Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie: White Loaves

Hi, my name is Amanda, and I have a problem.  I have been trying to tell you guys for months.  I am pretty sure most of you think I've been joking.  Well, probably just those of you who don't know me very well.  But I really do.  Have a problem.  I haven't just been messing with you.  To prove my insanity to all of you, I joined another baking group.  I know, one should be enough, right?  I am sure for some people it would be.  And maybe at certain times in my life, one might be enough, (I will let you know).  But for now, I am stuck here and not going anywhere.  If we have learned anything from history, it's that when I am stuck somewhere, I bake.

It took this group 4 years to bake their way through the last book and they made every recipe (well those who started with the group, anyway) in the book.  When I first heard that, I thought that might be too big of a commitment for me.  4 years.....  but then I remembered, that's how long my sentence here is.  Okay fine, technically, it's not a sentence.  maybe.  But I need to do something I love to pass the time and I love to bake!  I am excited about having something reliable to occupy my time, goals for the month, checkpoints.  Two baking groups should do that, right?  If not, I might end up on the brink of insanity, but at least we can all say I tried.  

Now that I have tried to explain my sickness, probably not well, I want to tell you more about this new baking group.  It's called Tuesday's with Dorie (hence the post name).  Like I said, they have been in business for 4 years and just recently finished baking through the book Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.  This is our (I get to include myself now!!) first recipe from our new book:
Both books are by Dorie Greenspan, hence the name of the group.  We will be baking 2 recipes a month and we started off with White Loaves.  They were delicious.  I am glad I took the advice of some of my fellow bakers and turned one loaf into cinnamon bread.  It. was. good.

And now for pictures.  

I used bread flour (the recipe states you can use all purpose or bread flour) and I added 1/2 cup less than the recipe called for and I still felt like my dough was a little dry.  Isn't it supposed to stick a little to the bottom of the bowl?!  That's what I am used to.  And I really didn't feel comfortable with it not sticking at all.  Instead of having a panic attack, I added a couple tablespoons of water until it did what I wanted it to.  See?
You add the butter pretty much at the end of the kneading process, and after I did that, it was sticking quite a bit more, so maybe I just needed to be patient.  Not my strong suit.

Before the first rise.
I actually let it sit for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours and I was worried it might have been too much, but all was still well after it was done.  phew.  After the first rise.  I think it tripled in size.
I can't be trusted to roll things out to a measurement unless I have a ruler.  It's a sad story.
The melted and cooled butter for cinnamon bread.
mmmm, cinnamon and sugar.  Seriously whose idea was this?  Genius.
Ready for the second rise.

Ready to bake!
The book said I should push my finger into the bread and the dimple should stay.  I have proof.

I did something new that I had never done before!  The recipe said you could take your bread out of the pan and bake it on the rack, in the oven, for the last ten minutes.  And I did.  I think the bottom might have browned up a little more.  I might have liked it.
I didn't do it with the cinnamon bread because I was afraid that somehow all my cinnamon goodness would evaporate from the bread and I didn't want to take that chance.  I also realized after baking that my bread didn't look quite as "tall" as the photo in the book.  I think it's because I didn't follow the directions and instead of using 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans (which I have), I used 9x5 inch loaf pans because I didn't even think about it.  They were still about 5 inches tall, which was good, but next time, I might try the taller ones.  Just because the grass is always greener and I thought the bread looked cooler when it was taller.
The white bread had a chewy crust and soft, lovely center.  We used it to make Panini the next day and it was amazing.  The cinnamon bread was nothing short of delicious.  

The promised heart....
If you want the recipe for this bread, you can either buy the book or check out one of these (or both of these) blogs to get it!




  1. After seeing your pictures I realize I should have made the cinnamon swirl!!!! It looks amazing!

  2. Your loaves are absolute perfection! And I should not be eyeballing that cinnamon loaf before I've had breakfast; it's all I can think about now!

  3. Mmmmmmmmm, it never occurred to me to add cinnamon. And now I need to do that for next time. Nice work!

  4. Great pictures! And beautiful loaves, thanks for sharing!

  5. Your bread looks like it turned out wonderfully, and I love how dark the top of the cinnamon bread got! Just fabulous!

  6. Your loaves look amazing and I really love that cinnamon swirl!! I am going to try that!!

  7. Terrific looking loaves! I knew there was a reason I kept a ruler in the kitchen, thanks for the reminder! PS, love all the photos you have on your site - exotic spices!

  8. Ah, cinnamon... I am totally dimensionally challenged - rulers are BFF's for people like me :-)

  9. Gorgeous loaves! And I keep a ruler in my food gadget drawer. Doesn't everyone?

  10. That cinnamon swirl is calling my name! Looking forward to baking with you. Cheers!

  11. I love the first picture with the cinnamon peaking out. Your loaves look fantastic!

  12. The cinnamon loaf looks yummy!! Love the heart-shaped butter too!

  13. I so wish I'd made a cinnamon loaf - yours looks so good! I used a Tupperware rolling sheet with measurements printed on it - no guessing for me...


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