Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Daring Bakers #3
I can't begin to tell you the joy this recipe gave me. I have never worked with a dough that was such a pleasure to handle. It is undeniably sticky but also wondrously silky. I am a self confessed amateur baker but even in my novice view this recipe is a keeper. It results in a delightfully tender crumb and crusty exterior. The rolls are ideal for dipping in a little olive oil and rock salt. The warm slices are heavenly eaten unadorned and all too moreish for my waistline. Thank you to Tanna for this sensational recipe and I encourage you to browse the creations of the other Daring Bakers.
Tender Potato Bread
The below instructions are for what I made, a large loaf and several flat breads. You could also make a twisted loaf, dinner rolls or countless other variations.
4 medium potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (130g) whole wheat flour
Cook the potatoes in the water with 1 tsp salt until very tender. Reserve 3 cups of cooking water. In a large bowl mash the potatoes well and then add the 3 cups reserved water.Let cool to lukewarm (70-80°F/21 - 29°C). 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 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 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. Divide the dough into shapes of your choice. I used 2/3 for a loaf and the remainder for small flatbreads. Place the bread into tins or baking trays. Brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with herbs if you wish. Bake for 10 minutes at 450°(230°C) and then turn the oven down to 375°F (190 °C) for the remaining time. Bake the loaf for a further 40 minutes and the rolls for another 20 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing the loaf although the rolls can be eaten while warm and are in my opinion best this way.