Saturday, April 24, 2010

Potatoes Al Dente

For some reason I procrastinate. Every month when the new Bread Baking Babes bread is posted I dutifully print out the recipe and then spend a month looking at it. I think about what ingredients I might need to buy, I think about the timing of the recipe and when I can fit it in, and then, at the last possible moment, I bake.

This month I was true to form. A lovely, easy, herbed potato bread. I had potatoes. I had chives. It didn't require an overnight starter or days of babysitting. I just needed to make it. Especially since my husband loves mashed potatoes; I knew he'd love this bread.

So what did I do? I started it yesterday, the day before the posting was due. Also, coincidentally, the same day my husband had a dentist appointment to get fitted for a replacement crown. Our previous dentist biffed his crown and left a pocket where decay was forming. (If you live in my neck of the woods, save yourself lots of time, money, and pain and never go to a dentist named Cooley.)

Hub's appointment was at 10:30, so I thought I might be able to get the bread done in time for him to have some for lunch. At 11:00 he called to say that he would be longer than predicted. The decay was so bad, that they were going to have to pull the tooth.

At 1:30 he called to say that the attempts to pull the tooth were not successful, as the tooth root was fused to the bone, so he was being sent for an emergency visit to an oral surgeon.

At 4:00 he got home, cheeks swollen, in pain. And to add to his torture, the house smelled wonderfully of potato bread with chives. Alas, he got pudding and a smoothie for dinner. Also, there's mashed potatoes....

I'll definitely have to make this bread again so he can enjoy it. The dough is delightful to work with and it gives a loaf (or two) with a beautiful, even, soft crumb and a nice crust. Thanks, Sara, for picking this fun recipe!

To see what the rest of the Babes did this month, visit their blogs (addresses in the sidebar), and if you'd like to be a Baking Buddy and get a badge to proudly display on your blog, you have a week to bake up a loaf, post, and send the URL to Sara.

Potato Bread with Chives
from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson

"The addition of mashed potatos 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 potatos
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.


Bellini Valli said...

Potato seems to make a very tender loaf. My dad used to make his own version many years ago.

Jennifer Jo said...

Your poor, poor husband. Good dentists are hard to come by, I've learned (the hard way).

The bread looks yummy. I just finished off two slices of warm-from-the-oven shredded wheat bread myself. With butter and fig preserves. There's nothing quite like fresh bread...

Baking Soda said...

I just love what potato adds to a dough, do bake again?!
(Also.. I can sooo relate to yr husbands pain... uncomfortably close to feeling his pain, eh.. this week. And last week. And in three weeks again. Yes. You don't want to know.)

katiez said...

Ouch! My teeth hurt just thinking about your poor hubs!
The bread looks lovely, though. You'll just have to make it again ;-))

hobby baker said...

Oh ow! Yes, my mouth hurts in sympathy! Well, potato helps bread stay soft and last longer, maybe it will be okay later on. I'll bet it freezes well...

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Lovely loaf Lynn.

Classic Dentist story ... I'm right there with everybody else. I can feel right with you, well him. Wild how rotten the teeth can make us feel all over.

Kitchen Corner said...

This looks very country bread and pretty! I used potato to make soft bread too! I think this bread must have a soft crumbs. Thanks for sharing!

Abby said...

Ouch. Poor hubs! Bad dentist.

I often buy potato bread because it's just so wonderful; soft but still a bit of chew. Maybe I'll give this a try!

grace said...

i've had a few negative dental experiences, so i can empathize with your hubs. fortunately for me, i love mashed potatoes and smoothies! hope he feels better soon. :)

Ilva said...

Poor poor him! Dentists!
I love how your bread looks, I tried to make a cross like that but that bread had its own will!

Melinda said...

The bread looks wonderful. I would definitely make this.

Poor 'ole Bruce. My current dentist is really good but I just can't shake the remembered terror and pain of the past childhood dentist. If there were grip meters on the dentists chair, I would surely register at the top. I ache all over after a session just because of that!
Hope you are feeling better soon, Bruce.

Julie said...

Oh my, two of my favorite things, potatoes and bread! Can't wait to try this.

Hope your husband is better!!

Elle said...

Hope hubs is feeling better. Great looking bread...must try it.

eatme_delicious said...

I've recently gotten really into baking bread and have lost my fear of kneading! Which is great because now I can add this bread to my list of things to make. It looks seriously amazing. Hope your husband is feeling better!

Lien said...

Your story makes me shiver... dentists... brrrr. Your bread looks wonderful!