Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Babes Make Potato Chive Bread!

I love chives. They are the first life to poke through the soil after a long, dark winter - just when I am sure spring will never return. I never cease to be amazed that a land left so barren looking by long, cruel frost can once again be made green and effulgent. In my tiny patch of nature, first the chives say hello; then the lily of the valley poke spires through the dessicated looking ground; then buds start to form on the lilacs. Before I know it they are all singing in three part harmony, a celebration of life.

This month our hostess Babe is Sara of I Like to Cook. She has given us a wonderful vegan recipe to try, which uses up any mashed potatoes you might have around and stars fresh garden chives. The recipe only calls for 2 tbsp of chives, a mere whisper. If you are like me, and prefer your foods to bellow instead, greatly increase this amount.

This is a fun, simple, and delicious bread - what are you waiting for?

If you'd like to join us as a Bread Baking Buddy, please email Sara a link to your post by Friday April 30. She'll have a round up posted a few days after that. Sara's email is iliketocook AT shaw DOT ca

Potato Bread with Chives
from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson

"The addition of mashed potatoes gives this bread a moist, dense texture and delicate flavor that is accented by that of the chives. This bread is best eaten slightly warm from the oven on the day it is made. It is also good toasted."

2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar or pure maple syrup
2 Tb corn oil
2 tsp salt
1 cup cold mashed potatoes
1 cup soy milk or other dairy free milk
5 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
2 Tb minced fresh chives

In a large bowl, combine the yeast and 1/4 cup of the water. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, then stir in the remaining 3/4 cup of water, the corn oil and the salt. Mix in the potatos, then stir in the soy milk. Add about half the flour, stirring to combine, then work in the remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Transfer to a lightly floured board.

Lightly flour your hands and work surface. Knead the dough well until it is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes, using more flour as necessary so the dough does not stick. Place in a large lightly oiled bowl and turn over once to coat with oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or lightly oiled piece of plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, lightly oil a large baking sheet and set aside. Punch the dough down and knead lightly. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, sprinkle with the chives, and knead until the dough is elastic and the chives are well distributed, 3 to 5 minutes. Shape the dough into one large or two small round loaves and place on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly and cover with a clean damp towel or lightly oiled plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400'F. Use a sharp knife to cut an X into the top of the loaf or loaves. Bake on the center oven rack until golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes, depending on size. Tap on the bottom of the loaf or loaves - if they sound hollow, the bread is done. Remove from the sheet and let cool slightly on a wire rack before slicing.

The Bread Baking Babes
Click on each link to see how they fared with the Potato Bread with Chives!

This bread has been Yeastspotted.