baked in a 9 x 5 pan and thus came out shorter but tasted the same.|
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.