Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia – White Loaves

There’s a new baking group in town¬†across the world and it start today. Old readers of mine may remember years ago that I used to join in with the Tuesdays with Dorie baking group. I learnt loads from the few recipes that I joined in with but business and babies meant that I couldn’t keep involved every week.

We are starting afresh with a new book – Baking with Julia and we have a new recipe to follow every 2 weeks. I’m going to do my best to stick with this one – there are loads of recipes in the book that I’d like to crack. Some of them seem complicated, some of them a real challenge but all of them look yummy (and a teeny bit fattening too!)

Our first challenge seemed like a nice introduction – White Loaves … until I remembered I have NO luck baking bread. I don’t own a bread machine but think after this attempt I need to acquire one.

The bread smells and tastes lovely but is as heavy as a wet house brick – It did improve a LOT with toasting and lashings of butter (I seem to have gone all Enid Blyton) but I’ve got a long way to go before the Warburton family are quaking with fear. I have no idea why my bread always turns out so heavy – I followed the instructions to the letter, kneading for a full 10 mins and allowing to prove twice. Any ideas?

We have agreed not to post the recipes but to link up to whoever is hosting that week so click here if you fancy making a better effort than me.

In My Kitchen – January 2012

Cake of the week is taking a week off due to basically not having any time to make any cakes this week. I thought I’d use the opportunity to join in with the In My Kitchen Link Up run by Fig Jam and Lime Cordial which is a lovely blog that I’ve recently discovered. On the first of each month Celia shows us what she has going on and plans to do for the next month and invites us to do the same.

Our New Year’s Resolution of getting the children to eat new food and us all to eat more homecooked food is going really well. Tonight we had duck wraps in Chinese leaves with pomegranate and hoisin sauce. After the initial discussion about eating dead ducks (Violet) and not liking lettuce (Millie) we dove in – and very successful it was too. The duck was a whole duck, ready seasoned with sea salt and pepper – I think next time we will try to experiment a bit more with some spices to try for that authentic crispy duck flavour.

We are drinking Yorkshire Tea at the moment. Long long ago when I was a checkout operator at Morrisons the one thing that used to make me die of thirst was scanning boxes of Yorkshire Tea. The boxes haven’t got any fancy sophisticated packaging but there was just something about them that made me long for a brew. And today I finally bought some!

In the cupboard there is a huge box of Cadbury’s Creme Eggs. I’m getting ready for launching the Valentines homemade gifts that I will be selling this year. This will be the week that I’m going to get some made! And I’ll try not to eat too many Creme Eggs as I’m doing them ;-)

My kitchen smells absolutely wonderful due to the St Eval Bay & Rosemary candle that I got for Christmas. I’d forgotten how relaxed a burning candle makes me and how much I love the smell of a scented candle. I can feel ANOTHER obsession coming on.

In the oven as I type is tomorrow’s tea – Gammon with Honey and Maple Syrup. I didn’t realise quite how big this beast was when I bought it – Feel free to come along, I’m sure there’s enough for everyone!

And of course, there are some new books for me to work through. Every time I try a new recipe I always make a little note on a post it next to the recipe. I love to think of the girls reading through these when I’m gone and thinking ‘Thanks Mum for the info!’

I’ve bought the Baking with Julia book myself – I fully intend on baking along with the Tuesdays with Dorie gang this time as they work their way through the Baking with Julia book. There’s some massive challenges in this book for me so expect a rollercoaster along the way!

I’d heard great things about the Leon Baking book so was really pleased to receive it for Christmas along with the Cookie book – The girls are delighted to see a book that promises 50 different cookies – I think they think I’m going to bake them all at once!

And so that’s my kitchen for January. Hopefully by February there will be lots more finished articles to show. For now, why not check out a few of the other kitchen in Celia’s link up – that’s where I’m going now!