Daring Bakers
Finally I’m a proud member of Daring Bakers, too. I’m quite a bread-making-addict, so you can imagine how happy I was, when I saw that the November challenge, hosted by Tanna from My Kitchen in Half Cups, was a Tender Potato Bread. During the past year I baked a couple of Potato breads, so I knew that this will be quite a sticky challenge. ;-)

From experience I also know that Spanish flour absorb less liquid. As I wanted to make a free shaped loaf I even reduced the water more than I would if I had baked it in a pan.

Tanna allowed us to do some little modification to the basic recipe, like adding some spices, herbs, filling etc. except sweet stuff. Once the dough was risen I decided to bake 3 different breads.

Tender Potato Breads

One as it is (to see how its flavor is), the second with pumpkin seeds and caraway and the third with lemon from my own lemon tree.

Normally I add these kind of ingredients before the first rise, so I don’t have to punch down the risen dough too much and it stays more airy.

Tender Potato Bread

Tender Potato Bread - 3 differents loafs

Original recipe
4 medium to large floury (baking) Potatos, peeled and cut into chunks

4 cups water, reserve cooking water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 ½ cups to 8 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup whole wheat flour

My modifications
300 g potatoes (Agatha), peeled and cut into chunks

4 cups water, reserve 390 g cooking water
12 g plus 1 teaspoon salt
20 g fresh yeast
750 g unbleached all-purpose
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
100 g whole wheat flour
50 g pumpkin seeds
1 ts caraway
1 tb lemon juice
1 tb lemon zest


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.

Tender Potato Bread - potatoes
Tender Potato Bread - mash potatoes

Measure out 3 cups 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.

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.

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, 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.

***

My approach was more or less the same until the first rise. My dough was very active and the first rise took only 1 hour.
I divided the dough in 3 equal pieces. To one piece I added the pumpkin seeds and caraway, to the second the lemon zest and juice, and the third I left as it was. Then I shaped the loafs and let it rise for 1 hour. I put the 3 loafs on one tray. That was not a good idea, after the second rise the touched each other. So they dropped out of the oven like Siamese triplets! ;-)

Baking time: 10 minutes 230 C – reduce heat to 200 C and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Mist oven with water before the breads go in.

Remarks for next time:
The dough was rising very quick, so next time I would reduce the fresh yeast to 15 g.
Add seeds, spices etc. before the first rise.
Do not bake all 3 bread on 1 backing try.

The result was 3 different tasty and tender potatoes breads.

Tender Potato Breads - sliced

I can’t really say which one is my favorite.

Thank you Tanna for this challenge!

More entries and recipes in English.

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