Monday, November 26, 2007

Daring Bakers Potato Bread

I moved the day after Thanksgiving and I don't have internet yet, so my post is a bit on the late (but still on time!) end this month.

This month Tanna of My Kitchen In Half Cups chose "Tender Potato Bread" as the November Daring Bakers challenge. I love bread! And it's automatically vegan. From the get-go I was excited about the recipe. In the spirit of an already DB vegan recipe I decided to follow it to the letter of the law. So on Thanksgiving morning (mind you, I'm hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year--for the first time ever...) I woke up and started on the delicious carbohydrate goodness.

Following the recipe EXACTLY was a bad bad bad idea. DO NOT add in all of the water first. I used, I swear to god, 8-10 cups of flour and the dough was still hell to work with. Sticky, soppy, sad sad mess. Luckily my mom was at my house by the time I tried to shape the rolls and she gave me a helping hand. It was a two person job. Seriously, the dough was ridiculous.

The rolls, however, were taaaasty. Mmm mmm good. They were soft and sourdoughy and perfect for a mixed vegan-meaty Thanksgiving dinner. Because the dough was so hard to work with, the rolls didn't turn our nearly as pretty as I was hoping. They were huge and moundish...but the taste is what matters.

I would totally make this recipe again (I'm still eating off of it now!), but I would recommend adding HALF of the water and at the end, when you're kneading, probably, add more water or flour as needed. Adding all of the water and then trying to add enough flour was a mess and a pain in the ass (pardon my french, I'm young, it comes second nature to me) and got flour all over the kitchen--my clothes were thrown into the hamper as soon as I was done attempting to knead the stickyness.

Anyways, here's the recipe. Bake if you dare!

Potato Rolls

4 medium to large floury (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks variety of potatoes you might want to use would include Idaho, Russet & Yukon gold
4 cups water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 ½ cups to 8 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup whole wheat flour


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.

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 in – directions will be for by hand. Let cool to lukewarm – 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.

Mix & stir yeast into cooled water and mashed potatoes & water and let stand 5 minutes.
Then mix in 2 cups of all-purpose flour and mix. Allow to rest several minutes.

Sprinkle on 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.

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.

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.

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.

Dust risen 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 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.

Bake rolls until golden, about 30 minutes.

17 comments:

Courtney said...

looks wonderful, glad your mother could help out, it was super messy, i am still cleaning my butcher block

I(dot)J said...

loooks GREAT!

BitterSweet said...

Nice rolls! They look just perfect if you ask me. :)

breadchick said...

Nice job on the rolls! Amazing considering everything going on in your life right now that you still found time to get this challenge done! Way to be a Daring Baker!!

Jen Yu said...

Great looking rolls! This really is a delightful, albeit sticky, recipe. I highly recommend the focaccia too - that stuff is the bomb!

jen at use real butter

Clumsy Cook said...

Your rolls look gorgeous! Great job!

Lesley said...

Really pretty rolls! They look like my own!! :-)

Tartelette said...

Looks great Jes! Glad you had a good time with mom in the kitchen making them. Making bread and memories!

Julie said...

I think your rolls look tasty! Let us know how it turns out with less water if you make it that way!

linda said...

I thought the dough was really ridiculous too...or maybe it was just me ;)
I think your buns look great!

VeggieGirl said...

aww, I'm so sorry to read that following the recipe was a bit more difficult than you expected; but hey, I'd say that you definitely accomplished this month's DB challenge with great, delicious results!! fabulous job on the potato rolls! :0)

Deborah said...

I think they look lovely, even if the dough was so hard to work with!! Great job!

Gabi said...

Glad you made it and hope your move went well!
Nice rolls!
xoxo
Gabi

marias23 said...

When it comes to food, you're right in saying that in the end, taste is the most important thing. But hey! Your rolls look yummy!

Christina said...

This recipe reminds me of the custard of last month's challenge in the sense that it produced very mixed results. My first attempt at this produced a [i]very[/i] thick porridge-y mixture, but the second time it actually resembled bread dough (mind you, I have worked with some very slack doughs before but nothing like this).

Great job on your challenge, and you are absolutely right, in the end it's the taste that matters, not necessarily how it looks. The texture of your rolls look very good, nice and fluffy!

Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

creampuff said...

Jes,

I'm so glad you liked the bread. The dough was definitely sticky ... but you're right it was worth it.

Dolores said...

I dunno... I think your rolls look pretty damn drool-worthy.