Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Potato and Rosemary Bread


           When it comes to bread baking I don't always pick the most obvious moments to do it. should probably not bake 4 loaves of bread when it's 85 degrees out but instead wait until it's a cool 65 out, like today! I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but I still manged to bake some seriously fantastic loaves while heating the house up like a sauna.

I've baked these loaves twice now..once using sweet potatoes and this morning I made these..using regular potatoes.

   There is something so incredibly satisfying about using a kilos worth (8 cups) of bread flour. I happily dumped the entire package into my big mixing bowl and got started. I admit I was a bit scared when it came to adding in the mashed potatoes. The author mentioned it was going to be messy,wet, and the dough would become in it will fall apart as you knead in the mashed potatoes..but do NOT give up, do NOT add anymore flour then what you need. I promise you this will work out and you will bake up chewy loaves of bread that smell fantastic and will have your family and friends convinced that you bought this at an artisan shop.

You can use a wide range of potatoes here..regular,sweet potato,yam,pumpkin,turnip or squash! What I will mention though is that each one could produce a new texture. The first set of photos I posted is of the sweet potato you can see the dough starts off with a beautiful round shape..then you knead in the sweet potatoes and it looks like a gooey mess. It was wetter than when I used regular potatoes so don't be alarmed if that happens..just flour your surface,hands and everything else really well when it comes to shaping the loaves. If you don't like rosemary then swap it out for an herb that you do like. This was my first time using it in a bread so I cut down the amount incase we weren't fans of it. I ended up using 2 tablespoons instead of the 3-4 and for us that was perfect..anything more and it would have been to much.

The hardest part about this recipe is kneading a kilos worth of bread flour for 10 minutes!!! roll those sleaves up and lets get started!

Potato and Rosemary Bread

1 Kilo (8 cups) White Bread Flour
2-1/2 tsp. Instant Yeast
2 cups Warm Water
1-1/2 TBS Salt
3-4 TBS Fresh Rosemary Needles (or other  fresh herbs of choice)
Mashed Potatoes..Up to about half the volume of the dough

In a large bowl,put all of the ingredients ( except the mached potatoes) and mix together with a wooden spoon. Tip the dough out into the counter and knead well for 10 minutes. Pop the dough back into the bowl,cover with a dry tea towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Pull the dough out of the bowl and gently fold in the potatoes until well incorporated but not completely blended in ( you want to see bits of the potatoes). The dough will be sticky,messy,gooey and it will appear to be falling apart..but don't give up! gently knead it and try not to add any flour during this time..if you must add some do so sparingly. You want a wet dough..wet dough equals chewy artisan type loaves. I pinky promise. Place the dough into a clean large bowl that has been lightly coated with oil and cover with either a tea towel or plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 1-2 hours,until doubled in size ( mine has always doubled within an hour).

Grab two baking sheets and either grease with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper;set aside.

Dust both the surface of your counter top and your hands with flour. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. The dough is going to be really soft but make sure you do not stretch or fold the dough like you normally would because you will ruin this bread. It's super soft so make sure you have enough flour on your hands and on the dough to avoid it sticking to you and shape each portion into a round ball as best you can. Place onto prepared sheets,dust the tops with flour,cover with a dry tea towel and allow to rest 45 mins to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 or 200 celcius. Make a few slashes in the tops of the loaves with a sharp knife or scissors if you like and dust with a bit more flour.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

** When it came to adding in my portion of mashed potatoes this is how I did it. I allowed the bread to rise for the 15 minutes. I then took it out and shaped it into a ball again. I then took my mashed potatoes and laid it next to the dough and kept adding more until I hit the half the size of the dough amount. It's impossible to give an amount of how many potatoes to use since each one and size will yield something differently. If I had to guess I would say maybe something around 2 cups or more of mashed potatoes are needed**

Yield: 4 beatitful round loaves
Source: All you knead is bread