Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie : White Loaves

Is anyone else obsessed with the PBS cooking show hosted by Julia Child? I've watched it for as long as I can remember, many of the episodes multiple times. So, when a friend told me about Tuesdays with Dorie, I signed up with another 300+ food bloggers to embark on a bi-weekly blogging challenge to work through the cookbook Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan. I knew I would love the book and discovered (while baking this bread with two dear friends) that the Martha Stewart marzipan wedding cake that I have loved for YEARS is in this very book! Going to start practicing that one... now.

This is the second go around for the Tuesdays crowd and I'm so happy to join up with so many brave bakers! I am pretty good at trying new things, making them my own, but as a semi-dedicated blogger, I always try to change recipes as soon as I see them and it is really refreshing just to share with you tried and true recipes from the one and only Julia and the amazing Dorie Greenspan. Join us if you like! It's going to be a fun ride and it's not too late to go make these beautiful loaves!!

This bread is classic, flavorful and didn't last more than two days with all of my Cleveland friends. Dedicate an afternoon to making this bread, it is super worth it. ALSO - we set our bread to rise over a heated burner for TOO long and it was fine. Close call. So, if I did that and didn't fail, anyone can!

White Loaves
(Craig Kominiak)
makes two 1 & 3/4 pound loaves

2.5 c water (105-115 degrees)
1 tbs dry active yeast
1 tbs sugar
7 c unbleached all purpose flour
1 tbs salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

Mixing and Kneading : Pour 1/2 c of the water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the water, mix lightly and let stand for 5 minutes or until foamy. With the dough hook in place, add the remaining 2 c of water and half of the flour to the yeast. Turn the mixer on slowly to prevent major flour clouds. Scrape down the bowl until incorporated, add remaining flour. (If the dough doesn't quite come together, add flour a tbs at a time until it does.) Mix in salt and continue to beat on medium for 10 minutes. If you prefer kneading by hand, cut the time in half and knead for 8-10 minutes by hand. Lastly, add the butter a tbs at a time until incorporated and well mixed.

First Rise : Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and and let dough rest at room temperature until doubled, 45 minutes-1 hour.

Shaping the Dough: Butter two 8.5x4.5 loaf pans and set aside. Deflate the dough by giving it a good punch and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough in half. With fingers and palms, press one half of the dough into a rectangle and fold like in an envelope. Pinch the dough together to make a long seam down the middle, turn the ends under and pinch. Fluff and place seam side down into a loaf pan, shaping if needed to maintain loaf form. Repeat with second batch of dough.

Second Rise : Cover the loaves with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until the double once more, 40 minutes - 1 hour. While the loaves rise, center a rack in the oven and preheat to 375.

Bake : Once the loaves have risen, double-check the rise by leaving an imprint in one with your finger. If the imprint stays, you're good! Bake for 30 minutes if you like soft bread like me, 35 is the normal time. At 25, you CAN take the loaves out of the pans and lay on the racks to brown the sides. Do not cut until nearly completely cool. Keep the bread in a brown paper bag for a day or two or wrap in an airtight container and freeze for up to a month.