Monday, 26 November 2007

Daring Bakers: One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four










Yes it’s that time once again, time for another Daring Bakers Event. In case you hadn’t already guessed, this month’s challenge included potatoes! Four to be exact.

Tanna from ‘My Kitchen in Half Cups’ was this months host and she selected Tender Potato Bread from Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. I wholeheartedly agree with the title, you certainly had to develop an ‘art’ for dealing with this bread, talk about sticky.

It was rather nice to have a challenge involving a baked savoury good as all my others have been sweet so far. I have never made potato bread before either and so was looking forward to it and yet I also found this daunting, especially since I had heard from other bakers that the dough was a bit hard to work with. It got to two days before the publication date and I knew I had to just knuckle down and do it, and what I lot of fun I had.

I was rather startled by how sloppy the potato base was, before adding any flour, but after adding the first of many mountains of flour, it did begin to resemble more of a dough. When it cam to turning the dough out onto the work surface, we were instructed to kneed it and work in additional flour. At this point I would have had more luck kneading a cake dough. It was so soft and sticky. I added more and more flour and it slowly transformed into a mountain of smooth stretchy dough. With relief I left it to prove and began to remove sticky mashed potatoes for all around my kitchen.

After proving, the dough is divided in half, one half was turned into a large loaf and the remaining half we were free to choose between making rolls or focaccia. We were also allowed to ‘unleash the Daring Baker within’ by flavouring or filling the dough as we saw fit.

For my loaf, I pressed it out into a rectangle and then spread it with a layer of rocket and pine nut pesto, before rolling up and placing in the loaf tin, proving and then baking.

With the remaining dough I chose to make focaccia and incorporated sun dried tomato pesto and olives into the dough, which also tinted it a lovely orange colour.

I was thrilled with the results. The loaf rose well and developed a lovely thin and crisp golden brown top with the swirl of pesto just peaking through. The bread felt quite heavy when I lifted it from the tin but was lovely and springy when pressed. Upon slicing, the dough is dotted with air holes and is extremely moist and soft in texture. It still retains a slightly sticky mouthfeel which reminded me strongly of gnocchi, not surprising really, considering they contain the same ingredients of potato and flour. The swirls of pesto make an attractive finish and add a wonderful flavour without the need of any additional toppings. It was a great accompaniment to a big bowl of lunchtime soup the following day.

The focaccia too turned out well, with a light crispy surface and a moist fluffy interior. The sun dried tomatoes added pretty orange streaks throughout the dough, although, I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t really taste them. The olives however gave strong bursts of musky saltiness whenever I bit into one. I think it would be great split in half and turned into a fancy cheese on toast.
I really enjoyed this months challenge and I loved how individual and unique the potato made the breads, so different from normal. I now just have the challenge of cleaning my entire kitchen. I seem to have got splodges of mashed potato and gluey fingerprints over every available work surface, still it wouldn’t be half so much fun if I didn’t get to make so much mess along the way.

Visit Tanna’s blog for the recipe and don’t forget to check out what the other Daring Bakers have created.

41 comments:

Rachel said...

The loaf looks wonderful!

Gigi said...

Your bread came just lovely. I wanted to make focaccia, but I didn't and now I'm just kicking myself. The pesto swirl looks awesome.

Meeta said...

Simply awesome. All your wonderful creations look great! Well done!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your focaccia and loaf look really wonderful! Well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

Mila said...

liked a lot of the pesto ideia!! difinitly a keeper!!
cobgratulations... the breads look very tasty!

sunita said...

Both the breads look great... I love that swirl :-)Well done!

Courtney said...

love your breads, they look great

April said...

The bread looks wonderful!

Megan said...

It looks like you rose to the challange with very good results.

Tartelette said...

I love the idea of a pine nut and pesto loaf! Well done, another success!

Barbara said...

Your focaccia looks wonderful. I also made a big mess but my husband cleaned up after me.

breadchick said...

The loaf is fabulous looking and the focaccia looks super tasty. Great job on this month's challenge!

Shawnda said...

Great choice to go with pesto!

marias23 said...

Wow, that touch of pesto is a great idea! Wish I had done something like that too :)

Meryl said...

Mmmm pesto bread! What a good idea!

Deborah said...

It was quite a challenge to clean the kitchen afterwards, wasn't it!! Both your loaf and your foccacia look amazing.

DawnsRecipes said...

Ok, wow! I wish I had thought to make a pesto bread! That sounds fantastic!

Peabody said...

Great looking focaccia bread!

Julie said...

What fantastic looking bread.
I wouldn't mind having a go, but feel I might need stronger arm muscles than I have!

Jen Yu said...

I love that pesto, it sounds so good! Your breads came out very nicely. It's great to see how startled so many of the DBers (including myself) were by the stickiness and general lack of structure in the dough the first time we kneaded - ha ha!

-jen at use real butter

SweetDesigns said...

Your bread looks great, that focaccia looks so very yummy!!

I(dot)J said...

Wow.. thanks some wonderful looking bread.

Cherry said...

I'm salivating at the thought of pesto and bread! Great job!

Dolores said...

Your bread came out beautifully. Like many of the others who've commented, I love the pesto idea!

Anne said...

The loaf looks absolutely yummy! Great job!

Sheltie Girl said...

You did a wonderful job on your bread!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Julie said...

This recipe really was fun! I'm glad you thought so, too. Your bread looks delicious! Rocket pesto sounds awesome!

Eva said...

Aaah, pesto, another great addition! Isn't it wonderful to see so many variations!

Clumsy Cook said...

Great job.. I'm also enjoying the individuality in everyone's breads. Yours look fab!

cupcaketastic said...

Your loaf looks devine, love the swirl. As for the foccacia that too looks delish, I wish I had some of mine left to munch on. All these blogs are making me hungry.

linda said...

Lovely with the pesto!

chronicler said...

Wowzer! Simply wonderful looking bread! Very creative.

Gabi said...

Lovely loaf and Fabulous Focaccia!
Nice job!
xoxo
Gabi

Bev and Ollie "O" said...

ooh how good does your bread look? VERY! I love the tomato and olive combimation, now I think I will have to try that one out!

Angel said...

Your bread looks so fancy, and tasty.
You are an amazing daring baker!

Cheryl said...

You have all convinced me with these beautiful focaccias to try the recipe again this weekend. Beautifully done.

Bake your cake and eat it too said...

The pesto loaf looks incredible! Can I have a slice? :-)

Johanna said...

Hi Katie - your bread looks delicious - love your pesto filling! Thanks for visiting my blog - I have had a bit of a look at your blog and love your recipes - hope to be back and maybe even try some of your recipes!

Christina said...

Your loaf looks amazing! Very nice rise and the pesto filling you used was a great idea. Great job with both it and the focaccia.

Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

creampuff said...

I love the way you filled that loaf! Your bread turned out beautifully!

Andrea said...

Lovely bread! I really like the sounds of the focaccia!