Friday, November 30, 2007

Daring Baker Day - it's my last chance

Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

Because of how busy I have been this month I have stalled long enough on making my daring baker project. I can get so little done with Emily in tow, but I think that bread can be manageable. I have the ingredients, I even own the cookbook the recipe comes from, so what am I waiting for. My dear sweet husband emptied and loaded the dishwasher for me this morning so that I would have a head start on things. We're still working on cleaning up the big stuff from the three dinner parties we had over the Thanksgiving weekend.

But nothing to do but get on with it. Since I own two copies of the book the recipe was from (I have no idea how that happened) I decided to use the book, as my printers are running out of ink, and I didn't want the laptop in the kitchen with Emily. I had noticed somewhere that a beginning baker should use 8 ounces of potato, and a more experienced baker should use 16 ounces, so I went with an 11 ounce potato (10 after I peeled it). By ten this morning I had the potato in the pot and I had Emily asleep by 10:10. So from 10 till 11:15 everything went pretty smoothly. There was only 2 cups of water left when I measured after removing the potato. I smashed up the potato with a pastry blender, and mixed water and potato together in the mixing bowl. It was soon cool enough, and I proceeded to get the rest of the ingredients in, which came to exactly 2 pounds of white flour and 6 oz. of whole wheat flour.

The dough was very wet. I really wish that people would write recipes using weight, as this helps things come out just as expected.

But Emily and I soon had the dough under control and in the bowl to rise. We then had lunch and watched Sesame Street.

The bread was rising faster than I expected (pushing up the tea towel on the top of the bowl, so I commenced to get it in the pans. The dough weighed in at about 77 ounces, so I divided it into three parts, two for loaves and one for rolls.

I didn't put the loaves into the rectangular pans because my family doesn't tend to eat bread when made in that shape. I don't know what to call the pans I used, but I've baked well over 100 loaves in them. Maybe they are called wide French bread pans.

The loaves and rolls came out looking lovely. We started right in on the rolls. Emily promptly began to eat both hers and mine. I had to wrestle mine out of her grip. The whole process took longer than expected because Emily was very very difficult today. She isn't usually like that. She did take a nasty fall last night, or maybe she's teething, or maybe she's coming down with something.By the time Emily left - 5:40 - I was tired and ready to relax. No guests this time. I went to the library with my laptop to post this. Riley came home from work a bit late and seeing that I was in the library he brought up cheese and crackers and Scotch. At that I decided we might as well keep going and I went and got some potato rolls, cranberry sauce, and turkey.

The Recipe for Tender Potato Bread

11 ounce yukon gold potato, peeled
4 cups water
1 tsp salt

1 Tbl yeast
1 Tbl salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 pounds of all-purpose flour

Put the cut up potato into a pot with the four cups of water and the tsp salt and cook partially covered until the potatoes are nicely done. Then drain, reserving the water. Mash up the potato. Measure the water to see if you have exactly three cups. If not enough add cold water to top it up. Mix with the mashed potato in the kitchen-aid mixing bowl. Let cool down to luke warm, them add the yeast and let sit a bit. Add the whole wheat flour and 2 cups of the white flour and stir well. Then add the remainder of the flour and mix on low for 6 minutes. It will be very mooshy and it would be my inclination to add some more white flour. But when you are happy with it, turn out onto a well floured board. Toss the dough around a bit in the flour, then knead it a bit to get it under control. Place into a bowl at least twice the dough's size and cover with a damp towel and let rise. This will be an hour or so.

When it's risen form this dough into whatever you want. Loaves, flat breads, rolls ..... Let rise until double in size. Bake at 450 degrees for a time suitable for whatever you turned the dough into. I made rolls and they bakes for about 20 minutes. I made French loaves and they took about 30 minutes. note: when forming the dough be sure to toss it in plenty of flour. I tosses my rolls in flour before forming them.

So how would I do this recipe differently. First off, I wouldn't add all three cups of liquid right off the bat. Maybe 2 cups, and work in the rest as needed. Secondly I would never knead this stuff by hand if I have a kitchen-aid to use. You might as well tell me to cook it in the fireplace when I have an oven I can use. I understand that the dough probably wants to be wet, that's how it gets its consistency, but just maybe not quite so wet as mine was. The rolls had a nice chewy crust and a soft squishy insides. I think maybe I would add about 2 tablespoons of sugar to the recipe for just the tiniest hint of sweetness.


Julie said...

Your French loaves look great! Job well done. I'm glad the wet dough didn't try to eat Emily!

Tartelette said...

Great job on the challenge! Your daughter is just too cute for words!

eatme_delicious said...

I wish my rolls looked as good as yours! :)

Dolores said...

I'm with Julie; your French loaves are fabulous! And I love the photograph of Emily getting in on the action! Congratulations... great job!