Monday, November 26, 2007

The waiting is the hardest part : Tender Potato Bread

There are tons of food bloggers out there that I am in awe of and Tanna, the hostess of this month's Daring Baker challenge, is definitely one of them. She has a beautiful site, is articulate beyond belief, and! she chose a savory recipe for the challenge this month, bless her. They are my favorite.

From the book Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World by the duo who also wrote Hot Sour Salty Sweet (now there's a good pedigree!), Tanna chose Tender Potato Bread.


You start by boiling some peeled potatos until tender. The potatos are mashed, stirred back into the potato water, and then cooled.


The flour - both white and whole wheat is added, along with salt, yeast and butter.

Tanna mentions in her recipe that the dough is a very soft dough, and boy she was not kidding. I kept adding and adding flour. It looked futile for a while, but finally the dough became smooth and elastic. I set it aside to rise. Then something came up and I had to go out. So I tossed the dough in the fridge. A few hours later I came back to dough bursting out of the bowl and sticking to the side of my fridge. This dough was definitely a riser - unlike some other doughs I've made. I set the dough on the counter to warm up and scraped down the fridge wall.

Now a batch of this dough is enough to make a large loaf of bread plus one of the following: a smaller loaf of bread, 12 buns, or a piece of foccacia. I decided to make the buns.

But then - Tragedy! My lack of confidence in the kitchen had reared it's ugly head yet again and was biting me in the ass. I hadn't added enough flour to the dough. It was sticky, so sticky I could barely get it out of the bowl. There was no way I was going to be able to form the dough into buns. The dough was SO sticky that I couldn't even pat it out into an oval and then roll it up into a loaf of bread, as directed in the recipe. I just picked up the gloppy dough as best I could (lots stuck to the counter and me) and tossed it in the pan. I poured the other piece onto a baking sheet for focaccia.

After some more rising time I preheated my oven and finished up my focaccia. I sprinkled half the dough with basil and sea salt and the other half with chopped kalamata olives and pepperoncini peppers.


Both the loaf of bread and the foccacia were lovely - the bread is chewy and has a wonderful flavor. I messed up on the foccacia and didn't put parchment paper under the dough. That resulted in losing some of the divine bottom crust. Boo!


Head over to Tanna's to see the recipe here.



Thank you Tanna for the challenge this month!

You can check out the daring bakers blogroll if you want to read other people's potato bread stories. There's about 9 trillion of us now, so get comfy!

28 comments:

Peabody said...

Good looking bread.
At least you have now learned the lesson to put down parchment paper!

Meeta said...

Nice looking loaf Sara. I found this exceptionally good. Great job!

Tartelette said...

You did great Sara! The focaccia looks amazing!

sher said...

Great job! It all looks so yummy--and boy, it sure was sticky. I had it all over my hands and shirt! :):)

Courtney said...

you bifocals looks fantastic, great job

breadchick said...

Sara, you crack me up all the time. Your "retarded" (he-he...means dough stuck in the fridge for a slow rise with a finish on the counter just so no thinks I just called your bread slow..oh wait I did!) Anyways your retarded loaf and focaccia look yummy! As always, I love baking with month to month as a Daring Baker and just having you as a friend. Hugs.

Megan said...

Love your site! Its bookmarked!

Bev and Ollie "O" said...

I am all about the focaccia and yours looks fab!

Butta Buns said...

Ohh, chopped kalamatas... Must try that next time. We must be dopplegangers, our posts are so similar!

Marce said...

Your focaccia looks amazing, Sara! And I´m glad you conquered the bread, it´s about learning new things... and tasting the wonderful results, while we are at it ;)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

You are awesome Sara. Thanks for the kindest words.
Your words read disaster, your photos show wonderful!
Now about the rising of this dough . . . it really does that extra well . . . oh and the sticky, it does that extra well. Lucky you got some good to eat.

Anita said...

I like your half and half focaccia - it all looks so good!

Andrea said...

Your description of the dough bursting out of the bowl and sticking to the fridge had me laughing because it sounds so much like something I would have to clean up! Your bread turned out great. :-)

Julius said...

What a fun read, your post!

I ♥ your breads!

Julius from Occasional Baker

Claire said...

Mmmmm...your focaccia looks great. I used the parchment paper and it still stuck...to the paper!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your breads look wonderful! Great job!

Cheers,

Rosa

Anne said...

you did a great job... everything is impressive :)

April said...

It looks great!

Deborah said...

That was some sticky dough, wasn't it?! I had a hard time shaping it as well - good thing foccacia isn't too hard to shape!!

Christina said...

Sara, your loaf actually has a very rustic look (and by that, I don't mean it looks messed up!) and it browned nicely. Great job! And I know how you must have felt when you came home and realized the blob had spread in your fridge... That's the baker's equivalent to a horror movie!

I've decided that next time I must make focaccia with this dough.

Christine ~ She Runs, She Eats

Jen Yu said...

Success! Your breads came out perfectly. They look awesome!

-jen at use real butter

Ivonne said...

Way to go! I'm glad you didn't give up. I think the bread turned out great!

Julie said...

Sticky doug = great bread! Yours looks awesome! And did you set your potatoes out in the cold to cool? Awesome idea! When it's warm here (9 months of the year), I often put my dough outside to rise! Nature--a baker's friend!

Gabi said...

It wasn't you- it is a sticky oozy dough by nature- that's okay 'cause it tastes good in the end. I like your focaccia!
Great job!
xoxo
Gabi

foodiechickie said...

Gosh that sounds good!

Sheltie Girl said...

Nice job on your bread. Goodness I hope there doesn't turn out to be 9 trillion of us one day...I'd never make it to more than a handful. We'd have to set up a slide show on Flickr so we could see everyone's bread.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Quellia said...

Hehe good story! And nice bread.

Dolores said...

Wow... I can't imagine scraping all of that sticky dough off the contents of my refrigerator. Your end result is beautiful though -- congratulations!