So I had the best intentions when I started this blog, but as with many well-intended things (at least in my life), my blog has languished while I've been working, baking, running, skating, reading, and doing everything else I do. A couple of weeks ago, while reading another baking blog, I saw a reference to the Tuesdays With Dorie project, which was starting a new go-round of baking bloggers who'd be working from Baking With Julia. After thinking it over for a couple of days, I decided I'd give it a go and see if I could manage at least to keep my blog going by participating in this endeavor.
The first recipe from Baking With Julia is White Loaves, a yeasted bread. I've made plenty of bread, but to be honest, I'm pretty lazy about it these days. When I make bread, I tend to throw the ingredients in the bread machine, then dump the dough in a pan after the first rise, then let it rise again, then bake it off in the oven. Not someone to totally relinquish the lazy, I allowed my trusty nearly 21-year-old 5-qt. KitchenAid to mix and knead the dough. Based on the heat it generated, the KA has not had a workout like that in a while. Since I didn't have regular active dry yeast, I substituted rapid-rise bread machine yeast. I also used a blend of all-purpose and bread flours. Otherwise, I followed the recipe pretty much as directed.
For the first rise, I ended up with a nice blob of dough:
After the first rise, I shaped the dough. Shaping dough is something I've gotten -- surprise! -- really lazy about, so it was a good exercise to pay attention to what I was doing. I got a couple of nicely shaped loaves in the pans:
Because it was a little cool Saturday when I made the bread, I needed to let the dough rise a bit longer than the recommended 45 minutes. Although the recipe didn't offer this bit of direction, I slashed the top of each loaf so that the loaves wouldn't burst open as they rose in the oven.
Apparently, taking a moment to shape loaves properly is a good thing. These two loaves are about the nicest looking ones I've made in ages.
For an upcoming cupcake recipe, I made some blueberry jam today. Actually, I made a double batch, figuring that it would taste pretty good on a toasted slice of fresh bread.