Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Streusel Potato Cake (Kartoffel Kuchen)

 The Bread Baking Babes can be doughy at times, it's true - but we are also kind of sweet!

And to celebrate this sweetness, Tanna has challenged us to a yeasted coffee cake starring - potatoes! Not what you think of when you think of coffee cake, maybe, but potatoes give dough a beautifully soft and tender texture. And the Babes are all about soft and tender. Except when we're not. Moving on!

Bread is, of course, a living thing. Each ingredient, atmospheric conditions, and oven-related idiosyncrasies will all affect your loaves. This loaf (these loaves) proved challenging indeed. The dough is wet, like a stiff batter, and the initial proposed baking time of 20 minutes seemed quite, um, brief. Each Babe worked around these conditions in her own way - here's what I did:

I halved the recipe and got 2 good sized cakes. I baked each in small (6"x7" across the top) CorningWare casserole dishes, sprayed with cooking spray, lined with 2 strips of parchment for easy lifting out, and sans lids. 
I didn't add any extra flour, but treated it more like a batter and used my stand mixer with a dough hook for the mixing. I made mine in one day, so did the regular risings - not the fridge retardings.
I added in the proposed almonds (just by handful) for the streusel (of which I did just the regular amount) and a couple of handfuls of fresh cranberries into the batter for the last rise - for colour and a flavour pop. 
Mine baked for the 20 minutes... and then another 20. I turned them around and threw a sheet of foil loosely over them after the half-time. They turned out great! I'm glad I added the cranberries, a wonderful foil to the sweetness.

We'd love to see your spin on the Streusel Potato Cake, check out Tanna's post to find out how you can be a Bread Baking Spuddy Buddy this month!

Streusel Potato Cake (Kartoffel Kuchen)
Recipe Adapted from: One Potato, Two Potato by Roy Finamore
Yield: 2 ten-inch round cakes; 4 eight-inch round cakes
adapted recipe and notes below are from Bread Baking Babe Tanna


For the Cake:
1 pound russet or all purpose potato, peeled and cubed
8 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
5 cups AP flour
1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
4 tablespoons flax seed meal
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Streusel
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 tablespoons butter, room temp.
3/4 cup walnuts or pecans or almonds
1/3 cup white raisins


1. Cook potatoes until very tender, just falling apart.
Drain and reserve potato water.

2. Ideally: rice the potatoes otherwise mash them.
Combine with butter and 1 3/4 cups warm potato water. Allow butter to melt and water to cool to luke warm.

3. In a standing mixer bowl: mix together the potatoes, potato water & butter, yeast, sugar, eggs and 2 cups of flour.
Beat until smooth. This is VERY liquid at this point.
Cover the sponge with plastic and leave in a warm place until it's bubbling happily.

4. Original recipe allowed 1 hour for this.
I altered this to a 5 hour rest in the fridge.
I'm working on the premise that a coffee cake is a morning thing so I aimed for an overnight rise in the dough with shaping in the AM.

5. Stir in remaining 4.5 cups flour, nutmeg and salt using the dough hook (or strong wooden spoon) for about 5 minutes. Dough should be very smooth. I never got a really smooth dough. I tried using Richard Bertinet's slapping technique for very liquid doughs but didn't really have any success.
I probably added another almost 1 cup of flour here but didn't want to push it anymore than that.
Cover again & leave to rise until doubled.

6. Again, original recipe allowed for 1 hour.
I let this rise overnight.

7. Punch the dough down and turn out onto a lighty floured surface.
Divide the dough in half. If you work quickly while the dough is chilled you can get a reasonable nicely tucked round. As it warms, it'll get more liquid on you.
Shape into two rounds. I did four rounds and used 2 8 inch and 2 10 inch round cake pans. My four cakes were about 2 inches tall.
Original recipe: Place into two 10-inch round cake pans.

8. Preheat oven to 400° at least 20 minutes.

9. For the Streusel - Stir flour, brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and add butter.
Mix together creating a soften mixture with dark color and sticky texture.
Work in the nuts.

10. Sprinkle streusel over the cakes.
When cakes are covered, dimple the cakes with your fingers - much like dumpling foccacia.
Dimpling will bury some of the crumbs and leave others on the top.

11. Cover with plastic.
Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, taking about 45 minutes.

12. BAKE Bake cakes at 400° 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool on rack … but not cold … this is too good warm.
This is beautiful toast!
Freeze the second cake if you can get it to the freezer before it's gone.

Tanna's Notes:

My 1 pound of potatoes, cooked then mashed equaled 576 grams of mashed potato
I got lazy here, didn't get out my ricer. Potatoes were perfectly cooked and mashed easily with a fork.

Make as two loaves if you want it tall.
Make into four loaves as I did if you want it lower. My four were something like 2 inches tall.

Double the Streusel if you make this into 4 loaves.
I changed the original recipe from 1 cup AP flour to the oat bran & whole wheat.
I increased the sugar from 3/4 cup to a 1 cup and used brown instead of white … I most always use brown unless it really changes something basic to the outcome; just like the caramel flavor it gives.
I didn't use the raisins but think it would be a lovely addition … might use cranberry with or alone too with a baking. Hummmm, mini chocolate chips anyone?

Original recipe called for 1 package active dry yeast. I used 2 teaspoons. I don't think it would work to cut it any more. Also, original recipes called for dissolving yeast in 1/4 cup potato water. I put all the potato water into the potatoes with mashing and whisk the yeast into flour mix.

This bread has been YeastSpotted!
This week hosted by The Tartine Bread Experiment
 The Bread Baking Babes

Goes great with espresso!