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SethG

"Baking With Julia" by Julia Child (2004)

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I didn't make the apple tart. I didn't feel good last week. I read we had an outbreak of norovirus. I'll try the tart this weekend (for Valentine's Day), and play catch up with the focaccia.

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Well, I tried to make the focaccia today... had the dough in my year-and-a-half old Kitchen Aid stand mixer, and it just went on strike... it would beat when the dough hook wasn't in the dough, but every time I lowered the hook it just stopped. Haven't yet figured out if the mixer is dying or there was just something very wrong with the dough. And the mixer stood up so well to 15 minutes of beating the brioche dough 2 weeks ago.

Hope everyone else enjoys the bread!

Neil


Author of the Mahu series of mystery novels set in Hawaii.

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Was your focaccia dough very stiff? I don't remember the BWJ recipe, but most focaccia doughs are fairly wet and aren't too much trouble for a KA mixer.

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That sounds like a real bummer, Plax/Neil.

I just made my dough, and I have a different problem. My mixer handled the dough just fine-- it did get warm, but I didn't smell any parts burning or anything. I cut the recipe by a third, so I will have two focaccias instead of three. I think this might have helped with the mixer. I also sprayed the hook with Pam, which I think really helped. I never really had to scrape it down.

My problem is this. I'm always using SAF-instant yeast, because I have a big bag of it. In the introductory section of the book somewhere, Greenspan says that's okay, but use only 75% of the yeast called for in the recipes. So today I did the mental calculation, and put in one and a half tablespoons of SAF-instant yeast. Twenty minutes after putting up the dough to rise, I realized that I forgot to cut the amount of yeast by another third, to match the amount I had cut all other ingredients! So I went to check on my dough, and it's already getting kind of close to doubled, after less than half the expected rise time.

Am I going to be okay if I just shorten the rises and proceed with the recipe? Or is this focaccia a lost cause? Should I start over?


"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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It just won't be as flavourful due to the fast rise although it may taste extra yeasty. However, you can punch it down and let it rise more slowly in the fridge if you want.

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Well, I'm just going to go with it. My second rise is just about done, and it's only been a little over an hour total, for both rises together. But whatever. It'll be good anyway, I reckon. Homemade bread is like that, isn't it?

Anyone got any ideas for the next project after focaccia?

I keep looking at the Tourte Milanese (incredible color photos on pp. 360-61) and the Pizza Rustica (photo on p. 363). Or should we do something sweet, maybe something from the cake chapter?


"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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I like both the Tourte Milanese and Pizza Rustica suggestions because I've never tried them and I'm not craving sweets that much these days. However, I have a couple of pregnant friends who would definitely love cake.

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Here's my focaccia. (I figured out how to make my pictures smaller.) I needn't have worried about the yeast. It came out great.

i3013.jpg

Not much else to say. I topped it with prosciutto, olives, parmesan, thin garlic slices, and olive oil. I'll be making it again. With a salad, it made a nice light meal for my wife and me.

Edit: Neil, did you end up throwing in the towel? Or did you try to carry on without the mixer?


Edited by SethG (log)

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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I ended up throwing out the dough because no matter how much water I kept adding to it, as soon as the mixer hit the dough it stopped. I'm going to try and make something else this week with the mixer, and if it's still not working I'll have to see about getting it fixed.

Bummer!

Neil


Author of the Mahu series of mystery novels set in Hawaii.

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I just stuck my dough in the fridge, so I won't be done until tomorrow. But I wanted to say that the dough gave my Kitchen Aid a run for the money too. I literally had to hold onto it while mixing so it didn't walk away. It did keep working though.

Seth - your focaccia look scrumptious!

P.S. - I vote for the Pizza Rustica (mostly because I have never made puff pastry before but I could cheat and shamelessly use store bought).


Edited by brngckn (log)

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Well here is my French Apple Tart. I guess I am a week behind you all! :) No real problems although it took much longer than the recipe said to get the apples on the top soft and a little brown.

apple_tart.jpg


Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.

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mdt: beautiful!!

So pizza rustica this weekend, then?

I'm interested to see other focaccias, if anyone took any pictures.


"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Here's my focaccia.

The ugly one in the back left has bruschetta on it. The back right has olive oil, garlic, spinich, tomato, and parmasean. The one in front I call Serrano y Manchego. I hope they taste good.

Adding to say that the Serrano and Manchego tastes marvelous on this bread. The saltiness is just right.


Edited by brngckn (log)

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MDT -- Beautiful work!

Seth -- That Focaccia looks tasty! Did it have any extra yeasty taste?

I'll post my pics tonight.

I was going to my mother's for dinner with some family that was in town, so I decided to go a bit crazy.

Since I had all the baking stuff out, I made 2 Focaccias a la BWJ and also made Pain L'ancienne version from Reinhart's Bread Bakers Apprentice.

Both came out absolutely great. I topped mine with carmelized onions and one half of one with some goat cheese too.

I liked the BWJ version but it was a bit more work relative to the Reinhart version. His recipe is basically combine everything, mix together for a couple minutes and stick it in the fridge overnight.

BWJ's had much better flavor (I also spiked it with a bit of sourdough starter for flavor). Reinhart's seemed to rely more on the olive oil for flavoring since the baguettes I made were a bit bland.

I love looking at all the pics and hearing the stories, its alot of fun.

Msk

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Okay, I'm feeling like a slacker. I didn't get the focaccia done this weekend (lots of drama around me right now). I plan on starting it tonight. The pizza rustica sounds great for the weekend.

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Hello,

I’m the author of Baking with Julia and I’m thrilled – happy, excited and tickled, too – to see what you’ve been doing with the book’s recipes. When Julia and I first talked about the book (in 1995), we were like all authors – which means we were like all soon-to-be parents – we had hopes for the book’s future and the biggest hope was that it would be used as a how-to-bake primer. That you’re doing this is so, so wonderful. Make that spectacular! And that the results look so great is even better.

I’m in Paris now, where it is way past pumpkin time (and certainly past the hour when I can be articulate), but I’m looking forward to reading through the thread and seeing what you’ve tackled. I came in at the end -- foccaccia, brioche and apple tart -- tomorrow I'll start at the beginning.

Dorie Greenspan

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What an honor to have you drop in on our thread. As a novice home baker, I'd like to say that the cookbook is fabulous. I'm am learning so much from it. Thanks to you, Julia, and all the chefs for the energy, work, and care you put into it.

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You all have me very intrigued by your comments on the Baking with Julia book. I've requested it through the library so I may be able to join in the baking and learning! Sounds fun to me! Hope I can find the time to join you.

And may I say...how cool is it to have the author dropping by, Dorie!?


A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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Ms. Greenspan, I'm very grateful for your book as well. The reason we're using it is that it has received so much favorable word-of-mouth around here-- and from bakers with a lot more experience than us beginners! I'm really enjoying the book. I like to browse through it with no particular goal in mind; it contains so much collected wisdom. And the pictures rock.

Thanks again.

P.S. You haven't missed much of our baking. We didn't start that long ago!


"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Ok here are the pics!

Pain L'Ancienne Focaccia

i3141.jpg

BWJ Focaccia with Onion Confit and Goat Cheese on half

i3142.jpg

Also made a couple of baguettes for good luck too. All the bread was delicious, finished up the last piece of Focaccia for dinner tonight as a makeshift Pizza.

Thanks for dropping in Dorie!

Msk

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Beautiful focaccia, Msk!

I forgot to mention that I made the lemon pound cake from BWJ yesterday. It is super easy, and really really good.


"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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mdt - your apple tart looks perfect!

I'm a go for Pizza Rustica and my new digital camera arrives today.

I don't often get star-struck, but I am a bit due to our visit from Dorie Greenspan. She is definitely one of the best cookbook writers for home cooks. (I can't speak for the pros since I'm not one.) Who else can make waffles exciting? And Paris Sweets and the Herme books opened up a whole new world in pastry for me. I don't know when I'll ever get to Paris; until then, I can make pastries that I know will be close to their inspirations.

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I made Pizza Rustica today for lunch:

i3300.jpg

It's really a pretty simple dish, and it looks pretty impressive when it's finished. But I need some work on my lattice skills. And I wish I had one of those pizza wheels that create a zig-zag edge.

This dish is very interesting. It tastes very very good, and Malgieri is right when he says the combination of sweet crust and savory filling is successful. But even though I agreed that it worked, I still found it odd. I'm not sure how soon I'll come back to this one.

If I could offer one word of advice to others: Malgieri is serious when he says you should wait for the pie to cool completely before you cut into it. We couldn't wait, and it oozed a bit. The pie was still firming up as it cooled. We should have been more patient, but it looked so good.


Edited by SethG (log)

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Pizza Rustica

Well, my lattice work needs a lot more practice, too. After I laid it down, I wanted to redo it, but was afraid it would break apart. Will do it differently next time.

Mine is still cooling, but it looks good. :smile:

Adding to say that my husband has requested something chocolate for next week. :raz: Do we take requests? :laugh:


Edited by brngckn (log)

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Here is mine! This was very good and pretty easy to put together. The dough acted just like a normal sucree. Somehow I was able to wait until is was fully cooled before I cut into it. Yummy!

What is next on the list? A bread?

pizza_rustica.jpg


Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.

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