Saturday, February 21, 2009

{Adventures in Yeast} #7 - My First Kneaded Bread! Potato + 3 Wheat Flours

You can see a little piece of potato in the middle of the bread!
I couldn't be more excited about this bread if I made it myself. Wait - I did! This is my first honest-to-gosh bread that I made entirely by hand, stirring the dough with a wooden spoon and kneading it on the countertop! The first time I had to judge by the feel of the bread how much additional flour to knead in (about a cup).

And it turned out!!!

I've put a passel of sticky notes on the pages of my Fanny Farmer Baking Book. One recipe I marked was for "Potato-Broth Bread." It actually uses mashed potatoes in addition to the water that they are cooked in. According to the book,
"The starch in the mashed potatoes and potato water makes these loaves light, moist, and high."
This sounds like my kind of bread so I bookmarked the recipe.

As I was browsing through the yeasty-blogosphere this week I came across the announcement for this month's Bread Baking Day #17 - the theme is "Bread and Potatoes." I pushed the Fanny Farmer recipe to the top of my yeast list so I could participate. The theme's rules state that the bread must have potatoes; potato water alone isn't enough. I was glad that even though the cookbook calls this bread "Potato-Broth Bread" it does have actual potatoes.

Although the recipe is written for a white bread, I felt pretty sure that I could add some whole grain flour, so that's what I did. I also used instant yeast rather than active dry, and halved the recipe to bake one loaf rather than two. My adaptation of the recipe is below.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- The potatoes in my cupboard were getting a little sprouty and a little soft. I'd read that they would firm up when cooked, and, sure enough, they did revive as I began to boil them, getting downright crunchy in the hot water. Of course they then softened as they were cooked through.

- I probably should have added some liquid when mashing the potatoes, because they were a bit lumpy. Some potato lumps came through to the finished bread, but they were very soft so didn't mar the taste of the loaf.

- In mixing the dough, I used about half KA all purpose flour and about a third KA White Whole Wheat. The remainder was Wheat Montana red whole wheat flour that I ground at a local market. It is a coarse grind, and gives a nice rough texture to the bread.

- I used about a cup of additional all purpose flour as I kneaded the dough.

- A large pyrex loaf pan was perfect for this bread.

- The bread rose very high - about 4 1/2 inches tall at the center.

the verdict:

The potato made for a tender and moist bread - yet at the same time it was somewhat hearty because of the whole wheat flours. It was fantastic toasted. My husband, the toast aficionado, said this is the best bread I've baked to date.

Needless to say, I'll be making this one again! Next time I think I'll increase the percentage of the red whole wheat flour.

requisite buttered toast picture!
This month's Bread Baking Day is hosted by Lien of Lien's Notes/ Notitie van Lien. The roundup should be posted around March 3, so hop over to Lien's site and check out all the cool and creative potato-y breads. I'm also sending this to Susan at YeastSpotting, a weekly compilation of wonderful yeast creations.

I'll be out of internet range when the roundup is posted, so forgive me for not coming round and commenting on the various potato breads. I'll try to catch up the following week when I get near a computer!

Also, if any of you happen to be counting, I'm posting my yeast adventures out of order. I baked 4 new yeast recipes in a week's time, and am posting this one now in order to submit it to February's BBD.

the recipe:

Potato Bread with Three Wheat Flours
adapted from The Fanny Farmer Baking Book

yield: one 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf

1 1/2 cup warm potato water
1/2 cup warm or room temperature mashed potato
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 T butter, softened (3/4 oz)
1 T sugar
scant 1 tsp instant yeast
3 3/4 - 4 1/4 c. flour (I used 1 1/2 cups all purpose, 1 cup white whole wheat, 1/2 cup coarsely ground red whole wheat for the initial dough and 1 cup of all purpose kneaded into the dough)

1. Mix potato water, mashed potatoes, salt, butter, and sugar and beat to blend well.

2. Stir yeast into 3 cups of flour. Add this mixture to the potato mixture and beat vigorously.

3. Add enough flour to make a manageable dough; turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for a minute or so.

4. Let rest for 10 minutes.

5. Resume kneading, adding just enough additional flour to keep the dough from being too sticky to handle, until smooth and elastic. (this took about a cup of additional flour for me)

6. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until double in bulk.

7. Punch the dough down, then shape into a loaf. Place in greased loaf pan, cover loosely, and let rise to the top of the pan.

8. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. (I baked about 45 minutes, until an instant read thermometer registered 190 degrees)

9. Remove from pan and let cool on rack.


Lien said...

Nancy my compliments on this amazing looking loaf! I think yoú've been bitten by the bread bug, making wonderful breads. It looks so high and fluffy wonderful. Thanks for participating in BBD 17!

Steph said...

Nancy, that's amazing!! I have a hard enough time using the machine to make bread and you did this by hand! My mom and grandmother who make bread also use the cooked potato trick too.

Megan said...

Very impressive - it looks perfect!

Di said...

Nice job, Nancy! I've been wanting to make some sort of potato bread. I'll have to add this recipe to the list. I've gotten lazy--I usually use my KA to knead rather than doing it by hand.

Audrey said...

(Nuts...I commented here earlier today and I don't know what happened, so forgive me if I end up saying all this twice.) This looks absolutely perfect, and absolutely wonderful. I love potato bread, and I'm guessing that it's even better when it's enriched with whole wheat flours. As you've seen by now, I was (coincidentally) baking with yeast and potatoes today too! This book is on my shelf, too, and it's one of my favorites. Maybe we can bake from this one together sometime, too.

Audrey said...

me again...thank you for pointing out those two bread baking events! Someone else has already sent my recipe to YeastSpotting, but I couldn't resist joining you for Bread Baking Day!

Anonymous said...

Very nicely done! What an excellent texture on the bread. Thanks for joining YeastSpotting!

pam said...

What a beautiful loaf of bread!

Reeni said...

It turned out terrific! Lovely texture and such a high top!

dharmagirl said...

That's one gorgeous loaf of bread, Nancy! You're inspiring me to tackle a real yeast bread by hand...(today I started making a King Cake, but used the KA to knead the dough).

Cathy said...

It looks perfect, Nancy -- looks like you hit a knead bread home run your first time out! This had to make insanely delicious toast. I'm eager to give this one a try once I am ready to take the next step in yeast baking!

Leslie said...

Wow! What a satisfying achievement!

Elle said...

! Congrats on doing it all by hand, too. Also thanks for the heads up about BBD with potatoes.

Matt's Kitchen said...

You are definitely making me want to try breads despite my history of bad experience with yeast. What a beautiful loaf of bread! I think what I find appealing about making homemade bread is the idea of becoming almost self-sufficient. Being able to whip up something so delicious and basic is, to me, the best part of being a home cook or baker.


Amanda said...

How wonderful!! I just baked bread yesterday morning and while it came out delicious, I think I overbaked it, the crust was too hard :-PYours looks SO GOOD!!

Oh BTW i've started a new blog event called Thrifty Thursdays if you are interested in blogging along! :)

Elyse said...

This is a bread worth being proud of! It looks delicious, and you kneaded it all yourself!! Yummy...can't wait to try my hand at this!

NKP said...

It looks great! Congratulations on such a successful looking loaf!

Maria said...

I could go for a slice or two! Nice job on the bread, it looks so hearty and delicious!

Anonymous said...

Your loaf looks great. I can't believe you made it all by hand. I love baking bread, but I've only used my KA mixer or cuisenart. Good for you!

Pam said...

Looks like a perfect loaf of bread to me. Delicious!

Unknown said...

Nancy- first, thanks so much for your comment on my blog. I have recently been bitten by the "bread making bug" and loved your potato bread. Your explanations and descriptions are really helpful. Definitely putting that at the top of my list! I enjoy reading your blog!

Anonymous said...

This looks like a great loaf of bread. I find bread to be so satisfying to make, like I have accomplished something. At least during lent you will have some extra time to devote to baking of the yeasty kind! :) I will be starting my potato bread for bread baking day tonight!

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Potato breads are so soft and yours looks amazing.
Love the texture and the fact that its risen so well.

Michelle said...

What a gorgeous loaf of bread! I love baking in glass, it makes such a difference in the rise.

I've got an award for you and it's in my Brown Bubble Frosting post. You can pick it up any time.

Anonymous said...

That looks absolutely delicious!!! I'd love to have that buttered piece of bread right now! And thanks for the heads up about this! I'm going to make it this weekend so I can make that March deadline! I am now obsessed with bread baking!!!

pepsakoy said...

It looks fab ! I'm sure it tastes great as well..

Elizabeth said...

What fabulous looking bread. And you say this is your first kneaded bread? Bravissima!! I wish my sandwich-like loaves turned out looking like that!


P.S. Many thanks for coming in to comment on my rye bread even though it is Lent.

zorra said...

Congrats, well done. I'm to lazy to knead by hand. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Nancy, way to go!! I hope you realize that once you make your first loaf and second and third will come very soon lol. Look at me I can't stop! Great job!

Anonymous said...

That's a great looking loaf! I'll have to try making it myself. I love good toast!

GStaples said...

You did a great job! I love to knead the bread dough myself, isn't it fun?

Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen said...

Your bread looks incredible! I have been working on finding a great sandwich bread recipe for our everyday bread. I am going to try your next!