Hello fellow Baking With Julia Bakers! So that mini melt down I thought I might have when the Baking With Julia book arrived, it happened, but wasn't too significant. The steps involved in many of the recipes are reasons I've shied away from certain recipes in the past. This blog opportunity is helping me move past that. I love having a schedule and deadlines, it keeps me motivated. And I also love that this is going to push me out of my comfort zone of 'recipes with simple steps' by making me wait for rises and chilling and rolling out dough. And the knowlege we can provide each other! I'm somewhat glad I waited until today to make the bread after reading several posters endevors with it. I feel for the lady who lost her Kitchenaid mixer to this task. I would be devastated without mine. I hope it has a speedy recovery. Because of her loss, I kept a close eye on my mixer, set it on low speed instead of medium as the recipe required, and kneaded it at the end after I felt it heat up for the first time in all its uses. In the end, I have two very tasty loaves of bread, more baking confidence having accomplished something I have never made before, and a carb coma to awaken from since I haven't been able to stop picking at it since lunch.
You can find the recipe for the White Loaves here. A couple changes I made were to use 6 1/4 cups flour instead of the full 7, as my dough had come together quite nicely at that point. It even made its own dough ball that I just patted a couple times to smooth out before putting it in an oiled bowl for it's first rise.
I also only baked them for 30 minutes, a guess on my part that they were looking golden brown deliciously done, and they were.
I think I may have overdone the "finger poke" instructions on the recipe as you can see by the dimpled loaf tops. I assumed they would bake out. Now I know for next time.
I also discovered that the aluminium loaf pan was a much better choice than the glass pan. Both were equally buttered, but the bread in the aluminium pan slid right out, while I had to scrape around the sides of the glass pan with a knife, and whittle away at the ends of the loaf until it gave and came out. As you can see from the picture, not all of it did come out. But I'm not crying over that. I made my first from-scratch bread! And, I slathered the pan remnants with butter that quickly melted onto the warm bread, and again melted in my mouth, forming a love affair for freshly baked bread that can never be broken.
Also in aluminium's favor was that the bread browned evenly without the extra step of removing it the last 10 minutes to achieve that look. However, I had recently been told by a health guru that I should remove all things aluminium from my baking collection. While I'm trying to find a balance in my life for healthier living, for now, the aluminium bakeware will stay put until I can find a better alternative.
Needless to say, lunch today was fabulous, and better than anything I could have bought in a restaurant in this small town I live in. Turkey, bacon, avocado, and red onion sandwiches on white bread. MY white bread.