Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Bread Baking Day #17, Bread with Potatoes!

The staff of life meets the humble potato in this month's Bread Baking Day challenge.
Bread Baking Day #17, Bread and Potatoes, is hosted by none other than that fabulous babe; Lien of Notitie van Lien.
Always wanted to try a bread with spuds in it? Now's the chance!

This was my first time baking bread with potatoes, and a good opportunity for me to try another recipe from The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book - after chipping a tooth on the Vollkornbrot in '08. (Oops! We all must suffer for our art, I guess.)
All is forgiven with Laurel though, this bread turned out light, fluffy and delicious.
Actually, I was surprised at how light it was, given that there were no white flours in it. That must have been thanks to the potato - definitely worth baking with again.

Van Gogh's The Potato Eaters, 1885
He deliberately painted the peasants coarse and ugly to represent the common people.
Depressed now? Try this recipe for potato wine! That should lift your spirits.

Potato Rye Bread - The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book
1 good-sized potato, about 1/2 pound (225 g) pared and cooked
Cooking water from the potato
1/2 cup yogurt (120 ml)
2 tbsp oil (30 ml)
2 tsp active dry yeast (1/4 oz or 7 g)
1/2 cup warm water (120 ml)
3 cups whole rye flour (385 g) (I used 2 cups rye flour and one cup brown rice flour, because I ran out of rye - nice results though)
4 cups whole wheat flour (600 g)
2 1/2 tsp salt (14 g)
1/2 tsp fennel seeds (I used 1 tsp, I like fennel)
Additional water, about 1 cup

Mash the potato. Add enough additional water to the potato water to make 1 1/2 cups. Mix together the potato, yogurt, and oil.
Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water.
Mix the flours, salt, and seeds, then stir in the potato mixture and the yeast. Use some of the additional water also, if necessary, to make a very stiff dough. Knead the dough for about 20 minutes, incorporating the extra 1 cup water (or more potato water) gradually as you go along, until the dough is soft, supple, and smooth.
Form the dough into a ball and place it smooth side up in the bowl. Cover and keep in a warm, draft-free place. After about an hour and a half, gently poke the center of the dough about 1/2 inch deep with your wet finger. If the hole doesn't fill in at all or if the dough sighs, it is read for the next step. Press flat, form into a smooth round, and let the dough rise once more as before. The second rising will take about half as much time as the first.
Press the dough flat and divide in two. Round it and let it rest until relaxed, then deflate and shape into pan or hearth dusted with corn meal. (I used two pyrex loaf pans) Let rise in a warm, humid, draft-free place until the dough slowly returns a gently made fingerprint.
Bake about an hour at 350f.

Much thanks to Zorra from Kochtopf AKA 1x Umr├╝hren bitte for creating Bread Baking Day.
This bread is going Yeastspotting with Susan of Wild Yeast. (Voted one of the 50 best food blogs!)