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CaliPoutine

"Baking With Julia" by Julia Child (2005 - )

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Spurred on by others - I decided that this weekend I would make mixed starter bread from BWJ. Everything has gone along perfectly up until now.

I have just mixed the second stage starter and am letting it rise for 4 hours, prior to the 8 hour chill in the fridge.

My question is - Before I put it in the fridge do I deflate the dough, or do I leave it in the bowl fully risen?

An answer within the next four hours would be fabulous. :biggrin:

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Thanks Dorie.........It ended up sitting for 6 hours, not 4 (we went out for the evening and came back later than expected), so I hope all is well tomorrow.

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I made the mixed starter bread from BWJ this weekend. Even though it was done over two days, the actual time involved in the process was fairly minimal. It is a good bread to do if you are going to be hanging around the house.

Here are some picures.

This one of the completed baguettes. The acutal shaping was fairly easy to do. The instructions were very clear and easy to follow. Overall I was very pleased with my first effort. I don't know what caused the bump at one end, but assume that it was due to my not getting the dough quite even along the length of the roll.

gallery_7931_560_554984.jpg

Here is a picture of the structure of the bread.

gallery_7931_560_470189.jpg

I had a mixture of size of holes. Not perfect, but for my first effort at this type of bread I was happy. Practice makes perfect I am telling myself :biggrin: Regardless of the hole structure the taste of the bread was out of this world. So different from the stuff that they try to pass off as bread in the grocery store!

Here is a picture of the epi's that I tried to form. I wasn't going to post this image, as they did not turn out. However, in the interest of full disclosure here goes....They were easy to cut and form, but I cut them too far apart so they ended up too "fat". Maybe my other problem is I didn't separate them enough. Any ideas how I could improve this?

Oh well, they will taste great regardless.

gallery_7931_560_110677.jpg

Tonight's dinner is Salade Niscoise to go with the bread, and cheese to follow. Yum!

Comments from experienced bread bakers would be appreciated. I would love to learn how I can improve.

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Your bread looks beautiful. It is a wonderful bread although I haven't made any for some time.

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I had a mixture of size of holes.  Not perfect, but for my first effort at this type of bread I was happy.  Practice makes perfect I am telling myself  :biggrin:  Regardless of the hole structure the taste of the bread was out of this world.  So different from the stuff that they try to pass off as bread in the grocery store!

Dude, irregular hole structure is what you want! Congratulations! Looks good.

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Forever_Young_ca,

You need to cut your epis deeper...don't be afaid, you are almost going to the very bottom of the loaf. Also, it seems like your angle may not have been steep enough. And you really don't need to "pull" them...just flip them from side-to-side as you cut. (I think your pulling is what resulted in the rounded edges as opposed to the pointed ones typically associated with this shape.) I've made thousands of epis, and love them because they not only look fabulous on a table, they are very "single serving." Keep practicing and you'll get it down.

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Thanks for all the kind words.

With regards to the epis - I read the tutorial on the King Aurthur website, but obviously did something wrong. Will try all of WhiteTruffleGirl's suggestions for next time. I do like the shapes and they were fun to make.

I also think that perhaps I didn't make my cuts close together enough, so when they rose they were too "fat". I should have taken a picture before they rose - if memory serves me right they were about the size I wanted as the end product.

When you cut yours Seth, how far apart were the "snips"?

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I think WhiteTruffleGirl has figured out your problem, forever young. Don't snip until the loaves are about to go into the oven.

My only education on epis came from that King Arthur tutorial. I really can't add anything to it.

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Don't snip until the loaves are about to go into the oven.

"Slaps hand on forhead - duh" I never thought about snipping after they have risen. Of couse!

Thanks, can hardly wait to try again!

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My first recipe from BWJ: potato loaf.

It' a very easy bread! I think that it will be good with a slice of salame.

potato_loaf.jpg


Edited by Staximo (log)

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Baking With Julia is a gorgeous book.  Makes me wonder why I've never bought it.  There's a gingerbread cake recipe that I'm dying to try.

I tried that gingerbread cake recipe and the flavor was a bit too strong, dark and assertive for me. The word "aggressive" comes to mind. It was unusual, which is a quality I generally love, but the sort of thing I would only enjoy in very small portions with lots of whipped cream to kick it down a notch. My husband tried it and said about the same thing - "I like it but I don't want any more." I ended up throwing out about half of the cake when I just couldn't look at it any more. I should have frozen it, but I'd had enough. It offended my frugal nature, but every now and then I get tired of being frugal so I just chucked it. I do think it turned out as the recipe intended. I followed the recipe exactly. And I love gingerbread. But this wasn't my favorite.

I made the ginger cake yesterday. And threw it out after one bite. I, too, am frugal and it bothered me to waste food (not to mention the cost of the ingredients) but I just couldn't swallow more than that one bite.

I was so sure that the amount of molasses had to be wrong that I searched the web to see if the 2 cups should have been 1/2 cup or something. I found a video of the PBS show and sure enough, 2 cups was what was used.

Perhaps it was the brand of molasses? I don't remember which I used (the empty container is somewhere under the cake and I don't want to dig through the garbage) but I know it wasn't Grandma's.

Has anyone made this recipe and loved it? I would like to try it again if it's supposed to have less of an "aggressive" molasses taste. It sounds great on paper.

- kim

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I've just read a bunch of gingerbread cake recipes. In each, the molasses (anywhere from 1/3 to 1 cup) is mixed with an equal amount of hot (or boiling) water or milk or buttermilk.

I wonder if the molasses used by Johanne Killeen was of a milder sort than the unsulphured molasses I can buy here in Chicago.

My cake tasted exclusively of molasses and that can't be right. Mixing one cup of molasses with one cup of some other liquid makes sense to me. But which one? And would that not make the cake batter a bit too watery?

- kim

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I've just read a bunch of gingerbread cake recipes. In each, the molasses (anywhere from 1/3 to 1 cup) is mixed with an equal amount of hot (or boiling) water or milk or buttermilk.

I wonder if the molasses used by Johanne Killeen was of a milder sort than the unsulphured molasses I can buy here in Chicago.

My cake tasted exclusively of molasses and that can't be right. Mixing one cup of molasses with one cup of some other liquid makes sense to me. But which one? And would that not make the cake batter a bit too watery?

- kim

Just a thought, but since molasses is a sweetener, maybe if you did it half and half with corn syrup that would lighten the taste. I've never seen "mild" molasses.

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Baking with Julia has a picture of the Gingerbread Cake. It looks considerably lighter brown than mine. And I started to wonder if I had somehow used Blackstrap Molasses by mistake.

I wanted to try the recipe again but this time I wanted to make it in 4"x1" cake pans instead of one big one. I really like the idea of making baby cakes. So I shopped. All over town. With no success. I tried Edward Don's, Sur La Table, Target (because it was up the street from Edward Don's and you just never know) and Chef's Catalog. The closest thing I could find were 4" springform pans but that just sounded wrong for a cake. The woman at Edward Don's couldn't have been less helpful but the woman at Chef's Catalog went out of her way to help. She suggested Bridge Kitchenware in New York and showed me a catalog. They have them but they were a bit pricier than I would have liked. Next time I'm in New York, I'll have to check that place out.

So, anyway, I gave up on that recipe. For the time being.

I decided to make the Ginger Cake linked by Brioche57 (thank you!). That was yesterday. We didn't get to taste it until this morning. And we both liked it. We ate it plain but will have more tonight with whipped cream. Or maybe the grapefruit ginger sorbet I'm making right now.

And now I'm sure that I didn't use blackstrap molasses. But I'm still curious as to which brand was used by those people who make great tasting Gingerbread Baby Cakes. Surely that has to be the answer to what went wrong with mine.

- kim

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Hope it's not too late to join and that you haven't done all the recipes yet!

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I thoroughly enjoyed eating this Ginger Cake. When it was all gone, I decided to try the BWJ recipe again.

The first time I made it, I used Mother Hubbard molasses. Because it comes in a convenient 16 ounce jar and the recipe calls for 2 cups. Grandma's comes in 12 ounce jars and that's just not as handy. When I went back to the store, I saw that the only Mother Hubbard molasses they had was blackstrap. And that gave me hope because if I used blackstrap that would explain why my Gingerbread Cake was inedible. I picked up two jars of Grandma's Original molasses.

Last night I tried again. Better. But, the taste of molasses still predominates and the other flavors are hidden.

- kim

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I was beyond thrilled to find this thread, but I seem to have come to it a bit late! I hope there are some people still around to discuss this great book. . .

So far I've only made the X-cookies (with dates instead of figs), and I'm in the process of making a loaf of semolina bread tonight.

The cookies were good - definitely fun to make - but the candied orange peel was a little too strong. I wish I would have substituted dried apricots, but after a couple of days the flavor mellowed quite a bit.

Anyway, I leave you with this photo of my X-cookies, and will update on the bread later.

<cemter><img src="http://baking.ericablu.com/wp-content/forumxcookies.jpg" /></center>

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I was beyond thrilled to find this thread, but I seem to have come to it a bit late! I hope there are some people still around to discuss this great book. . .

So far I've only made the X-cookies (with dates instead of figs), and I'm in the process of making a loaf of semolina bread tonight.

The cookies were good - definitely fun to make - but the candied orange peel was a little too strong. I wish I would have substituted dried apricots, but after a couple of days the flavor mellowed quite a bit.

Anyway, I leave you with this photo of my X-cookies, and will update on the bread later.

<cemter><img src="http://baking.ericablu.com/wp-content/forumxcookies.jpg" /></center>

The book is one of my favorites.

I've made the semolina bread, a Nick Malgieri recipe, and loved it. It makes really great toast, if you manage to save a piece!

SB (and how about the photos in that book?) :raz:

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Ok - the semolina bread was made and eaten! It was delicious - I wonder, though, if it rose enough?

That's about what mine looked like. I figured semolina is a hard wheat, so a rather more dense bread with a nice "bite" was fitting? If not, just tell everybody that's the way it's supposed to be.

SB (that's what Julia would have done) :wink:

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