We can do this the hard way or the easy way... (Tuesdays with Dorie BwJ: French Bread & Sunny-Side Up Apricot Pastries)

In the kitchen, like in life there is usually an easy way to get things done and a hard way.

It's not a matter of right or wrong; sometimes its just about getting the job done and figuring out which way fits into what the needs of the moment are. And that's okay...

For example, this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe called for from scratch puff pastry, homemade pastry cream and blanched and peeled fresh apricots. While all of those items sound lovely (and I have made each of them at one point or another), I had absolutely no desire to dedicate two days to the experience.
I had some all-butter puff pastry hanging in the freezer. In lieu of pastry cream, I substituted this cream cheese filling. Instead of poaching fresh apricots, I went straight to the can.
From start to finish, these pastries were on the cooling rack in less than an hour and I wasn't feeling any angst about taking the easy way out.

In contrast, I took the slow route for the French Loaves from a couple of weeks ago.

While I would usually pull out the stand mixer and leave the heavy lifting to my kitchen appliance, I was feeling a little less rushed when I made these a few weeks ago.

Instead, the choice was made to bring these loaves into being knead by knead. Flour, salt, sugar, water and muscle (and patience...and maybe a bench knife). Turn by turn, the dough began to lose its shaggy appearance and transformed into the soft, supple product that I wanted.

From there on out, it was all about time. And waiting. And resting (for the dough, not me).

I guess, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how you get there, as long as you take the journey. Or something like that. If you want the motivational life lesson sentence, you'll have to go to another site. When they built me, they left that part out.
Peace out.

This post participates in Tuesdays with Dorie. The video for French Bread can be found here and the recipe for the apricot pastries can be found here.


  1. you summed up my philosophy on life rather nicely there! unfortunately, i generally learn the hard way that there is an easier way to do just about everything!!! they look wonderful, cream cheese filling sounds pretty good to me-i didn't want to devote two days to this one either and i still can't find half my stuff...

  2. All of your shortcuts are worth highlighting. I know I'll be thanking you for being the trailblazer that you are when I start taking the easier way through some of the BCM recipes.

    The French loaves look amazing... that elbow grease totally looks worth it.

  3. I love this post, and how you suddenly became poetic in describing making the baguettes. There's something about bread, right?

  4. Always happy to get ideas on shortcuts, since I have a tendency to plow through the hard way without stopping to consider sanity :-) Your pastries look great, and the bread too!

  5. I too took the easy way out (on both actually). The pastries still tasted good. Maybe I should have taken the long route on the bread - yours look wonderful. Mine looked good, but that's about it.

  6. Cream cheese pastry filling is wonderful! I actually spend a lot of effort thinking up ways to take the easy way out on most things!

    How did your loaves come out? Mine were total white bread...I didn't even bother to post about them...maybe I'll try again for rewind week.

  7. You loaves look fabulous- the long way on those…whew! And smart on the pastry short cuts. I never thought of canned apricots- of course!


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