Sunday, November 25, 2007

Daring Bakers! November Challenge Potato Bread

Wahoo! This is my first month of participating in Daring Bakers. Daring Bakers is a group of bakers who get together each month with a challenge to bake. This month's challenge came from Tanna at MyKitchen in Half Cups. And what a wonderful challenge it was. Tanna chose to have us make a Potato bread. Perfect! I have baked yeast rolls for Thanksgiving in years and this was the perfect do it.

I have never made a potato(e) ;-) bread and was looking forward to the task, yet I still kept thinking "I wonder if I should wait until the last minute to do this?" Yes. It'll be fine. So I downloaded the recipe and Thursday morning after the turkey was in the roaster I began peeling potatoes. That was the big discussion this month. How many potatoes equal what we need (8oz for beginners, 16 for experienced breadmakers)? I decided to weigh them out and not take any chances.

I boiled up the potatoes and reserved the liquid needed, mashed my potatoes and began.
Mashed potatoes and reserved liquid

Then I added the requisite 2 cups of King Arthur Flour. This was not a must for the recipe, but as you all know by now, King Arthur is the best flour to use when baking bread. It has a high protein level and that's what makes bread great! So choose King Arthur when you're bread baking.

Adding flours

Once the white and whole wheat flours were in, it was time to turn out the dough and give it a good kneading. So I floured up the board and dumped it out. The board by the way was made by my grandfather for my grandmother probably fifty years ago. It is still in excellent shape and I use it almost every day.

Begin kneading

The kneading takes about 10 minutes of good kneading to make a good loaf. Adding flour as you go along. The recipe called for 8 cups of flour. I used 7 and a half and felt it was time to put in the bowl for rising. I buttered up my bowl, as I hate the dough to stick to the bowl, added my shower cap to the bowl and the waiting begins.

Ready to rise

Begin rising

A what? Yes a shower cap. I learned that trick at the bread class I went to given by King Arthur flour. I go around collecting the shower caps at hotels we stay at in our travels. I have quite a collection. It is funny to see people's expressions when they find them in the kitchen.

Shower cap

Two hours has flown by! The dough looks great! You know that weird feeling you get in your stomach when you go by the bowl after about thirty minutes and nothing seems to be happening... yep I had it Thursday. Aaack. Will it rise? Take a look:

2 hours later

Yay! I rolled it out of the bowl and let it rest for five minutes. Then gave it a few good turns on the board and then divided the dough into 2/3 - 1/3 portions. The larger portion for the loaf and the smaller for the rolls. Tanna told us at this point we could get creative. Do whatever we wished to do with the dough. Well, I kept it pretty standard as I wanted rolls for Thanksgiving dinner and a small loaf for sandwiches through the weekend. Small loaf meaning small around and longer than a standard bread pan.

Rolls in the pan

Small loaf

Now another 35 minutes to rise again and then into the oven! And wow did they bake off nicely.

Baked off

Baked off

Potato Bread

We had a small gathering who loved the rolls. During this weekend the bread was just the right size for a quick bite in between tasks around the house.

Thank you Tanna, for such a great recipe. And thank you Daring Bakers for allowing me to join the group! I look forward to many months of baking challenges with each of you!