Monday, November 26, 2007

Daring Baker's: Potato Bread



This month the Daring Bakers take on the world of bread. Our host this month is Tanna of My Kitchen In Half Cups. She chose for us a potato bread recipe from Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. Thanks for hosting Tanna! On to the bread.

Wow! Was this dough sticky! I just kind of plopped it into the bread pans and called it a day. Did I mention this was my first ever-yeasted baked good? By the time, I wrangled the dough into the pans I so was over this whole baking your own bread. Then a little bit of time goes by and this wonderful smell starts to fill the kitchen. People start to ask …what are you baking? I respond bread …potato bread. By the time the loaves come out of the oven I have an audience. Everyone “oohs” and “aahs” over fresh bread being taken out of the oven. Before I can even say …stop! Do not eat that, I still need to photograph the bread! It was too late; butter, pumpkin butter, and sliced meats had already become close friends with the bread. I did manage to photograph one the loaves. I also was able hide a nice wedge for the next day. Which I sliced and turned into toast.

Let us recap. I am glad I finally jumped in and made bread. After this experience, I began to look for bread recipes where the dough is not so “wet” or “sticky”. Because I need to learn basic bread fundamentals. Like how to knead, roll, and pinch. Then maybe I can avoid the “slanty” dough tops. I want to say “Thanks” to Tanna, for making me jump in and conquer my fear of yeast. I shall never fear yeast again. ~Gigi

Ingredients:


4 medium to large floury (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks.
4 cups (950 ml) water, reserve cooking water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 ½ cups to 8 ½ cups (1 kg to 1350g) unbleached all-purpose
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (130g) whole wheat flour

Making the Dough (Directions will be for making by hand):

Put the potatoes and 4 cups water in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and cook, half covered, until the potatoes are very tender.

Drain the potatoes, SAVE THE POTATO WATER, and mash the potatoes well.

Measure out 3 cups (750ml) of the reserved potato water. Add extra water if needed to make 3 cups. Place the water and mashed potatoes in the bowl you plan to mix the bread dough in. Let cool to lukewarm (70-80°F/21 - 29°C) – stir well before testing the temperature – it should feel barely warm to your hand. You should be able to submerge you hand in the mix and not be uncomfortable.

Add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest/sit 5 minutes.

Note about Adding Yeast: If using Active Dry Yeast or Fresh yeast, mix & stir yeast into cooled water and mashed potatoes & water and let stand 5 minutes. Then add 2 cups of flour to the yeast mix and allow to rest several minutes. If using Instant Dry Yeast, add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest/sit 5 minutes.

Sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and the softened butter; mix well. Add the 1 cup whole wheat flour, stir briefly.

Add 2 cups of the unbleached all-purpose flour and stir until all the flour has been incorporated.
Tanna Note: At this point, you have used 4 cups of the possible 8 ½ cups suggested by the recipe.

Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, incorporating flour as needed to prevent sticking. The dough will be very sticky to begin with, but as it takes up more flour from the kneading surface, it will become easier to handle; use a dough scraper to keep your surface clean. The kneaded dough will still be very soft. Place the dough in a large clean bowl or your rising container of choice, cover with plastic wrap or lid, and let rise about 2 hours or until doubled in volume.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead gently several minutes. It will be moist and a little sticky.

Forming the Bread:
Divide the dough into 2 unequal pieces in a proportion of one-third and two-thirds (one will be twice as large as the other). Place the smaller piece to one side and cover loosely.

To shape the large loaf:
Butter a 9 x 5 x 2.5 inch loaf/bread pan. Flatten the larger piece of dough on the floured surface to an approximate 12 x 8 inch oval, and then roll it up from a narrow end to form a loaf. Pinch the seam closed and gently place seam side down in the buttered pan. The dough should come about three-quarters of the way up the sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap, let rise for 35 to 45 minutes, until puffy, and almost doubled in volume.
To make a small loaf with the remainder:
Butter an 8x4X2 inch bread pan. Shape and proof the loaf the same way as the large loaf.

To make rolls:
Butter a 13 x 9 inch sheet cake pan or a shallow cake pan. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape each into a ball under the palm of your floured hand and place on the baking sheet, leaving 1/2 inch between the balls. Cover with plastic wrap, let rise for about 35 minutes, until puffy, and almost doubled.

To make focaccia:
Flatten out the dough to a rectangle about 10 x 15 inches with your palms and fingertips. Tear off a piece of parchment paper or wax paper a little longer than the dough and dust it generously with flour. Transfer the focaccia to the paper. Brush the top of the dough generously with olive oil, sprinkle on a little coarse sea salt, as well as some rosemary leaves, if you wish and then finally dimple all over with your fingertips. Cover with plastic and let rise for 20 minutes.

Baking the bread(s):

Note about baking order: bake the flat-bread before you bake the loaf; bake the rolls at the same time as the loaf.

Note about Baking Temps: I believe that 450°F (230°C) is going to prove to be too hot for the either the large or small loaf of bread for the entire 40/50 minutes. I am going to put the loaves in at 450° (230°C) for 10 minutes and then turn the oven down to 375°F (190 °C) for the remaining time.

Note about cooling times: Let all the breads cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Rolls can be served warm or at room temperature.
For loaves and rolls:
Dust risen loaves and rolls with a little all-purpose flour or lightly brush the tops with a little melted butter or olive oil (the butter will give a golden/browned crust). Slash loaves crosswise two or three times with a razor blade or very sharp knife and immediately place on the stone, tiles or baking sheet in the oven. Place the rolls next to the loaf in the oven.

Bake rolls until golden, about 30 minutes. Bake the small loaf for about 40 minutes. Bake the large loaf for about 50 minutes.

Transfer the rolls to a rack when done to cool. When the loaf or loaves have baked for the specified time, remove from the pans and place back on the stone, tiles or baking sheet for another 5 to 10 minutes. The corners should be firm when pinched and the bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

For foccaia:
Place a baking stone or unglazed quarry tiles, if you have them, if not use a no edged baking/sheet (you want to be able to slide the shaped dough on the parchment paper onto the stone or baking sheet and an edge complicates things). Place the stone or cookie sheet on a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450°F/230°C.

If making foccacia, just before baking, dimple the bread all over again with your fingertips. Leaving it on the paper, transfer to the hot baking stone, tiles or baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack (remove paper) and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

67 comments:

Tartelette said...

Yipee! Another bread convert! I hope you get to experiment and enjoy making more breads. I can't buy store bought anymore...I am that spoiled by homemade!
Great job on your challenge and the loaves look gorgeous. Eh! Sometimes rustic is the way to go!

Katie said...

Congratulations for overcoming your fear of bread/yeast. Your loaf looks wonderful, very light, fluffy and even in texture. A great success!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your loaf looks gorgeous! Congratulations, you've done it!

Cheers,

Rosa

steph- whisk/spoon said...

good for you--do not fear the yeast! your bread looks great, and i'm sure it tasted great, too!

Dharm said...

The loaves look just great! I had the same issue with 'plopping the dough into the pan'! Great Job!

breadchick said...

YEA! Great job on your bread and we'll have you baking bread like a pro before you know it. Great crumb on your bread and I like the little "lopsided" loaves.

sunita said...

You've done a great job with your loaves...congrats!

Rachel said...

The loaves look so soft and inviting..

Inne said...

Great job Gigi. This dough is not the easiest to handle, so I'm glad the experience didn't put you off for life!

slush said...

My husband was all over the bread straight out of the oven as well.

You did a fab job Gigi! Looks fantastic. And I agreel, this bread took away my fear of yeast. Bring it on!

eatme_delicious said...

I must say that it's making me feel a lot better to know that others had troubles with this super sticky dough! Your bread looks great though and how nice to have people oohing and aahing over it. :)

glamah16 said...

You did it. And it looks great. It only gets better and better.

Courtney said...

yah for conquering bread, they look beautiful

Brilynn said...

If you can master this dough on your first try, you'll have no problem with less sticky doughs, (and they do exist!) well done!

Barbara said...

I love the smell of bread baking. NIce rustic looking loaves.I bet they tasted great.

skrockodile said...

Congrats on the challenge. How did you get such an interesting shape? Did the bread overhang your pan? It's very cute!

Bev and Ollie "O" said...

you would never know you had a fear of yeast! Those rolls are fabulous!

Shawnda said...

Pumpkin butter would be especially good on the bread, I bet. I have some in the fridge, luckily enough :)

Nazca said...

In at the deep-end hey! Always the best choice :-)

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Good job, Gigi! Your loaf looks very tasty. Now that youo've overcome your fear, I look forward to seeing lots more yeast breads on your site.

Nora B. said...

Congratulations on overcoming your fear of yeast. Unfortunately, I wouldn't have recommended this recipe for a first time bread maker, but you did sooo well! I hope that you will try more recipes and become addicted to bread making as I have. It's so rewarding and also good for days when you need to let off some steam!

Annemarie said...

Oh, but I like those slanty tops - it's like the loaf has a bit of attitude and is wearing its hat at a jaunty angle. Fabulous job on your first excursion with yeast!

Julius said...

Your loaf looks lovely, and I can just imagine how delicious it must be.

I can surely sympathize with finding this dough to be very sticky.

Julius from Occasional Baker

Lisa Kendrick said...

Your bread looks beautiful - not the result of "plopping" at all! =)

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Fun! I love making bread.

CB said...

Pumpkin butter on a slice of that bread toasted sounds divine! I just might have to make up another batch this week.

Your bread looks amazing!

Suzanne said...

Awesome job:-)

Mike said...

It was my first attempt at making bread too. I guess we don't have anything to be scared of now :)

Kevin said...

Your potato bread looks great. Golden brown on the top and light a fluffy on the inside.

cookworm said...

I think it looks absolutely delicious, and am enjoying the vicarious life through those who made loaves rather than rolls. Hooray for showing that yeast who's boss! :)

Rosie said...

Ha! That is exactly why my family is forbidden from entering the kitchen until after the flashes have gone off!

Congrats on a great first loaf!

Megan said...

I say good job!

Princess of the kitchen said...

Your crumb textture looks really good. I bet it was soft and fluffy. well done

I(dot)J said...

I absolutely love the shape of your bread. Great job.

Peabody said...

First time with yeast? Great job.

KayKat said...

I know what you mean - this dough took some serious work! My arm is sore, but I love it :)

Yay for baking!

Foodie Froggy said...

yeast first timer ? Just like me ! Bravo for your breads !!

BC said...

There's nothing like the smell of fresh baking bread. What a great result for a first timer with yeast. You should be very proud.

Hannah said...

You even achieved the classic shape of a sandwich loaf- It looks store bought! (Which I mean as a compliment!) Nice going, especially for your first yeasted bread!

Anne said...

It looks so soft and yummy! you did a great job :)

Gretchen Noelle said...

Great job with your first yeast attempt! The loaf looks great! glad your family all enjoyed it.

Mila said...

Great job for your firts bread... it's always qamazing to make breads don't you think? the smell and how people react when you say that you're baking bread is just amazing!!

April said...

I love the look of your loaves, they look great!

Bruno said...

Nice looking bread Gigi!

Merav said...

Great job! Your loaf is beautiful!

Gabi said...

Hey Gigi,
I'm glad you overcame your fear of yeast! You started on a somewhat difficult dough to work with so anything else should be a snap for you. Your bread turned out beautifully!
xoxo

Madeleine said...

Excelent job!!!! :)

Augustina said...

Congratulations on your first yeast-bread recipe. Your loaves look beautiful!

Dhivya Karthik said...

OMG! urs luks sooooooo pro!

Way to go!

the pastry princess said...

great job with the challenge! your loaves are beautiful and i love the shape!

joey said...

Your first-ever yeasted baked good? It certainly doesn't show! :) Your bread looks great!

Tempered Woman said...

bwahahaha- "so OVER this whole bread thing." Too funny! Great job and glad to hear you're a convert too!

~Amber~ said...

I am glad to hear that you have overcame your fear of yeast. Yeast is fun!

countrygirlcityliving said...

Hooray for getting over a fear of yeast, right?!?! I was so excited to conquer my fear as well. Your loaf looks doughy and delicious. Maybe next time you will save me a piece?

iCook2live said...

Nice job Gigi! This one first a lot of us out our comfort zones.

Jen Yu said...

For your first ever yeast bread, I am totally impressed! You did a great job and who cares if it is a little slanted? I love asymmetry. Great job there. You are a yeast-bread virgin no longer!!

-jen at use real butter

Deborah said...

Wonderful job on your first yeast bread!! I'm sure you will now catch the bug and always make your bread homemade now!

Christina said...

Great job for your first yeast bread! I'd say it was a total success and I'm glad everyone loved it.

Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

Half Baked said...

Great job with your first yeast product! way to go overcome your fears!!

Ivonne said...

Isn't that just the best feeling, Gigi! When you take something out of the oven and everyone enjoys it ... well done!

LizG said...

Great work on the bread! The results are well worth the efforts...:)

Julie said...

Way to take the bull by the horns! This is a great trial by fire for your first homemade loaf! I hope I dream about pumpkin butter on potato bread tonight--that sounds delicious!

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

I love potato bread, but I am NOT daring enough to make it myself!

:D

Nora B. said...

Sounds like your bread was very popular!! Congrats on accomplishing this challenge with such success.

Sheltie Girl said...

Lovely job on your bread!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Dolores said...

Aw, t'heck with the pictures. What matters is that they liked it. And from your reports, it sounds like they LOVED it.

And who wants their loaf to look like Wonder Bread?!? Rustic brings so much more character.

Andrea said...

Good for you for getting past your fear of yeast! You made a nice, rustic looking loaf, my favorite kind. :-)