« Thanksgiving Yummy: Brining a Turkey 101 | Main | Turkey Noodle Soup »

November 26, 2007

Daring Bakers: Tender Potato Bread


I have joined the Daring Bakers and this months challenge was Tender Potato Bread! The recipe is from Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid and was given by this month's host Tanna of My Kitchen in Half Cups.

Now let's talk about the bread itself! This truly is a delicious bread! You simply have to try it! It can be made into so many different things and nothing is better than a versatile recipe! ;o) Tanna's directions are below and my notes follow.

Tender Potato Bread Sliced

What You'll Need:
4 medium to large floury (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks. (Tanna Note: For the beginner bread baker I suggest no more than 8 ounces of potato; for the more advanced no more than 16 ounces. The variety of potatoes you might want to use would include Idaho, Russet & Yukon gold, there are others.)
4 cups(950 ml) water, reserve cooking water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 ½ cups to 8 ½ cups (1 kg to 1350g) unbleached all-purpose
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (130g) whole wheat flour

Making the Dough (Directions will be for making by hand):

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. (Tanna Note: I have a food mill I will run my potatoes through to mash them.)

Measure out 3 cups(750ml) 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 dough in. Let cool to lukewarm (70-80°F/21 - 29°C) – 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.

Add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest/sit 5 minutes.

Tender Potato Bread Yeast Stage

Note about Adding Yeast: If using Active Dry Yeast or Fresh yeast, mix & stir yeast into cooled water and mashed potatoes & water and let stand 5 minutes. Then add 2 cups of flour to the yeast mix and allow to rest several minutes. If using Instant Dry Yeast, add yeast to 2
cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest/sit 5 minutes.

Sprinkle in 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.
(Tanna Note: At this point you have used 4 cups of the possible 8 ½ cups suggested by the recipe.)

Tender Potato Bread After Frist Knead

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.

Tender Potato Bread After First Rise

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead gently several minutes. It will be moist and a little sticky.

Tender Potato Bread Ready for the Pan

Forming the Bread:
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.

To shape the large loaf:
Butter a 9 x 5 x 2.5 inch loaf/bread pan. Flatten the larger piece of dough on the floured surface to an approximate 12 x 8 inch oval, then roll it up from a narrow end to form a loaf. Pinch the seam closed and gently place seam side down in the buttered pan. The dough should come
about three-quarters of the way up the sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 35 to 45 minutes, until puffy and almost
doubled in volume.

To make a small loaf with the remainder:
Butter an 8x4X2 inch bread pan. Shape and proof the loaf the same way as the large loaf.

To make rolls:
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.

To make focaccia:
Flatten out the dough to a rectangle about 10 x 15 inches with your palms and fingertips. Tear off a piece of parchment paper or wax paper a little longer than the dough and dust it generously with flour. Transfer the focaccia to the paper. Brush the top of the dough generously with olive oil, sprinkle on a little coarse sea salt, as well as some rosemary leaves, if you wish and then finally dimple all over with your fingertips. Cover with plastic and let rise for 20 minutes.

Baking the bread(s):

Note about baking order: bake the flat-bread before you bake the loaf; bake the rolls at the same time as the loaf.

Note about cooling times: Let all the breads cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Rolls can be served warm or at room temperature.

For loaves and rolls:
Dust risen loaves and 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 loaves 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. Place the rolls next to the loaf in the oven.

Bake rolls until golden, about 30 minutes. Bake the small loaf for about 40 minutes. Bake the large loaf for about 50 minutes.

Transfer the rolls to a rack when done to cool. When the loaf or loaves have baked for the specified time, remove from the pans and place back on the stone, tiles or baking sheet for another 5 to 10 minutes. The corners should be firm when pinched and the bread should
sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

For foccaia:
Place a baking stone or unglazed quarry tiles, if you have them, if not use a no edged baking/sheet (you want to be able to slide the shaped dough on the parchment paper onto the stone or baking sheet and an edge complicates things). Place the stone or cookie sheet on a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450°F/230°C.

If making foccacia, just before baking, dimple the bread all over again with your fingertips. Leaving it on the paper, transfer to the hot baking stone, tiles or baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack (remove paper) and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Tender Potato Bread

Dianne's Notes: First off this recipe simply makes a very beautiful dough. It's just perfect!

The recipe said to bake for almost an hour at 400 F. The bread was done after 30 minutes and if I had left it in the oven for an hour it would have been burned to a crisp. If I made this again I would drop the temperature to 350 F and bake for about 45-50 minutes instead of the higher temperature.

On the potato front I ended up with twice what I needed. I think two potatoes would be more apt to the amount needed, but as Tanna mentioned it all is in your perception of what a medium potato might be and I'm sure everyone would look at that differently.

I ended up baking two loaves of bread. A big one and a small one. I braided the bigger one, but it was hard to see in the baked outcome. The smaller loaf was "prettier", but it all tastes the same in the end! ;o)

I would like to try it with one of the more "healthy" potatoes such as sweet potatoes or blue potatoes to see how it would turn out. I would also like to try it with all whole wheat or white whole wheat flour instead of using white flour.

That was fun! I can't wait to see what December's challenge brings! ;o)

Posted by Dianne at November 26, 2007 4:40 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Daring Bakers: Tender Potato Bread:

» Not Your Mama's Mashed Potatoes from Diannes Dishes
As I've mentioned before Jamison is a super picky eater. Meat and potatoes, the occasional fruit and a few vegetables and that's about the extent of what he eats. As a result mashed potatoes are often seen on his... [Read More]

Tracked on May 29, 2008 8:02 AM


Congrats on your first DB Challenge! Your breads look wonderful.

Julius from Occasional Baker

Posted by: Julius at November 26, 2007 5:32 PM

Great job on your first challenge. This was a great dough wasn't it!! Glad to have you with us

Posted by: breadchick at November 26, 2007 5:44 PM

Your loaves look so moist!

Posted by: April at November 26, 2007 8:05 PM

Congrats on your first challenge! Your loaves look so moist and wonderful!

Posted by: April at November 26, 2007 8:08 PM

I loved your bread... ... great job.

Posted by: Iisha at November 27, 2007 12:55 AM

I was defintely delicious! Great job on your first challenge.

Posted by: peabody at November 27, 2007 1:52 AM

Thanks everyone! It was fun AND delicious! ;o)

Posted by: Dianne at November 27, 2007 8:55 AM

Wonderful job!! It looks delicious!

Posted by: Deborah at November 27, 2007 1:12 PM

Very nice bread loaves! Congrats on your first DB challenge!

Posted by: Gretchen Noelle at November 27, 2007 3:44 PM

That looks awesome. I think I can see the little bits of potato in your bread too! Sweet :) Er, I mean Savory ;) Great job on the challenge.

Posted by: Jen Yu at November 28, 2007 12:28 AM

i love your plaited loaf. weell done dianne!

Posted by: abby at November 28, 2007 7:09 AM

Thanks everyone! You guys did an awesome job too! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at November 28, 2007 2:22 PM

Congratulations on your first challenge! Your breads look beautiful. I love the hills and vales of your braided loaf, and I want to camp out in one of the bread nooks from that first shot! Let us know how the recipe goes with whole wheat flours--I'm definitely cheering you on for that one!

Posted by: Julie at November 28, 2007 2:30 PM

Thanks Julie! I will most definitely post any variations I try. I think I may try one again next week if I have time! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at November 28, 2007 4:08 PM

love the braid. I wanted to do knots but didnt want to fight with the dough!

Posted by: MEGAN at November 28, 2007 6:31 PM

love the braid. I wanted to do knots but didnt want to fight with the dough!

Posted by: MEGAN at November 28, 2007 6:32 PM

I thought about doing some cloverleaf knots as rolls for the second item, but I decided to just do another loaf instead. Maybe next time! ;o)

Posted by: Dianne at November 28, 2007 8:42 PM

Your loaves turned out so beautifully. They look delicious. Congratulations on your first DB challenge!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Posted by: Sheltie Girl at November 28, 2007 11:09 PM

Your breads turned out beautiful. The crusts look so appetizing they made me wish I had potato bread for toasts this morning! Great job on the challenge and welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Posted by: Tartelette at November 29, 2007 8:31 AM

Thanks! I really liked the end result of this bread. It made great sandwich bread for left over turkey! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at November 29, 2007 12:40 PM

Beautiful bread- I can't imagine how you managed to plait the one loaf- mine was so soft and unable to support itself.
Great job and congrats on your 1st DB challenge!

Posted by: Gabi at November 29, 2007 12:54 PM

It was a bit tricky, but it seemed to come together. I think the stickiness helped in that it made it stick more to itself. It didn't look very braided once it baked though.

Posted by: Dianne at November 29, 2007 2:37 PM

Dianne, your loaves turned out beautifully!

Posted by: Bruno at November 29, 2007 3:23 PM

Thanks Bruno! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at November 29, 2007 3:37 PM

Great job, the crumb has a great texture and it looks very moist.

Welcome to the DBers!

Posted by: Christina at November 29, 2007 11:06 PM

Thanks Christina! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at November 30, 2007 12:01 PM

Ooooo! Such wonderful braiding! And look at all the nooks and crannies!

Posted by: maria~ at November 30, 2007 2:25 PM

This is definitely the bread for nooks and crannies! I'm going to try it again soon for sure!

Posted by: Dianne at November 30, 2007 2:58 PM

Ooooh! Look at that lovely crumb with the bits of potatoes. Nice job!

Posted by: Ivonne at November 30, 2007 10:19 PM

Thanks Ivonne! This was a great recipes. I'll be making it again! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at December 1, 2007 6:31 PM

Welcome, welcome, welcome! And congratulations on your *beautiful* breads. Like you, I'm looking forward to growing with this recipe, experimenting with different flours, potatoes and add-ins.

Posted by: Dolores at December 3, 2007 3:57 PM

I think this dough has so much potential! I've only made it for the challenge, but I'll most definitely be playing with it some more! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at December 3, 2007 4:40 PM

Leave a comment