I tend to overdo things, at least when it comes to food. Which is why I try not to go to Costco too often. Who needs a case of dill pickles, just because the cost per jar is incredibly cheap? And we won’t go into why I made so much extra chili recently that I had to rearrange the entire freezer to fit it all in.
So when I decided to bake with online groups, maybe it’s not surprising that I joined three groups instead of just one or two. I’ve already introduced you to #baketogether and the ABC group. The third is Tuesdays with Dorie. This group is exploring Baking with Julia, a book based on the Julia Child-hosted PBS series of the same name hosted.
No question that the book and the bakers made this group attractive to me. Julia Child is one of my cooking idols. Plus, I’ve long admired Dorie Greenspan and recipes by different bakers give me the chance to find new sources of inspiration. Knowing myself well, and my need for deadlines and structure to make things happen, I figured that having another baking “assignment” would help me to learn more over a short period.
It’s like learning to drive a car. You can read how-to manuals or watch someone else do it for years, but getting behind the wheel is when the real learning starts and only through practice do you become a better driver. Much as I hate to drive in difficult conditions, I know that those challenges make me a better driver. And so it is with cooking and baking.
The first “Tuesdays with Dorie” assignment was a recipe for white bread. True-to-form, I immediately began tinkering with the recipe. The end result was a decidedly not-white bread, because I substituted a combination of white and buckwheat flours about a third of the white flour. The bread-baking process was fun, though a bit time-consuming. (The bread has to rise twice, for a total of about two hours.) Still, if you’re organized and can stay home for a couple of hours, it’s a relatively simple way to make two loaves of bread.
The buckwheat flour was left over from daughter Eleanor’s French-style crêpes. From crêpes to a Julia Child-inspired recipe is not quite the equivalent of “from your lips to God’s ear.” Although my prayer for a healthier (but still light) bread was not answered, I try see the bright side of my adventurous detour from the ingredient list. This bread looks and tastes earthy, as in Mother Earth, whole grain, old fashioned-natural-foods-store-kind-of-way. And, if you’re into romantic afternoons, one can definitely imagine sitting in a farmhouse kitchen eating a slice of this with homemade jam or fresh cheese.