Monday, November 26, 2007

Po-tay-toh, po-taaah-toh bread dough goodness!

I enjoy baking with yeast and lament the fact that I don't get to do it enough. So I'm super duper happy that November's Daring Bakers challenge is the Potato Bread. Thanks to this month's host, Tanna, I got to play around with yeasty dough! Yippee!

Thus far in my 4-month-old membership to this wonderful group of bakers, I think the potato bread challenge is the one that allows our creative juices to flow the most. This is because not only can we make potato bread, we can use the dough for many other purposes, as long as it's savory. In other words, Tanna encouraged us to go crazy, which is awesome! Haha!

Adapted from Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid's book, Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World suggestions for the use of the potato dough are bread, rolls and foccacia. I decided to make foccacia and bread.

Due to the large variation of amount of potatoes and flour that could be used (with less potatoes being recommended for beginners), I used the the least recommended amount of potatoes and added approximately the lower range amount of flour. This resulted in an super sticky dough that was quite difficult to handle. Nevertheless, I managed to use a third of the dough for a foccacia, which I baked in a jelly roll pan that has been greased with olive oil. Now, I didn't go as crazy as I wanted to with the foccacia topping only because I was limited with ingredient availability and it was too damn cold to go out and get some. I ended up sprinkling my beautiful foccacia with rosemary, salt, caramelized onions and pine nuts. Here's what it looks like before I put it in the oven.
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And this is what it looked like once baked.
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The foccacia turned out to be soft and pillowy with a moist crust. It was a very delicious dough! The toppings were quite good too, although maybe I should've toasted the nuts and NOT caramelize the onions. Baking the caramelized onions made them a bit burned and I'm sure I overconsumed those yummy carcinogenic bits of onion. I enjoyed the foccacia with a teriyaki chicken breast salad. They made wonderful partners for dinner :)
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The potato bread was a bit of a disaster for me. Once the dough rose, the top layer got stuck to the plastic wrap that I used to cover it while proofing. And then, I realized only after the bread was done, that I forgot to slash the top of the bread. So my bread turned out rather crappy. It didn't even rise beautifully in the oven. Boohoo!
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Overall, I enjoyed baking with yeast, though I wish my potato bread didn't turn out to be such a bomb! In retrospect, I added way too little flour. I suppose getting a potato bread dough of good consistency will take some trial and error. But I was really happy with the way the foccacia turned out. It was an awesome challenge and now I challenge you to check out the other DBers' creations here! Let me just warn you that your stomach might start growling at the sight of their breads!

25 comments:

Courtney said...

man your focaccia looks fab, glad it went well with you dinner. too funny about the bread, looks good though

chronicler said...

It's a good first effort! Your focaccia looks wonderful. Bread gets easier every time you make it and the next time you do this recipe will build your confidence more and more.

breadchick said...

Great job on the challenge. Your foaccia does look perfect!

creampuff said...

I'm sorry it didn't turn out exactly the way you wanted it to. Your focaccia was lovely so you did a great job!

Julius said...

I found this recipe challenging!

Your focaccia looks great. :)


Julius from Occasional Baker

FoodieFroggy said...

wow ! Your focaccia is really something !
Anne

Peabody said...

At least the focaccia turned out fabulous!

Deborah said...

I was afraid my onions would burn, too, but they didn't too bad. The foccacia was great, wasn't it!?!

Tartelette said...

The focaccia looks delicious even if the top got a little hotter than you would have liked. Great job!

Christina said...

Good job, nonetheless! Your focaccia looks great.

Definitely add more flour next time, as that's what I did on my second try and it came out much better.

Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

Sheltie Girl said...

Your bread turned out beautifully.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Gretchen Noelle said...

Your foccacia looks incredible! My plastic was stuck to my first batch as well, seems like the whole loaf deflated as a result!

chronicler said...

Oh man that focaccia! I'd skip the bread thing and make that all the time! Very nice!

April said...

It all looks great!

Jen Yu said...

I'm sorry about your loaf, but hey, you got some good looking focaccia out of it! Personally, I think the focaccia was my favorite. You did a great job. *pat on the back... then picking bits of sticky dough off your shirt...* ;)

-jen at use real butter

Simona said...

I think each one of us learned a little something by making the challenge, which is what makes it so fun. I like the idea of pine nuts on the focaccia.

Fruit tart said...

Your focaccia and chicken salad look beautiful together! Yum!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wonderful looking! Great job!

cheers,

Rosa

Butta Buns said...

Overcaramelized or not, that focaccia is excellent! I love your combo of pine nuts and rosemary with the onions.

BB
buttabuns.wordpress.com

iCook2live said...

Sorry about your loaf. But it probably would have been good with some of that roasted garlic you did.

Bruno said...

Maria, you baked a delicious looking focaccia! Great job!

Julie said...

Your focaccia looks great paired with that salad! And your bread doesn't look that bad. How'd it taste?

Andrea said...

I like your idea for using caramelized onions on the focaccia. That sounds so good!

Dolores said...

I think your fabulous focaccia MORE than makes up for the potato loaf... you had some success AND you learned something in the process. That's a challenge worth taking.

glamah16 said...

I'm a bad neighbor just finding( I couldn't remember your blog name and your profile wouldnt redirect me to it) and getting to this. Ilove carmelized onions. It all looks good to me.

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