Monday, November 26, 2007

Daring bread

I have been eyeing all the wonderful things that the Daring Bakers have been making for months. I thought that it would be a great opportunity for me to be challenged in the kitchen and learn some new techniques. So, I decided I could not wait any longer and had to join. This is my first challenge and I was so excited to see that it was bread.

Now on to the recipe. I did not really stray far from the recipe because the original sounded so good. I ended up using 4 small and 1 medium russet burbank potatoes because the ones in my bag were surprisingly small, and I had exactly 3 cups of the cooking water to add back into the mashed potatoes. Who knew potatoes took so much time to get to room temperature, I think mine took 1.5 to 2 hours just to get down to the correct temperature. And my dough did not take all 8 cups of the flour either.

My foccocia was brushed with garlic olive oil and sprinkled with coarse salt and a rosemary seasoning mix that consisted of rosemary, lemon peel and garlic. This did bake for more than 10 minutes. For the loaf I just did a regular traditional loaf. The fun with this when when I found out what a soft dough really is. :) For all of you that do not know, usually when you make bread dough it can withstand to be picked up and transferred to a loaf pan without any problems. Well with this particular loaf if you try to pick it up you will find that gravity just pulls the dough right back to the counter. Fun times!

This months host is Tanna from My Kitchen in Half Cups

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)

Challenge Recipe:
Metric measurements are from the European edition. Thank you Linda ( from Make Life Sweeter

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.

Visit the Daring Bakers blogroll to see how all of the other ladies bread turned out.


Anonymous said...

Your bread looks AWESOME! Great job on your first challenge! :)

Jaime said...

congrats on your 1st DB challenge! this looks great! :) how appropriate that the 1st one would for you would be bread ;)

April said...

Congrats on completing your first challenge! Your bread looks yummy!

Anonymous said...

Fun times, indeed! This challenge was right up your alley, for sure.

slush said...

MMm, looks good to me! You did a fab job on your first challenge! xo

breadchick said...

Great job on your first challenge! Your bread looks wonderful and the crumb is gorgeous. Welcome aboard!!

marias23 said...

That foccacia looks delicious. I wish I still had some left over... Sighs...

Meryl said...

Your foccacia is gorgeous!

Miss Ifi said...

That is some really good looking focaccia, now I really want to try making it.. see if mine can be half as good looking as yours is!

Gigi said...

nice job! they look absolutely delicious!

Anonymous said...

Yours is the 1st foccacia that I have seen in reading through the DB's! Looking lovely - congrats on your 1st challenge. This is only my 2nd and understand now how addictive it can be :) Thank goodness some addictions can be postivie!!

Lesley said...

Great looking focaccia! Bravo!

Peabody said...

Great looking foccacia.

Jen Yu said...

Looks awesome! Your focaccia is lovely and my mouth is starting to water... Congrats on your first challenge and welcome to the Daring Bakers!!

-jen at use real butter

Jessica said...

Congratulations on your first challenge!! it looks great!

... said...

congratulations on your first challenge. It looks great.

Helene said...

Bravo on your first challenge, I think you did a fabulous job! Cheers to many more successes!

Anne said...

Everything looks did a great job on your first challenge :)

ostwestwind said...

I am a newbie too, I think your focaccia turne out great!

Sheltie Girl said...

Your bread turned out beautifully. Your focaccia looks tender and light...and totally scrumptious. Welcome to the DBers!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Gretchen Noelle said...

Congrats on your first DB challenge! These both look very tasty!

Anonymous said...

Your foccacia looks sooooo delicious, Amber. WIsh I had some for my lunch right now. :)

kitten said...

your bread and focaccia look scrumptious. great work !

Julie said...

Congratulations on your first challenge! I'm glad to see you got your dough to defy gravity and got it into the pan. Your flatbread looks great, too!

Bev and Ollie "O" said...

mmmm your focaccia looks so good! Is there any left????? no? ahhhhh

Dolores said...

Congratulations and welcome... I'm glad you took the plunge and I've gotten the opportunity to get to know you and your blog. Your focaccia looks great!

Megan said...

I like the idea of lemon peel, yum!

Unknown said...

Great job on your first!

Anonymous said...

Great looking bread Amber! I know what you mean about the dough...heehee :)

cupcaketastic said...

Welcome to the party, your breads turned out great.

Robyn said...

Great time to join! Your entry looks fab!

Deborah said...

Your bread looks great!! Wonderful job on your first challenge!!

Gabi said...

Beautiful Bread! Congarts on your DB challenge!

Angel said...

Your breads looks wonderfully delicious, and so homey. Definitely comfort food. Congrats on defeating the first challenge =)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Wow Amber that is just lovely crumb on your focaccia!
Welcome to the group and thanks so much for baking with us!

Christina said...

Your focaccia looks very chewy and moist! The loaf look equally good, fluffy, chewy, yet sturdy. Great job!

Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

creampuff said...

Great job on your first DB challenge!

Jenny said...

Great work on your first challenge!