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French Fridays with Dorie: Celebration Week #2: The Never-Doubt-Dorie Moment

Choose the recipe you cooked from Around my French Table for French Fridays with Dorie that might not have been your favorite or even something you enjoyed making or even something you were skeptical about but which taught you a technique or gave you an idea or provided a lesson of some kind.

Ok then. This seemed (on the surface) way easier than last week’s “Choose your favourite recipe” task…

Thinking back on the 300+ recipes I’ve made from Around my French Table, it’s actually much harder than I thought to choose ONE moment where I just had to trust Dorie knows what she is talking about. Because there were many.

1. Pastry

Before working with Around my French Table, I had only dabbled in pastry (not super successfully, mind you) and I wasn’t convinced in my ability to produce decent pastry from scratch. Nowadays, over four years later, I’m teaching people on a regular basis to make pastry. Me? Teaching other people? Imagine that? I certainly couldn’t have five years ago!

It started with Gérard’s Mustard Tart

rolling pastry pastry in tin fixing pastryWhat a disaster, huh? I thought so too but when I tweeted a pic of this very “short” pastry, worrying that it was a disaster, I received a message from Dorie herself, telling me to patch it up and it would all be ok. Wow. I was impressed. And encouraged…

Dorie Greenspan mustard tart on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd you know what? My tart pastry was pretty darned good. I was hooked.

I’ve made my own pastry on holidays, when I didn’t have a rolling pin handy…

rolling pastry with wine bottleAnd I’ve taught my boys’ cooking clubs how to make pastry…

Kids making pastry Making pastry with kids2 Kids making pastry on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids rolling and folding puff pastry on eatlivetravelwrite.com Rolling out puff pastry dough on eatlivetravelwrite.comHey, even just this week I taught them how to make a short crust when we had nothing in the cupboard and short notice to come up with a recipe…

Me. I can make pastry. Because that little bit of encouragement from Dorie went such a long way.

My enthusiasm for pastry extended far beyond tart shells and pie crusts though…

Kids making choux pastry on eatlivetravelwrite.comI’m kind of obsessed with choux pastry…

Baked profiteroles on eatlivetravelwrite.comAa savoury, goat cheese-filled puff version
Then there were these espresso profiteroles
A fancy Paris-Brest for French Fridays with Dorie
My choux version of a lamington
That time I took a class and made a bounty of éclairs
That time where I taught three kids how to make Dorie’s savoury goat cheese puffs
More profiteroles
And a chocolate version of profiteroles from Baking Chez Moi…
The Petits Chefs visited The Gallery Grill one time and Chef Suzanne taught them how to make éclairs and profiteroles

Filled profiteroles on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd yes, I’ve taught the boys how to make choux too!

Kids piping profiteroles on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids baking Jamie Oliver Comfort Food profiteroles on eatlivetravelwrite.com Jamie Oliver comfort food profiteroles with whipped cream on eatlivetravelwrite.com Decorating profiteroles on eatlivetravelwrite.comThat initial hesitation with pastry was overcome with a few keystrokes – a word of encouragement from Dorie taught me to  NDD (Never Doubt Dorie).

2. Honourable mention – some breads…

Bread was also something I struggled with for many years but over the course of French Fridays with Dorie, we made a couple of recipes I never would have attempted unless it was in my list “to make”…

Around my French Table French Fridays with Dorie fougasse on eatlivetravelwrite.comDorie’s fougasse

Interior of Dorie Greenspan bubble top brioche on eatlivetravelwrite.comBubble top brioche. So simple. So good!

Dorie’s bread recipes led to me trying my hand at a few more…

Baking with Julia Tuesdays with Dorie White LovaesWhite sandwich loaves…

Tuesdays with Dorie Baking with Julia whole wheat loafWhole wheat loaf. Wow, I made this!

Dorie gave me the confidence to try…. and guess what…. teach others how to make bread as well…

Cooking flatbreads on eatlivetravelwrite.comFlatbreads by my boys’ cooking clubs

Brown soda bread roll with butter and jam on eatlivetravelwrite.comBrown soda bread, butter and jam. All from scratch. In an hour. By my boys’ cooking club.

rustic potato loaves for Tuesdays with Dorie Baking with JuliaRustic potato loaves

Slicing into Australian damper breadDamper for Australia Day

It might seem simplistic to say “Dorie taught me how to make pastry and bread” but it’s true. Far more than all the meaty, fishy dishes, pastry and bread intimidated me. Hey, when you work your way through Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie over the course of a year, rillettes and pâtés do not faze you, let me tell you! All the fish I had to endure (“it’s for Dorie”) making, tasting and smelling didn’t faze me either. I mean, I might not have been super happy that I had to make those dishes but I wasn’t intimidated.

Pastry and bread, now that’s another matter. But working through Around my French Table, I found my stride. I found my confidence. Dorie writes as she speaks and with each and every “scary” recipe, I found myself hearing her voice in my head, reassuring and calm, trusting that I could succeed.

Thank you, Dorie XO

 

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19 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: Celebration Week #2: The Never-Doubt-Dorie Moment

  1. Ei June 5, 2015 at 07:06 #

    All that bread is making me hungry!! I still find tart dough to be frustrating. It always works out in the end, and always tastes delicious, but I’ve yet to learn to enjoy the process. Love how you’ve worked so much Dorie experience into teaching the kids! Awesome.

  2. Cher June 5, 2015 at 07:20 #

    I never doubted you when it came to bread. (Ahem, Ms. Macaron Queen…)
    I think all of us are going to walk away with confidence in areas we didn’t think we would ever had. Dorie’s tart dough is a game changer.

    See – people need to keep wine in the house so that they can make dough. It’s a necessity.

    Happy Friday

  3. Cakelaw June 5, 2015 at 07:37 #

    Great post Mardi! Your pastry and breads look fabulous.

  4. Liz June 5, 2015 at 07:44 #

    I totally agree with you! Dorie’s guidance has made me both a better cook and baker! You’ve made me hungry for cream puffs this morning 🙂

  5. Adriana June 5, 2015 at 08:16 #

    I had no idea making choux pastry was so easy. It’s a skill I’m grateful for as well. Have a great weekend!

  6. Dorie June 5, 2015 at 10:12 #

    Knowing you now as a teacher and someone who has taught and inspired so many, it’s both strange and wonderful to hear about how pastry frightened you. Three cheers for you and what you’ve accomplished! xoDorie

  7. Mary June 5, 2015 at 12:20 #

    Great post! How wonderful to be encouraged by Dorie herself. I think we can all accomplish every recipe, if we just break it down step by step,,,and not be afraid to fail and try try again. Dorie has done so much to help people realize that, and you, in turn, are doing so as well! Bon Appetit!

  8. Rose June 5, 2015 at 13:02 #

    Pie dough was not my friend before this project either. When I lived in the US, I simply used to buy those pre-made frozen shells at the supermarket and call it a day. Now I live in the country which doesn’t even have a word for pie, and so with Dorie’s help, I’ve learned to make it myself. Like you, I’ve learned that a little patching goes a long way:-)

  9. Teresa June 5, 2015 at 13:36 #

    It’s amazing to think of you as being intimidated by pastry – you’ve accomplished so much with it, on your blog and in your classes. Dorie’s tart dough is one of my very favourite things in the book, too.

  10. Tammy June 5, 2015 at 14:57 #

    Dorie’s tart dough is the best. And look at what you’ve done! Congratulations!

  11. Nana June 5, 2015 at 16:34 #

    I really had my doubts about this project when Tricia approached me with her idea. I don’t mean that I knew it all, but at my age, “why”. How very wrong I was on that score. I learned and enjoyed
    so much it is unbelievable. And, that’s not counting all the friends I was fortunate to meet thru this
    journey.

  12. Diane Balch June 5, 2015 at 20:47 #

    I always assumed you already knew how to make pastry and bread you make them so well. Wow, amazing that you learned this from group. I am still adverse and have my husband and daughter to fill in for me…which makes it even harder for me to get over the pastry thing. My trouble is I really don’t like touching food… I don’t like making meatballs because of it! Not sure how to get over it. If you have any ideas let me know. This was a beautiful tribute to the teaching skills of Dorie.

  13. Alice June 5, 2015 at 21:28 #

    yep – Dorie’s taught me a lot too and it’s so exciting to look back on what everyone’s Never Doubt Dorie moments are! 🙂

  14. Diane Zwang June 5, 2015 at 23:40 #

    I love your boys cooking club. Could I send my son? What a wonderful journey you shared.

  15. Candy (Dulce) June 6, 2015 at 11:53 #

    All of your pastries look delicious!! While I’ve been baking for a long time (my grandmother taught me to bake bread, and my mother specialized in cream puffs – the savory ones – for parties), I’ve really enjoyed all of Dorie’s recipes and tips. I especially liked the fougasse – which I would never have tried without her.

    I applaud all of your teaching efforts! While I only work with some of my 22 nieces and nephews at times 🙂 – I agree, helping them successfully master these recipes is so empowering!

  16. Mr. Neil June 8, 2015 at 09:10 #

    I think pastry might just be what Mr. Neil gained most from the past four years as well. Much more prevalent Chez Westminster – yay!

    Oh, and the delightful increase in fish… 😉

  17. Karen June 8, 2015 at 09:10 #

    I love bread and pastry and definitely became more confident in making those as well. I love that you have kiddos making choux!

  18. Betsy June 9, 2015 at 21:30 #

    I am shocked to be reminded that pastry wasn’t your thing before FFWD. It seems to come so naturally to you. I guess that’s why you are a rock star at it now. I’m amazed how much we learned along this journey, ever single week, with Dorie’s reassuring voice coaching us along from the page.

  19. KarenP June 26, 2015 at 20:41 #

    Dorie’s pasty crust recipes will forever be my “go-to” choice for both sweet and savory tarts. Great choice!

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