So last week, in the middle of a couple of crazy days in a row, my friend Tania posted something awesome on Facebook.
Two books, Baking and Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan, that I had heard good things about…were on sale on Amazon for FIVE DOLLARS for the pair. I was totally geeked.
Then I got the books.
I’ve pored over both books for five days now. Reading every word Dorie wrote, wanting to move to Paris (with Chef and the kids of course) and learn French and this is totally not helping my gluten sensitivity.
But I had an idea, and it’s one I can actually stick to.
I am calling it the Dorie Project. I’m going to bake and cook all of the recipes in both books. It might take me a while, but I figure if Chef can do a “2 year livestream challenge”, I can cook a bunch and bake a bunch and learn as much as I can from Dorie and share that craziness with you.
I am still researching how the whole “let’s print someone else’s recipe on my blog” thing, and I am unwilling to copy someone’s work here (I’m not a thief and I would like to avoid lawyers for the rest of my life) so I’ll tell you which book and which page unless I can get permission from someone to repost a couple of recipes or I totally change them, like I tend to do.
So because I am impatient and Boy Wonder was being a massively good sport (and he’s on spring vacation this week), we started already.
We started with the Raisin Swirl Bread (p 59 in “Baking” and we don’t like raisins (HORROR) so we left them out). And I realized that I am horrible at bread baking. At least the yeasty rising kind. (look! I’m learning something already!)
I’m not sure what happened. If the pan was wrong (though I used the regular bread pan) or if I rolled it wrong, or if it didn’t rise (or bake?) long enough….but it was chewy and had an enormous crater in the middle.
Didn’t stop Boy Wonder from eating half the loaf. It does, however make for a really tough bread to cut.
I definitely need to learn more about yeast. And breads with yeast. And all while keeping in mind that I am gluten sensitive.
We were horribly into baking that day, so we made some scones too. Boom.
We knocked out a batch of the Oatmeal Nutmeg Scones (p. 30, “Baking”) too…I am constantly surprised by how awesome my kids are (Boy Wonder rocks the mise en place) and what they will eat (Chuck was shoving fistfuls of raw scone batter in her mouth before I could figure out what she was doing.)
But holy crap, these were delicious. I managed to dig some whole nutmeg out of my horribly unorganized spice shelf, and it was worth the searching and cursing and dropping a full jug of olive oil on my foot.
Freshly grated nutmeg makes an enormous difference. I wouldn’t lie to you or tell you that you need an antique kitchen tool handed down from your great grandmother who carried it through a snowstorm unless I really thought it would make a difference. (and this post is not sponsored by The Whole Nutmeg Foundation of America.)
My family liked them. A lot. I managed to save a couple to freeze for later, but those were gone the next day too.
This recipe, despite my severe lack of scone experience, was horribly simple.
I cannot re-emphasize Dorie’s note about cold butter enough…and I cut my butter into pea-sized pieces because I wasn’t sure what size they were supposed to be. Used my fingers to cut the butter in (i don’t think we own a pastry cutter…shocker) and it worked fantastically.
One more note: I think 375 degrees might be too high to bake these in MY oven. At least the top one. (we are lucky enough to have two). So I made sure to write “bake at 350″ on the recipe for next time.
Because there WILL be a next time for this recipe.
Let me know in the comments what you think of the Dorie Project and if you have these books!