Monday, 26 November 2007

Tender Potato Bread


Welcome back folks to another exciting edition of the Daring Bakers....!

Having conquered my fear of yeast and bread, I was actually quite excited by this month's challenge hosted by the great Tanna from My Kitchen in Half Cups. She chose to challenge us with Tender Potato Bread, a recipe from Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

Now November was a particularly busy month for me. Very, very busy in fact that I ALMOST considered giving this months challenge a miss. Then, just this weekend I thought I'd give it a whirl and see if I could rise to the challenge.

We had all been warned that working with this dough was going to be different. First of all, it used potatoes. Now I've heard of potato bread that is sweet but the specific instructions here were that this recipe HAD to be savoury. I'd never used potato to make bread before so that was the first concern.

The second concern was that we were told that the amount of potato used could greatly affect the texture. We were told to use 8 ounces (for amateurs) and not more than 16 ounces (for experienced bread makers). I decided to go with 12 ounces but after washing and paring the potatoes, I weighed them again and they had lost 2 ounces. Now if only that would work for me, I could give up doing this Daring Baker stuff and open a Weight Loss Centre. First customer of course - ME!

Third concern, this dough was a soft dough and very, very sticky. Again, NO experience with soft, sticky dough. I would need to wing it. See, I always knew I should have gone to Flight school. So many things in life I seem to wing. Since I seem to wing thing so well, I should have just made it into a career. I blame my father for not letting me go to Flight school. I could be a professional Wing Man today....

And he digresses yet again!! Yes, Ladies and Gentleman, the man has a disease. He cannot stay on topic and true to form, he digresses....!

Anyway, Oh dear, I've actually lost track of what I wanted to say. Oh yes, 3 concerns and lastly, time. So much to do, so little time.

So, I washed the potatoes, peeled them, cut them, boiled them till very soft and everything looked like it was going well.

Then I mashed the potatoes, added in the potato water, let it rest added in the flour and yeast, let it rest, added in the butter and the whole wheat flour and another two cups of flour. Alls Quiet on the Western Front.

But I had forgotten that I was in the East and not the West. So perhaps all was NOT so quiet. The enemy was lurking just beyong the trenches.....

You see this is EXACTLY the point where I had to start to wing things. The recipe said "At this point you have used 4 cups of the possible 8 ½ cups suggested by the recipe." and I was supposed to "incorporae flour as needed to prevent sticking". But we had been told that the final dough was going to be sticky. So how? How now brown cow?

And so I kneaded and added flour and kneaded and added more flour and kneaded some more. It all started to come together and I thought it was all good. I had forgotten to measure how much flour I had incorporated but by the way I was adding flour, I put it at a total of about 7 cups.

Now it was time to proof it and I left it to sit while I went about my other business. After about 1.5 hours, it had more than doubled and I turned it out to knead again. The flour was extremely sticky and also rather moist. Very moist in fact. My fingers were sticky and gooey and so I decided to just plop 2/3 of the dough into a large pan and shape it into a Focaccia.

Then I tried to roll the remaining dough into rolls but the dough was just too darned sticky. This is where I started using expletives. Beep. Beeping Hell and Beep, Beep, Beep! I was Beeping so much I could have been the Beeping Roadrunner! I added more flour but it was still too Beeping sticky to roll. Beep. Beep. Beep!

Then a light bulb went off in my head! And I was no longer the Roadrunner but Wile E.Coyote (remember how he used to get an idea and a lightbulb would light up over his head? You dont remember? Am I than old???!) Anyway, the idea was to drop the dough on to the pan like drop biscuits. Very clever I thought to myself. Well done Agent 99.

So I left everything to proof again and went to clean up and found that my sink was clogged. Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!!! Beep. Beep! Beep!! BEEEEP!!!!

But that's another story and I don't think any of you are really interested in my clogged sink. Such uncaring people.... humph. That's another reason for the lack of in-progress photos. No silly. Not because you don't care about my sink but precisely Because of the clogged sink! I wasn't going to risk getting dough on my precious Digital SLR.

After half an hour, the dough had risen beautifully. I popped the Focaccia in the oven after seasoning it with oregano and seasoned salt. After baking it, it had risen very nicely and I popped it out and let it cool while I baked the rolls.

So! Daring Baker Challenge completed. Well almost, because the proof of the pudding is in the eating and in this case, the proof of the potato bread is in the eating. Pardon the pun about proofing there..... Yes, yes, I'm really in a funny mood tonight. Absolutely Bloody Hilarious!

The Focaccia was tasty. Very tasty indeed although I thought it may have been a little undercooked. However, it tasted a darn site better the next morning.


The rolls were nicer though. Very soft and with a nice crumb. Only problem though, the rolls tasted a little bland and this is where I realised I had forgotten the second tablespoon of salt. Actually, I added in another TEAspoon of salt rather than TABLEspoon. I.D.i.O.T. The small 'i' in the centre is just to emphasise how small I felt at my lack of cleverness. I always tell my children not to say 'stupid', so
just in case they read this in years to come.....



There was a LOT of bread so the next morning, which is this morning (at time of writing that is) unless you believe strongly in the Theory of Quantum Physics in which case Time can be manipulated but only if you really understand it and you cant really understand it if you claim to do so and I really dont know what I'm talking about so maybe I didnt even eat the potato bread this morning......or understand Quantum Physics for that matter. Which I dont. And never claimed to do.

So! Another succesful Daring Bakers Challenge. Well sort off, as I think I needed more flour and I should have added that tablespoon of salt. Nonetheless, I took the Focaccia to my parents house where they, along with my aunts who were there, were rather astounded at the Tender Potato Focaccia. My father asked if I had bought a breadmaker and I proudly puffed out my chest, sucked my stomach in and declared - "The only breadmaker I have are these hands."

Thanks Tanna for a great challenge although I seriously, seriously doubt I will ever make this again. But the thing is, now I know I CAN make it and that's all because of you...and of course, that in essence, is one of the reasons why I AM a Daring Baker!!!!

Check out the rest of the fabulous team at the Daring Bakers Blogroll

45 comments:

glamah16 said...

Cake maker, now bread maker. You need to open a shop :-).

Butta Buns said...

Bleep bleep bleepity bleep! Hey, we speak the same language.

Despite all the trouble this dough gives with its infernal stickiness, yours turned out beautifully!

Anne said...

you did the challenge really well. Same with you I may not do this bread again but I definitely learned something from the whole process :)

Claire said...

I wasn't sure how much flour to add either...or how sticky it was supposed to be. You focaccia looks great. That was our favorite.

Gigi said...

Just beautiful!

Lydia said...

Ah, you Daring Bakers are more brave than I! Sounds like a lot of work, but nice to see the DBers taking on a savory rather than sweet baking project. I admire you for sticking with this (hah -- couldn't resist one bad pun....).

Courtney said...

loved the post, made me laugh, i too will probably not be making the bread again

Rachel said...

Those are beautiful..I can very well agree about a lot of bread being in the house after this challenge!! I am baking this again...

Foodie Froggy said...

The challenge was not that easy and you did great !

Ilva said...

Well I hope you will at least make foccaccia again because it's the best bread in the world! well done!

sunita said...

Dharm, you are really funny...but look at how nicely you've completed your challenge...well done!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Great job Dharm! I had some trouble too with the sticky dough, but that is what being a Daring Baker is all about - don't give up the ship! (or perhaps, bread!)

Meeta said...

Well done! You conquered the yeast beast well. The focaccia looks so elegant!

veron said...

Nice job, Darm, your focacia and rolls look great. yeah, that sticky dough had me cursing too but it was all worth it!

Petra said...

The rolls are just wonderful!

Megan said...

Sorry about the sink. But it didnt seem to stop you! Good job.

Becky said...

that sounds awfully similar to my experience with the potato bread! but let me tell you, those rolls do look delicious. good work!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your bread looks great! Well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

cookworm said...

Your story about the process was really funny and I can definitely relate. Still, your breads look so nice and tender. I liked the foccacia best.

breadchick said...

Dharm, I always savour reading your posts because not only do I love your step by step, play by play calls of the challenge but you always make smile and laugh! Great job on your bread and I hope you have a chance to make more "sticky" doughs in the future!

Tartelette said...

I am right there with you on the salt. I always have to leave post-its on the flour canister. You did a fabulous job once again!
Oh that pirate cake is out of this world. I bow to you, I don't think I would have the energy to put it all together!!

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

Great job Dharm! Your focaccia looks great! I too had trouble with the sticky dough (hot weather, high humidity along with it!)!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Awesome! You write a fun challenge there Dharm! Just remember: there's a learning curve for everything. I believe you'll find even this potato bread easier to master than the Theory of Quantum Physics or Time.

Andrea said...

ha ha ha ha

Great job! Sounds like you had a bleeping good time on this challenge! The dough WAS awfully sticky and loose and I'm sure I let an expletive or two fly when I poured that risen dough onto the counter. It ran everywhere!

Bev and Ollie "O" said...

ooooh that looks lovely! You get big brownie points also for the lovely bit at the top of your blog where you call your wife "lovely" (I wonder if my hubbie says this about me? hmm) :o)
I think it's amazing the different things we all come up with from the same recipe and how our local flours can differ the look of the bread. your's looks lovely and I'm sure your not even a little idiot!

slush said...

I was unsure about the flour too and winged it. Luckily it seemed to do alright. Both your focaccia and rolls look fabulous. And I know they tasted great. You can always sprinkle with salt!

Julius said...

Hi Dharm,

I love reading your posts.

Congrats on the great work on this month's DB challenge. Looking forward to more.

Feel free to see my tender potato bread here.

Julius from Occasional Baker

Gabi said...

Oh Dharm-you crack me up! I am the Queen of the Bleeping bleep- although I don't make a habit of swearing I must confess that since there were no children about my expletives were not censored. *blush*
I salute you Mr. Wing Man! You winged some lovely Focaccia there.

April said...

I love how you tell your story! Bread looks yummy!

Brilynn said...

I'm glad things turned out despite the numerous challenges!

I(dot)J said...

Yes... the tpb looks amazing. I love it.

Peabody said...

Oh yes, if only weight loss were that simple indeed!!!
You did a great job of winging it.

KayKat said...

The focaccia looks awesome, I'm definitely trying that sometime soon!

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a wonderful job on your bread!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Mary said...

Great post as always. I'd say you definitely rose to the challenge (pun intended).

oliver said...

Hey Dharm,

Looks like your potato bread was quite an adventure, but a success! I had actually the opposite experience. At 5 1/2 cups, my dough felt not sticky at all... and everyone had hyped it up as being so sticky that I was worried! But it turned out pretty well... did you use 8 or 16 oz of potato?

By the way, added you to the DB map today. I was really excited to see a DBer from Kuala Lumpur!

Jen Yu said...

Considering all of the bleeping bleeps, your bread turned out quite well! Great job and another skill conquered!

-jen at use real butter

abby said...

great write-up dharm!

Annemarie said...

Fabulous post Dharm - great walk-though of the process, and pretty bleeping funny. Your bread looks excellent, and I hope your breadmaker hands are put to use in the near future.

Deborah said...

I think you are actually the first one I've come across that liked the rolls better than the foccacia!! It sounds like it was quite an adventure - well done!

Julie said...

Wow, thanks for beeping out the bad language! I'm glad the bread turned out pretty well for you, minor mishaps aside! When I was young and my friends asked where the dishwasher was, I'd hold up my hands and say, "I am the dishwasher." Not as fun. *sigh*

Dolores said...

Taking a break from DMAIC lessons to check in on my friend Dharm and his potato bread... and am I glad I did! I remember Wyle E. Coyote (meep meep). And Agent 99. Marcia, Jan and Cindy too. :)

Great job taming the yeasty potato beast Dharm!

Christina said...

LOL, your post was absolutely hilarious! It reminded me of my first attempt and my dough was impossible.

Great job in the end, even if it didn't come out totally as you expected.

I can't wait to read your next DBers post!

Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

marias23 said...

Yummy! I think most of us had problems with super sticky dough and clogged sinks too :)

To me, quantum physics exists only so physicists can show off about something, haha!

creampuff said...

Those rolls are so cute!!! Great job!

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