Tonight I learned that I am not a baker but I am a determined little scamp who, for once, did not throw up her hands in the face of underappreciated challenges. Let me explain.
In my last post I talked about trying new things and joining the Tuesdays With Dorie (TWD) community. I first heard of the group on NPR (of course). The inspiration, Dorie Greenspan, was interviewed on Talk of the Nation to mark the community’s completion of one of her other cookbooks, Baking: From My Home to Yours. It only took 4 years. The idea started as one person’s new year’s resolution and grew to a community of over 500 members each creating one of these tasty creation every week and sharing on Tuesday. To say that I was awed would be an understatement.
So I joined TWD, ordered Baking with Julia (I lucked out and found a gently used copy on Amazon for less than $12!), reviewed the TWD site and perused the book. Let me just tell you, it is beautiful. I could practically smell the breads and pastries on every page. Then I set it down and went on my way….
Until today, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. The first recipe is due to be posted! Argh!! So, I picked up some unbleached AP flour and active yeast, finished my work day (late!!) and headed home to begin….
Well, I am happy to say, that I made it! It’s still cooling so I haven’t tasted it yet but I will update with that information. It’s Julia Child so, it’s going to great, bien sur! Along the way, I did learn a few things so my first goal was met and exceeded. To wit:
- You may have a problem if you see smoke coming from your handheld mixer.
- Kneading is hard. Especially when you don’t realize that you don’t know what you’re doing until you’re doing it.
- Kneading should count as an aerobic and/or strength training activity. My palms are still red and my arms and abs are sore. Seriously.
- I love my grandmother but all she knows about baking she read on the side of a Jiffy corn bread box (she is a Jiffy Jedi master though)
- Baking takes patience so it must be good for the soul.
- Baking requires long term thinking so it must be good for the spirit.
- I am hooked.
Thank you Julia.
Jules is one of the TWD founders. She posted the recipe and her experience on her blog.