Monday, November 26, 2007

Daring Bakers - Tender Potato Bread



I have been eagerly awaiting this very day in November when I could finally announce to the world - I am a Daring Baker!!! I am thrilled to have joined this marvelous group of over 400 dare-devil baking bloggers. I have been a long time lurker, admiring their skills from afar and secretly wishing I was in on the fun. Well now I am and boy - this was a wild ride! This month's host, Tanna of My Kitchen in Half Cups challenged us with the task of making Tender Potato Bread. As a novice bread baker, I must admit that I was somewhat intimidated. But this is what being a Daring Baker is all about - trying new techniques and recipes, and taking risks. This challenge forced me to try a recipe that I never would have chosen on my own and for that, I thank you Tanna!

The recipe for the Tender Potato Bread makes enough dough for a large loaf and then some. For this challenge we all had to follow the recipe and instructions for the dough to a T but once that was accomplished it was a free for all in the creativity department. First of all, let me tell you about this dough. They said it would be sticky - well that was the understatement of the year! Just when I thought I'd added enough flour, another part of the dough would be stuck to the counter. I added about 7 cups in total out of the 8 permitted and I think that it was just right for the amount of potato I used. Oh, and since I didn't think to purchase a bench scraper for this challenge, my trusty Dutch cheese slicer (kaas schaaf) stepped up to the task!

The first thought I had when I read this recipe was that cheddar and chives would be a great addition to the dough. I decided to incorporate them in the form of a swirl in the large loaf. I flattened the dough into a large oval and then spread the tiny diced cheddar cubes and chives all over. Then I rolled it all up and placed it seam-side down in a buttered loaf pan. Naturally, I didn't quite plan my time efficiently the day I decided to take on this challenge. I had made dinner plans with friends and didn't have time to finish it between the 40 minute second rise in the pan and the 50 minutes it would take to bake it! Oy Vey! In a panic, I turned to my fellow Daring Bakers and asked their advice, and sure enough they came to the rescue. I was told that I could retard the dough by allowing it to rise in the fridge and then allow it to come to room temperature before baking it the next morning. So into the fridge it went and to my delight, it rose beautifully. I baked it early in the morning and let me just say, there is little else as comforting as the smell of freshly baked bread! The crust was lovely - browned and crisp. This gave way to the a pillow of potato flecked dough, soft yet substantial. The cheddar cheese and chives added a perfect hint of flavour. Not only is this bread a winner when it's fresh from the oven, it's delicious when toasted.

Tender Potato Bread with a Cheddar and Chive Swirl


With the additional dough, I decided to make a focaccia. As this dough required less time (20 mins.) for the second rise and about 25 minutes for baking, I was able to finish it before heading out that night. I flattened the dough into a rectangle and brushed it with extra virgin olive oil. I sprinkled on some sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and rosemary. I then added caramelised shallots, kalamata olives and artichoke hearts. The focaccia was out of this world! Tender dough, puffed and golden with a savoury kick in each bite. My stomach is rumbling just at the thought of it...I guess it's time to break out the flour and yeast again!

Potato Focaccia with Carmelised Shallots, Kalamata Olives and Artichoke Hearts


33 comments:

breadchick said...

Wonderful looking loaves of bread and great way to start your career as a Daring Baker! Nice job on your first challenge.

*fanny* said...

Oh your bread looks lovely. Welcome to the daring bakers!
xxx

marias23 said...

Congrats on completing your first challenge. You did such an awesome job! I especially adore your cheese and chives combo. Now, why didn't I think of that before? :)

marias23 said...

Oh, btw, my dough got stuck on my counter too, haha! That's a creative use of your cheese slicer ;)

I ended up scrubbing the sticky dough with the rougher side of a sponge.

Meryl said...

Your photographs are gorgeous! I'm so envious of your chive-tying skills!

Merav said...

Thank you all! I am so pleased to be among great bakers such as yourselves ;-)

Gigi said...

Just gorgeous! Love all the herbs.

Peabody said...

Yum, cheddar and chives...what a great choice.

Jen Yu said...

That looks delicious! Congratulations on a great job and welcome to the Daring Bakers.

-jen at use real butter

Augustina said...

your foccacia looks delicious!

I(dot)J said...

I said it before and I'll say it again... I uber love what you did with the tpb.

Simona said...

I just love that photo with chives. Great job!

Tartelette said...

Congrats on your first challenge, you did a fantastic job! Love the look of the focaccia. Cheers to many more accomplishments.

Splurge Sisters said...

Oh my word, the photos are drool-worthy!

Dolores said...

I considered the possibility of cheddar and dill... I think your selection of chives is genius. Thanks for sharing your experience... and welcome!

Cherry said...

Mhmmmm cheddar and chives on bread! Heavenly!

Julie said...

Congratulations on your first challenge! Your staging looks absolutely gorgeous!

Bev and Ollie "O" said...

I love cheese and chives, what a great combination.

Anne said...

The loaf looks so yummy and I love the flavours of your focaccia...great job!

Sheltie Girl said...

Your breads look wonderful. I love the look of your focaccia.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

deeeeeeena said...

I can't get the link for the recipe to work....please help!

kitten said...

Your focaccia looks glorious! Great job, glad you had fun.

Carrie said...

Congrats on your first challenge! Beautiful bread!

Claire said...

I love the swirl. SO creative. BTW, I love that kind of cheese slicer. It's what I grew up with; I got one last year for Christmas! :-)

cupcaketastic said...

Welcome to the party. Congratulations your bread looks scrummy and makes me want to bake it again.

chronicler said...

MMMMM. Cheddar and chive bread. A favorite of mine! Good choice for the challenge!

Deborah said...

Both of these sound amazing!! I never thought to put artichoke hearts on the foccacia - what a great idea!

Gabi said...

Lovely bread and Welcome to the Daring Bakers!
xoxo
Gabi

Mindy said...

Great, GREAT

love the chives, did that on my foccacia with Asiago as well-

Yeah and the dough was sort impossible- I just tried to enjoy it...

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Delighted you had such great results!
Welcome to the group. Thanks so much for baking with us this month.

Christina said...

Beautiful pictures and great job on your first challenge.

Welcome to the DBers!

Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

Molly Loves Paris said...

Your focaccia looks fabulous. And I don't even like focaccia.

creampuff said...

Yayy! Congratulations on your first DB challenge. You did a great job!