Daring bakers – Tender potato bread

This month’s Daring Bakers challenge is from Tanna at My kitchen in half cups and a challenge it was, especially for a (practically) non-bread baker like myself!

Let me start out by saying that I DON’T LIKE MAKING POTATO BREAD…there, I said it… and I’m not just saying that because it’s a savoury recipe but because the lack of bread baking experience frustrated me. I didn’t really know how much flour to add. I kept on thinking not to add too much or the bread will end up as tough as the pizza dough I once made. The dough was supposed to be sticky, even towards the end of the kneading but how sticky exactly? This I didn’t know…I kept mine pretty sticky….turned out too sticky.
I let the dough proof the first time in a cooler spot in the house because I couldn’t finish the bread after 2 hours. The planning was to do that after 3 hours but as is usually the case when I plan to do something, a thing called ‘6-month-old-son’ had his own ideas about going to sleep. So the dough proofed for 4 hours which made it MORE than double and therefor cover part of the desk I put it on. It was still sticky and soft and sort of flowy. The idea was to fill the dough, roll it up, cut it and bake like cinnamon rolls but the dough did not cooperate. At this point I was really sure I didn’t add enough flour because I kept on wanting to roll the dough but the dough kept on wanting to ‘flow’ back. I sort of managed to fold it closed but there was no way I could cut it and transfer it to a baking tin. So it became a giant filled focaccia type of bread for lack of other possibilities. By this time it was already pretty late in the evening so I didn’t have time for more proofing and baking. I put it in the fridge to slowly proof and would bake it in the morning.
The next morning it turned out that the proofing went very well and I could bake it right out of the fridge.

Even though I didn’t add enough flour the bread baked well. It had pretty moist crumb and a not very crusty crust after cooling.
I thought the bread was good, it was airy, had a moist crumb and also looked appetizing with the flecks of bran from the whole meal flour. I didn’t taste the potatoes, I don’t know if you’re supposed to taste them though. My parents loved the bread. I also served some of the bread at a high tea and my friends loved the bread a lot.
I was a bit dissapointed that the crust was not very crusty because that’s the part I love about a good bread. I’m sure I will not be making this bread again because a) it’s a lot of work, b) the dough is a pain to work with, and c) I like crusty crust better.
After making this bread my first feelings were to never, ever bake bread anymore… But after a while this changed into wanting to master the whole bread making thing. Not with my bread baking machine but the manual thing. Since the potato bread adventure I haven’t done any bread baking (besides the machine baking) but I will definitely be doing bread baking in the future. I think I’ll start with something sweet 😉

Btw the ingredients I used for the filling were: kalamata olives, walnuts, almonds, sun dried tomatoes, pepper, oregano and grana padano. I just processed them in my food processor.

You can find the potato bread recipe at Tanna’s blog.

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28 Responses to Daring bakers – Tender potato bread

  1. Rosa says:

    Your bread looks lovely! I love the filled one!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. courtney says:

    i too had no idea if it was too sticky or not. yours still looks good though

  3. ilva says:

    It looks good though. My loaf had a wonderful crust, maybe you should try it again? No? NOT? OK.

  4. breadchick says:

    Great way to stay with the whole bread making process! I’m glad you aren’t giving up on bread making by hand. Once you get the “feel” down you will enjoy the process. Nice job on the challenge this month!!

  5. Bev says:

    that is some pretty gorgeous lookin bread! well done you!

  6. Deborah says:

    Don’t give up on baking bread!! This was a hard dough to work with, so don’t feel bad if it gave you trouble. It looks delicious, though!!

  7. Tartelette says:

    Don’t give up! Over working it makes the bread fight back. I found out that walkig away for 5 minutes lets it relax and helps the shaping process. I plan on doing the bread one more time on the Kitchen Aid and mist the oven with water to achieve a harder crust. You did a fantastic job as they are both gorgeous!

  8. Oh don’t give up. Some of your not liking this maybe that you were just trying too hard and wanting perfection. The fact that others really enjoyed it and your photos tell me the bread looks wonderful makes me think it was really excellent especially for just starting. Try a recipe with just flour, yeast, water and salt . . . this was a challenging dough and there was a whole lot of it. Don’t give into it, I know you can make bread you’ll enjoy.

  9. Miss Ifi says:

    It was a big challenge and I am sad you didn’t really liked to bake it, however it looks GREAT!!! I mean the swirlies look so pretty *keeps on munching on your bread* nice!!! and Congrats!!

  10. peabody says:

    If you spray a little water into the oven before you bake and then about 10 minutes into the baking process it will help you achieve your crunchier crust.

  11. Baking Soda says:

    This is a tough one to start with, don’t let it get to you and just go on like you intend to. Good luck (and yes, it looks good :-))

  12. Ivonne says:

    Linda,

    I think your bread is gorgeous! I love that swirl!

  13. Ah well, a learning experience. I don’t think one is meant to taste the potatoes. They are there to add moisture to the dough.

  14. April says:

    Oh…this looks wonderful!

  15. Maryann says:

    You did a great job! I love the ingredients in your filling 🙂

  16. Annemarie says:

    I’m impressed that you’ve come through on the other side of Potato Bread Frustration (or PBF for short – I think it’s a known syndrome) and are thinking of tackling more breads. I do think yours looks fabulous despite the hassles.

  17. Andrea says:

    I love your idea for making a swirl bread out of it. The filling sounds yummy! Hopefully your next bread making experience will be better for you!

  18. laurie says:

    You did a fantastic job! Your bread looks gorgeous. Sorry it gave you problems though. I know all about baking with small children and its wicked hard at time. Great job sticking it out!

  19. Jaay says:

    Your bread looks great! I liked the potato bread, but I definitely didn’t love it. I don’t expect it will be a repeat for me either, it was quite labor intensive and sticky, no matter how heavily I floured my hands and the board I was kneading on.

  20. I love the look of the swirl in your bread, it is think but did not separate either. Toppings look delicious also! How crazy trying to bake *this* bread with a little one! Great job!

  21. Christina says:

    Sounds like a really great filling. I haven’t ever thought of grinding up nuts for a savory filling before, but if it works for sweet stuff and yours came out really well, I need to try it. Great job with your focaccia, and I hope you keep making bread because it really is a joy once you get it down.

    Christina

  22. monica says:

    don’t give up! your bread is gorgeous and you did a wonderful job! i love the idea of a savory filling, too…

  23. Bruno says:

    Linda,

    Your bread looks very tasty! I’m glad your frustrations didn’t turn you off to bread making.

    Bruno

  24. Julie says:

    Your bread looks stunning with the rolled filling–very tasty! I’m sorry it didn’t give you the results you were looking for. Perhaps spritzing your loaf with water at the beginning of baking will yield better results?

  25. Farhan says:

    Dear Linda, I;m sure you will learn to love making bread. For crusty bread, you should bake it with a tray of water to create steam. I find the “sponge method” excellent for making bread as you don’t have to worry about it not rising or adding too much flour as the yeast has matured in the rising proces. Don’t be scared of the dough, just do what you like and be confident. Please see this post and try the recipe when you’re in the mood!
    http://happygrub.wordpress.com/2007/08/02/kaiser-roll/

  26. Gabi says:

    Don’t give up! There is a huge world of bread to bake out there!
    Your bread turned out lovely-just beautiful! I agree this dough was a pain to hand knead- there are many that are much more pleasurable! I may try it again with my stand mixer!
    Good luck!
    xoxo
    Gabi

  27. Lisa says:

    Holy cow Linda!

    You did an AMAZING job! I mean.. for someone who didn’t think things were going well.. wow. I am drooling over your bread.. even though the rolls didn’t happen, I love the idea of this bread sliced and toasted – and the ingredients for your filling would totally make the bread for me.. YUM!

    Am so gosh darn proud of you =)

    xoxo

  28. Dolores says:

    I’m sorry this recipe didn’t work out better for you, but I’m glad you enjoyed the end result on some level. On to December!

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