Monday, November 26, 2007

Daring Baking! Potato Bread and delicious stuffing!

I was very excited with this challenge as I do like to play with yeast breads. The final product was a little disappointing for me, I guess I'm used to breads with lots of flavor and crunchy bits and this was fairly bland. I shaped the dough into a focaccia and rolls. The rolls were ok, nothing special, and the focaccia was a little bland. I found the white potato sheen a little unappetizing. The dough was quite hard to work with as it was sticky, but I was nervous I might incorporate too much flour and get inedible dry bread.

All was well by thanksgiving though, because I threw the focaccia in the freezer then got it out for thanksgiving to make a truly delicious traditional stuffing. I think the crusty potato bread was great, it was crispy and tasty and not all doughy and nasty. It was everyones favourite (after the delicious roast duck of course!!)

Here are the original focaccia and the rolls with the beady-eyed tina for company!

Old fashioned stuffing (inspired by Sauveur Magazine)
5 tbsp butter
1 small onion
2 sticks celery
2 cloves garlic
Small handful of herbs (rosemary thyme and sage)
4 cups cubed focaccia
1 cup better than boullion veggie stock
1 egg

Fry the onions in the butter for about 5 mins until clear. Add celery, garlic and herbs and cook for a further 5 mins. Put the bread in a big bowl, pour butter over them and mix. De glaze the pan with the stock and pour over the bread. Whisk an egg, pour over, mix well and pop into a dish. Dot with butter and cook in a 400f oven for around 30 mins until the top is nice and brown and crispy.

I liked that it is a fairly slapdash thing, making stuffing, you can add things and take away and still end up with a wonderful dish.

Tender Potato Bread
(from Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid; who also wrote Hot Sour Salty Sweet)
Daring Bakers Challenge #13: November 2007
Makes 1 large tender-crumbed pan loaf AND something more; one 10X15 inch crusty yet tender foccacia, 12 soft dinner rolls, or a small pan loaf


4 medium to large floury (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks.
Tanna Note: For the beginner bread baker I suggest no more than 8 ounces of potato; for the more advanced no more than 16 ounces. The variety of potatoes you might want to use would include Idaho, Russet & Yukon gold, there are others.

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. Tanna Note: I have a food mill I will run my potatoes through to mash them.

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:
Tanna Note: It is at this point you are requested to Unleash the Daring Baker within. The following is as the recipe is written. You are now free to follow as written or push it to a new level.

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, 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 and 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 and 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.


breadchick said...

Great job on this month's challenge and I love the little kitchen "lurker" eyeing the goods! Based on the amount of comments on good stuffing bread this made, I think I'll give it a whirl at Christmas.

Shawnda said...

Turning the potato bread into stuffing was a great idea!

Deborah said...

I love that you made it into stuffing - what a great idea! I actually liked the foccacia the best - I thought it was better than the loaf. It looks great, though, and I'd take a plateful of that stuffing!

Julius said...

Your bread looks great - and wonderful that they found their best use as stuffing.

Julius from Occasional Baker

Peabody said...

I love that you made it into stuffing...great idea.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Well done! What a great idea! Wonderful!



April said...

I love the look of your rolls! What a great idea to mix into your stuffing!

Alice Q. said...

Sounds good Jenny - great idea for leftovers! I have to remember to make stuffing at other times, not just for holiday meals. Cheers!

I(dot)J said...

It looks great. And I love that you made stuffing... I would never have thought about it.

Iisha of

Jen Yu said...

Those rolls are so very pretty. Stuffing is a brilliant idea. Wow - resourceful girl you are :) I rather get myself excited over what to eat WITH the bread rather than the bread alone. Duck for t-giving? That sounds so gooooooood :)

-jen at use real butter

Julie said...

The stuffing definitely looks tasty! I'm glad you found a use for your focaccia when you didn't find it to your liking! Now, all I can think about is duck, though!

Tartelette said...

Great idea for keeping it for stuffing! Great job on completing the challenge, all your breads look wonderful!

Christina said...

Your potato bread stuffing looks excellent! Even if you didn't like the taste of the bread on its own, I'm glad it worked out for the stuffing, it looks very moist and spongy.

About the stuffing, I concur that you can pretty much do what you want and it will come out decently, as long as you don't go overboard. This Thanksgiving, however, my mom and I made the stuffing the day of Thanksgiving instead of prepping it 1-2 days beforehand and we thought the flavor wasn't as pronounced. The next day, everything melded together so that's what we're going to do for Christmas.

Angel said...

I had some problems making my bread too, but wow stuffing looks so tasty.
I wish I'd thought of doing that with my foccaccia then maybe my family would have eaten it.
Grats on an amazing success!

creampuff said...

Nice job using your focaccia for stuffing!

Sheltie Girl said...

Great job on your potato bread. I wish you the best with pursuing your culinary training.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Dolores said...

I'm sorry this recipe didn't work so well for you, but I'm glad you were able to make the best of it in your stuffing.

Zoomie said...

Love the peeking kitty!