This month celebrates the first Birthday of the Daring Bakers group, and my how Lis and Yvonne’s baby has grown wings and started to fly around the world. It has appealed to so many of us, who have wanted to push our own boundries and participate in a shared baking experience, the good and the bad, along the way!
Back to this month though, this months challenge is tender potato bread from Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour and Tradition Around the World by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. I’ve mentioned before that bread making is not my comfort zone, but one of the reasons I wanted to be a Daring Baker was to break past my faltering bread making attempts.
At this time of year (along with just about everybody else…) I have really very little spare time, so it was only yesterday that I managed to fit in this bread, and I was never a student who did her best work under last minute coursework stress! However, it was either give it a go and hope for the best or duck out completely: so here it is.
I’ve baked with potatoes before; I once made potato scones, and they were the most light and tender little scone / biscuits, memorable even though it was so long ago. I remembered the very soft almost light dough. So I was expecting the potato bread dough to be light as well, and it was compared to regular bread. The instructions said it would be a sticky dough – well they weren’t wrong there, I added the uper amount of flour in the recipe and had to use a spatula in one had to ‘knead’ it at it was extremely determined to stick to the work top! I persevered though, and it looked sort of normal, if still very sticky at the end of kneading. I proofed it, knocked it back and tried to shape it. It was more a splodge job than a shape it job! So I splodged (ahem, rustically shaped….) my bread into a round and some rolls, what we would call buns or softies here.
Upon second proofing the ‘formed’ bread was keen to go sideways, and only a little upwards. I am not a confident bread baker (cakes are more my thing!) so I am assuming it was me who did something wrong. I baked them and ended up with definitely European breads, they had the taste and texture of ciabatta, but as this isn’t what they were supposed to be something must have gone amiss somewhere. The buns would make great sandwiches, and the big bread a stuffed bread sandwich, and although they weren’t looking looking, I won’t hold that against them, as the taste was good, crispy outside and nutty with a little wholemeal flour and tender – sweet and savoury with the potatoes inside.
I do like to try things that are not in my normal baking range, as the more I do it the more I learn, it is a real challenge! Thank you to Tanna for choosing this months challenge and if you would like the recipe look here. More Tender Potato Breads on the sites of the Daring Bakers, just click away. Find the recipe here. Thanks you Tanna for a great challenge!