Thursday, September 18, 2014

TWD/BWJ: Classic French Bread

Tuesdays With Dorie, you are a bad influence!

Good grief, this is either the best bread in the history of mankind, or I haven't had bread in so long it only seems that way.

After a bit of a search, I found fresh yeast. If you're in the Atlanta area, you can get it at the Buford Highway International Farmer's Market - in the refrigerated area of the Eastern European section. Don't know why I've never been there before, but it was a pretty great place to explore. The aisles are marked with different country names, and you can literally walk around the world.

Let's get to some pictures:

Aerating my flour with a whisk.
Learned it in a Montessori classroom.
Recently discovered that Dorie refers to this
in the "flour" section of the book on page 13.
I feel so validated. And so far behind on reading
what's in the book. Really, there's lots more than recipes.

That yeast cake crumbled up nicely.
But it smelled a little... skanky...

Not the best scale for measuring .6 of an ounce

All that kneading caused Katie to throw a screw,
but as usual she performed beautifully, loose screw or not.

Genius suggestion by Sharron to let the shaped dough rise
on parchment paper cradled between rolled up towels.
Baked them right on the paper.
One question: Where can I get a single-edged razor blade?
My knives just aren't cutting it. <groan>

Meanwhile, outside, the feeder is almost empty.
They've sucked down a gallon this year!
Can hummingbirds get fat? My husband thinks so.

See what I mean about being a

Check out the links of the other Tuesdays With Dorie participants here. And the original video of Julia with Danielle Forestier (who contributed this recipe) is here.

For your amusement.
This came in my CSA box yesterday.

 Finally, a shoe. This one seems appropriately French. It's not every day that you see an upright high heel in the road!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

TWD/BWJ: Poppy Seed Torte

I tried.
I expected greatness.
But no. Just no.

This one didn't do it for us.
My husband said, "It tastes liquid-y and strange."
That about covers it.

But I did learn some things:

1) Real apricots have pits. And it's easy to over-poach them. Yes, I've led a sheltered life.

OK, they were "plumcots".
But I'm guessing that's pretty close.

2) "Cleaning out" the coffee grinder by running a piece of bread through it is not such a good idea. Gummed it up pretty quickly.

3) Hungry young men will eat anything with a big bowl of ice cream. "It's an acquired taste," my son said. "The first couple of bites were odd, but it's growing on me." (Remember, there was ice cream involved.) 

Feel free to laugh!
Everyone else's torte was so lovely. Mine was just sad.
4) Penzeys Spices is an incredible place. If you have one of these stores near you, please go there. Just for a visit. Personally, I think the website leaves something to be desired (not enough pictures) but if you can go there in person you will be forever changed. All these years I've heard people rave about fresh spices and thought they were just being overly perfectionist. I mean, really, if I had a bottle of something purchased from the grocery 5 years ago, no way I was going to go buy another one. They found spices in the pyramids, for goodness sake! But Penzeys is spice wonderland. There's a store over on the other side of town, and a friend from church was always handing things off to me in little Penzeys bags. The store was on my route to a quilt workshop, so I stopped. Actually I was in search of a spice mix called "Sunny Paris" that someone mentioned in a chicken recipe. I'd forgotten all about the poppy seeds until I saw bags of them. Which is why I took on the Torte. It didn't work out, but the Penzeys experience more than makes up for it.

Very few of the Tuesdays With Dorie bakers seem to have made the Poppy Seed Torte. Probably because of the quantity of seeds required (2 cups!). But some made it and liked it. You can see their links here

Finally, a shoe. Hitching a ride on the back of a truck.