Monday, February 4, 2013

TwD: Foccaccia

As of this post, I officially move my Dorie posts back over to Cookbook Immersion Project, rather than My Mandatory Fun. Since I decided to restart my cookbook blog, it makes more sense to keep all the cookbook-related posts together. If you're at all interested in keeping up with my Italian adventure, please keep reading about it on the other site.

I'm fairly confident that I will once again be in the minority when I say that this week's recipe from Baking with Julia didn't work for me. I wanted the focaccia to succeed so badly. I let my dough sit in the refrigerator (aka my spare bedroom. It gets cold in these uninsulated Italian concrete houses!) for the full 36 hours. I very gently flattened the balls of dough and tugged them into a semi-rectangular shape.

I guess I wasn't gentle enough. These babies didn't poof in the oven. At all.
They were crispy in the center, which was the thinnest part. At first I thought maybe I messed it up by using a knife to slash the dough instead of the specified razor, but that wasn't the case. I didn't slash the third ball at all, and it looked exactly the same when it was done baking as the previous two.

I'm sorry, folks. I think I'm finished with Baking with Julia. I haven't loved any of the dozen recipes I've made. My favorite was the white bread, but it murdered my KitchenAid, so I won't be repeating that mistake. For whatever reason, these recipes just don't seem to work for me. They work for other Doristas, so it may well be my fault. Perhaps I'm too distracted by my toddler to execute the recipes properly. Perhaps I'm too rough with the dough. I don't know, but I'm tired of being disappointed in the product. I'd much rather concentrate my baking time on Dorie's Baking, which I want to bake through, but was too late to the party to join Tuesdays with Dorie in time for it (or Dan Lepard's Short and Sweet or The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion). I'll see the Tuesdays with Dorie crew in a few years, when hopefully Dorie will have published another book of her own wonderful (and more forgiving) recipes for us to bake together!


  1. Sorry this didn't work for you.
    I know I stopped following the directions on this one after the second rise and shaped it using a different technique - I thought the shaping in the book was too much unecessary handling.
    We'll still have you on Fridays :-)

  2. This didn't work for me either. I was so disappointed that the bread didn't rise at all in the oven. I can't say I've been very impressed with the Baking with Julia recipes. I think they tend to be overly fussy, and nothing has really jumped out as "wow!" to me. So, I totally understand why you'd drop it. And Cher's right - at least Fridays are still a go! :)