Baking with Julia: Sift, Knead, Flute, Flour, And Savor...

Baking with Julia: Sift, Knead, Flute, Flour, And Savor...


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Baking with Julia

Nothing promises pleasure more readily than the words "freshly baked." And nothing says magnum opus as definitively as Baking with Julia, which offers the dedicated home cook, whether a novice or seasoned veteran, a unique distillation of the baker's art.

Baking with Julia is not only a book full of glorious recipes but also one that continues Julia's teaching tradition. Here, basic techniques come alive and are made easily comprehensible in recipes that demonstrate the myriad ways of raising dough, glazing cakes, and decorating crusts. This is the resource you'll turn to again and again for all your baking needs. With Baking with Julia in your cookbook library, you can become a master baker.

And there's no better time to be baking than now. Quality baking today is more varied, more exciting, and simply more authentic than ever before. Baking with Julia celebrates this tremendous range with enticing recipes that marry sophisticated European techniques to American tastes and ingredients. With creative flair, napoleons are layered with tropical fruits, pumpkin and cranberries are kneaded into bread doughs, and a tart is topped with sweet stewed onions. Along the way, step-by-step photographs demonstrate the basic building blocks of the pastry and bread baker's repertoire, and from this firm foundation fancy takes flight.

Baking with Julia presents an extraordinary assemblage of talent, knowledge, and artistry from the new generation of bakers whose vision is so much a part of this book. The list of contributors reads like a Who's Who of today's master bakers, including Flo Braker, Steve Sullivan, Marcel Desaulniers, Nick Malgieri, Alice Medrich, Nancy Silverton, Martha Stewart, and a host of bright new talents such as Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid.

With nearly two hundred recipes, and half as many pages of tantalizing full-color photographs, this incomparable kitchen companion goes far beyond what most cookbooks offer. More than fifty pages of illustrated reference sections define basic terms and techniques, and explain the hows and whys of batters and doughs to take you effortlessly through the essential techniques. If you've never made flaky pie crust, your first no-fail experience is at hand. If you've never baked bread, that most satisfying and sensual pleasure awaits the turn of a page. With recipes for breads, pastries, cookies, and cakes—from chocolate to cheesecake, from miniature gems to multi-tiered masterpieces—this cookbook is a total immersion experience in the wonder of home baking.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780688146573
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/04/1996
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 124,904
Product dimensions: 8.38(w) x 10.88(h) x 1.23(d)

About the Author

Dorie Greenspan has been baking professionally and writing about food for fifteen years. She is the author of Sweet Times: Simple Desserts for Every Occasion, Waffles: From Morning to Midnight, and Pancakes: From Morning to Midnight. Her articles and recipes appear frequently in Bon Appétit, The New York Times, and other national publications.

Read an Excerpt

Flaky Pie Dough

Makes enough dough for four 9- to 10-inch tarts or open-faced pies or 2 double-crusted pies.

Bakers like to talk about the "secrets" of making great pie crusts. In truth, there are tips, but no unknowable secrets and nothing daunting enough to explain why cool, calm, collected types turn nervous at the thought of tackling a pie crust.

Like the fillings they cradle, crusts have personalities: crisp, tender, and flaky—or some combination thereof. Which traits are dominant is, in good measure, a result of ingredients: Butter is the great giver of flavor and vegetable shortening the flake maker; together they produce a crust both flaky and tender, sweet and full-flavored, the kind most prized by American pie hands. This mixed crust (the best example of which follows) can be used for pies and tarts, sweet and savory, American- or European-style.

An all-butter doughwill give you a crisp, sturdy crust with little flakiness (unless the butter is left in largish pieces). When prebaked on its own, a butter crust will stand firm against juicy fillings. Handled properly, a butter crust is strong enough to be rolled out and molded into a free-form shape or a galette. For most bakers, an all-shortening crust is usually not an option, because, although it produces lots of flake, it delivers almost no flavor.

If you could have only one pie dough in your repertoire (heaven forbid), it would have to be this one, the classic dough that earns blue ribbons at county fairs and stars at esteemed pastry shops. The mix of butter and shortening guarantees that the dough will be flaky, flavorful, and tender. You can use this dough to makeany kind of pie or tart, sweet or savory, plain or fancy. It is easy to roll and crimp and is made quickly by hand, in a mixer, or food processor. The recipe is large and can be cut in half or even quartered, but since the dough can be frozen for up to a month, it's practical to make the full batch. You can freeze the dough in disks, rolled out in circles, or already fitted into pie pans or tart molds, ready to go into the oven-without thawing—when you're in a crunch for a crust.

5-1/4 cups pastry flour or all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 3/4 cups (11 ounces) solid vegetable shortening, chilled
1 cup ice water

To make the dough by hand, mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender (or your fingers, if you prefer), cut it into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Be patient—this takes a while. Break up the shortening and add it in bits to the bowl. Still working with the pastry blender (or your fingers), cut in the shortening until the mixture has small clumps and curds. Switch to a wooden spoon and add the ice water, stirring to incorporate it. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold it over on itself a few times—don't get carried away. The dough will be soft, but it will firm sufficiently in the refrigerator.

To make the dough in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, put the flour and salt into the bowl and stir to mix. Add the butter and mix on low until it is cut into the dry ingredients and the mixture looks coarse and crumbly. Add the shortening in small bits and continue to mix on low. When the mixture is clumpy and curdy and holds together when a small bit is pressed between your fingers, add the water and mix only until it is incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold it over on itself two or three times, just to finish the mixing and to gather it together.

To make the dough in a food processor, start with very cold ingredients and take care not to overwork them. Place the dry ingredients in the food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse just to mix. Take the top off, scatter the chilled cubed butter and shortening over the flour, cover, and pulse again, working only until the fats are cut in and the mixture resembles slightly moist cornmeal. Add a little of the liquid and pulse a few times, then add more liquid and pulse again. Continue until the mixture has curds and clumps and sticks together when pressed between your fingers. Don't process until the dough forms a ball that rides on the blade—that's overdoing it.

Chilling the Dough: Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for as long as 5 days. When the dough is thoroughly chilled and firm, it is ready to roll out and use in any recipe calling for flaky pie crust.

Storing: The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for 5 days or frozen for 1 month. It's a good idea to divide the dough into quarters for freezing since one quarter of the recipe is generally enough for one pie crust or tart shell. Defrost, still wrapped, in the refrigerator.

Contributing Baker Leslie Mackie

French Apple Tart

Makes 8 to 10 servings

This open-faced tart is beautiful. The top is a blossoming rosette of dark-edged, paper-thin apple slices, a pattern considered classic among French patissiers and one that's easier to reproduce at home than you'd think at first glance. Beneath the gossamer blossom is what the French call a compote, a sweet, thick puree of oven-roasted Granny Smith apples. Each forkful delivers the butter and crackle of the crust, the sweetness and smoothness of the puree, and the pure apple flavor of the topping. All this, and the pride of presenting a polished tart any professional baker would be happy to claim.

1/4 recipe Flaky Pie Dough, well chilled
6 Granny Smith apples
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup fresh, fluffy bread crumbs
2 teaspoons (approximately) fresh lemon juice

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick and fit it into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press a little of the overhang against the edge of the pan so that it produces a small ledge protruding over the inside of the pan. The best way to do this is to press the index finger of one hand against the dough running up the side of the pan and use the thumb of the other hand to form the inner ledge by pressing the overhanging dough against the rim of the pan and the top of your inside finger. The ledge will be about 1/2 inch wide. Press it against the edge of the pan to cut off the excess dough. Now, working with your thumb perpendicular to the bottom of the pan, press against the ledge you've created so that some of the ledge's dough is pressed down against the side of the pan and the rest of it is lifted up above the rim of the pan. Use the back of a knife to decorate the edge by pressing it diagonally at each flute or at 1/2-inch intervals around the tart.

Chilling the Crust Chill the crust for at least 30 minutes.

Baking the Crust Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 F

Fit a piece of parchment paper or foil into the tart shell and fill with pie weights, rice, or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer the crust, with the paper and weights, to a cooling rack and let cool while you make the filling. Lower the oven temperature to 375 F.

Making the Filling Peel and core the apples, cut each one in half, and cut each half into 12 pieces. Put the apples in a large bowl and toss with the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and bread crumbs. Add just a squeeze of lemon juice to start—you'll be able to adjust the flavor later. Spread the apples on a jelly-roll pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the apples give up their juices, start to form a sauce, and are soft enough to mash. Scrape the apples into a bowl and mash with a potato masher or a heavy spoon. Don't be overzealous—a few small lumps and bumps will add interest to the filling. Taste and add more lemon juice if you think it needs it, then cool the filling for about 15 minutes.

Filling the Shell Spoon the puree into the cooled tart shell and smooth the top with an offset spatula. The filling should come to just below the rim you've created. (If you have too much, you can serve the extra as a simple dessert topped with whipped cream.)

The Topping

2 to 3 Granny Smith apples
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Confectioner's sugar, for dusting

If you have turned off the oven, reset it to 375 F.

Peel, core, and quarter the apples (cutting from end to end), then cut them into slices that are between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. As you work, toss the slices with the lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Save the smaller pieces from the ends of the apples—they'll make good packing and "even-outers."

Working slowly and carefully and starting at the edge, arrange the apples in a circle on the puree. The slices should overlap and the points should just touch the shell. Since these will shrink, make a well-packed circle. Lay on another circle overlapping the first by just about 1/8 inch, tucking a few small pieces under the circle to level it and trimming the slices as necessary so that they fit. You'll probably have enough room for two circles and a center rosette. For the rosette, choose a large, thin slice of apple, cut it into a round, and place it, propped up slightly, in the center of the tart. Or, if your apples were small and the opening in the center is too large to be covered by one slice of apple, arrange as many slices as needed to create an attractive rosette.

With a light hand, evenly brush the apple slices with the melted butter (use a feather brush if you have one) and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.

Baking the Tart Put the tart on a parchment- or foil-lined jelly-roll pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is beautifully glazed and the apple slices are edged in black, a stunning effect. Check that the apples are baked through by piercing a couple with the tip of a sharp knife. if the apples aren't baked but the tart is very brown, cover the tart with a foil tent and bake a few minutes longer. Transfer the tart to a cooling rack. Just before serving, remove the tart from the pan and dust its edges with confectioner's sugar.

Storing This tart is at its prime ever so slightly warm or at room temperature. You can cover any leftover tart tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it, but don't expect it to retain its just-baked grace.

Contributing Baker Leslie Mackie

Customer Reviews

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Baking with Julia: Sift, Knead, Flute, Flour, And Savor... 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fun, interesting cookbook. Not sure how many actual recipes I will try, but I had fun looking through the book and dreaming.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely amazing- especially if you have a kitchen aid mixer. I recently got one for Xmas and this book is incredible because it lets you break in your new mixer and make aweseome yummy recipes. I will gladly add that the book also includes directions for doing everything by hand or just using a cheap mixer/beaters. I thought this book would be really overwhelming cuz you know Julia is a kitchen goddess but the reasons the recipes are so wordy is because she is giving you so much information and tips and telling how everything should be as you go through the different stages of the recipes. My favorite part of the cookbook is about 10 master recipes such as sponge cake or basic bread dough that you use in most of the recipes in the book. You can also use this 10 or so recipes and adapt them for your own needs. This book is definantly for cooks of all types. Beginners and those with passion for baking will love this book! This book is perfect for baking novices who want to learn more
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every recipe is MARVELOUS! Very easy to follow and make amazing baked goods the very first time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is a clear and concise book on all different breads. I am a beginner baker and I was able to do breads I never thought possible! A wonderfully easy bread to make is Challah. After a few days you can make delicious french toast with it. You will not be disappointed with this book!
auntieknickers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Based on the PBS series hosted by Julia Child and featuring recipes and instructions from many master bakers. Everything from lefse to wedding cake, and photographs too. Excellent.
JetJet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wonderful recipes, easy to follow directions.
kblaas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hands down my favorite baking cookbook ever. The pages for challah and the potato bread are wrinkled from use and dropped ingredients. I have almost never had a recipe go wrong unless I do something silly, like not reading the directions. This book walks you through all the necessary steps to making very good bread and sweets, and even gives you moral support. What other book would tell you not to worry and keep beating, it will turn out in a few minutes? If you are sick of store-bought or machine-made bread, get this book and some yeast, and go forth. I guarantee with a bit of practice and patience, you will be churning out lovely loaves in a week or so.
msmalnick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gorgeous book -- the french apple tart is an all-time favorite (for me to make and others to eat).
Vercingetorix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
These recipes are sophisticated, thorough, and beautifully conceived. A fairly large range of cultures are represented, and the level of difficulty ranges from intermediate to very advanced. Everything I have made has turned out very well. My favorites so far have been "Rustic Potato Loaves" and Challah. It also includes directions for making beautiful and pretty rarely found loaves such as epis and Couronnes.
wenestvedt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Food pr0n, through and through.Still, I flip through it to remind me of the stuff I could be making -- sometimes I get inspired to bake (even if from from another book).
jcappo152 More than 1 year ago
Excellent. I've had mine since it was first published. I've tried all of the, except for the wedding cake, and if you follow the recipes they all turn out great. I have been a fan of Julia Child for a long time, so I must be a little partial.
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womanmarine More than 1 year ago
Julia Child is amazing and inspirational. I have a desire to learn how to bake bread and other things. I have never tried before, but who better to learn from than the inspirational Julia Child. While I have not yet started, I have been fascinated by the beauty of this book. It is a substantial, beautifully illustrated book that I am proud to own, even if I never bake a loaf of bread. I will have to make every attempt not to get it soiled during my experiments in baking. I learned a little from my mother years ago, making cake from recipes. I have forgotten most of it, and recipes can now be hard to find. I consider this book a treasure!
trishthedish725 More than 1 year ago
I was thrilled to find a copy of this cookbook...lost all my cookbooks in 2003 when our home burned in the Calif. wildfires. This cookbook isn't "too gourmet" at all if you love to bake. I do! I probably won't try some of the recipes, but overall it is a very good baking manuel with Julia's detailed tips.
bfldesign1 More than 1 year ago
Great book, great pictures, great recipes to be used in a textbook like manner where one learns to improve baking skills.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Hilarious that my review from 4 years ago is below this one. And I have yet to make a single recipe from this book. The recipes are too long and lengthy and time consuming. As I've gotten older, I still want to bake from scratch, but way more simpler items like a simple spice cake or gingerbread squares. This book is way too gourmet.