Monday, November 26, 2007

My first DB Challenge: Tender Potato Bread!

tender potato bread


Yes, with the christening of this potato bread, I am now a proud member of Daring Bakers! The fabulous online baking community that doesn't require further introduction, in my opinion. If for any reason you haven't heard of them, click here.

pink_sil


I am just happy that I finally get my act together and join these amazing bunch of bakers in the DB family. As for my first challenge, I completed it in record time. Not that I completed it the first week when I learn of the challenge, but it was actually the third week when I dug my hands deep into the sticky potato bread dough. Not exactly prompt compared to lots of DBers, but hey, for those who know me personally (like OCT and my previous sales managers), they know what a procastinator I am! I almost always complete whatever assignments at the very last minute. So, completing this first challenge a week ahead of the deadline is a major improvement for me. :)

On top of becoming a better baker, I think I have become a better person, which is a double bonus for joining Daring Bakers.


tender potato bread


Now let's get on to the Potato Bread, shall we? Instead of a sweet recipe, Tanna of My Kitchen in Half Cups has chosen a savory bread recipe as the November challenge. Honestly, it is a relief to me. Knowing that I will certainly be baking a few sweet recipes in November, I can definitely use a break from all the butter and sugar.

When I told OCT about this month's challenge and asked if he had eaten a potato bread before, he surprised me by saying yes! So has mum, who told me that it was one of grandma's favorite bread. I can't help but wonder if I was the last person alive who have never eaten a potato bread before. Even thoughI have read about potato bread from other's blogs, I keep missing the opportunity to attempt one myself. In fact, I have to confess that I am somewhat intimidated by yeast. And as such, would usually hide behind layers of cakes and tarts when the suggestion of baking bread arises.

But being a Daring Baker to me, is about confronting and conquering my fear. It also helps that they are lots of experienced and helpful bakers, who shared their experiences on the daring bakers blog. All these make the process less intimidating and so much more fun. I enjoy the "sneak previews" everyone posted after their breads were out from the oven.


potato roll


After seeing the many excellent "previews", I tackled my challenge on an early Monday morning. The dough as the rest have warned, was a sticky one. And one shall resist the temptation to add more flour to it. I think I managed pretty well with the help of a bench scraper. Instead of quick to dig my fingers into the sticky dough, I used the scraper to mix and knead the first few turns. I used about 5.5cups of flours, from the 8 cups of flour allowed.


Potato foccacia


As you can see, I shaped my dough into some dinner rolls and a large focaccia with red onion, rosemary and sea salt. The end products were tender, with a bit of chew and flavorful. I am quite surprised that there isn't a faintest hint of potato in the potato bread! I used 10 oz of potato in my batch from the 8-16 oz potato suggested. I believe the inclusion of potato played an important role in keeping the tender texture of the breadrather than exerting its flavor. With the abundance of sweet potatoes at the farmer's market this time of year, I wonder if that would work as an substitute? I shall undertake it as the next potato bread project. It will be interesting to see how the sweet potatoes manifest in potato bread.

foccacia


This recipe yields quite a large batch of bread for a small family like ours. We ate 1/3 of the focaccia with some Tom Yum tuna filling as dinner on the first night, and I nibbled a few pieces after slicing some for photo shoot. The dinner rolls which I sneaked in some muenster cheese in them were saved as our breakfast and lunch on the subsequent days. OCT brought half of the foccacia as lunch the next day and we still have some in the fridge now, waiting to be transformed into a yummy sandwich. I think I will top it with slices of tomatoes, avocados and the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.

pink_db


To read more about the other Daring Bakers' take on this month challenge, please visit The Daring Bakers Blogroll. I can't wait to see what the rest have come up with!


For the recipe of this month's Tender Potato Bread challenge, check out Tanna's post

58 comments:

Shawnda said...

The focaccia looks lovely!

Farhan said...

Oh this looks incredibly pretty. What a great idea! I usually randomly strew some onions and herbs on top of my focaccia but this arrangement of rings and herbs look so gorgeous. I'm definitely trying it on my next focaccia. Looks like you made a lot. Try freezing some?

Nora B. said...

Oh Mandy,
Your foccacia is the prettiest that I've seen so far! I will have to "copy" that for next time. Thanks for the idea. I hope you had fun. I really loved the taste of this bread.

Anne said...

Love the contrasting color of the onion. You did a great job on your first challenge...and I'm really happy you joined us :)

veron said...

your focacia and dinner rolls look as tasty as can be. Congratulations on completing your first challenge!

breadchick said...

Lovely outcome on your first challenge! Love the way the pictures look on the focaccia. Welcome aboard the Daring Bakers.

slush said...

YAY!!! A fellow procrastinator! Youd never ever know your intimidated by yeast, both your focaccia and rolls look Pro baby! You did an awesome job!

Megan said...

Your rolls are beautiful! And I agree, being part of the daring bakers is awesome. Love the sneek peeks!

Manggy said...

I haven't! I haven't tried potato bread! But looking at your pics I really, really want to try one :)

Bev and Ollie "O" said...

That is not a focaccia. That is a work of art! Truly beautiful!

Aimée said...

Lovely idea for your pretty foccacia! Congratulations on joining the DB and happy baking!

sk said...

Your is gorgeous! Next time I will do what you did and slice the red onion more thickly - it baked down so much that I lost the red effect - yours is perfect.
-Skrockodile (Sabra)
www.cookbookcatchall.blogspot.com

Deborah said...

Your foccacia is gorgeous!! I'm so glad you are now a Daring Baker!

Brilynn said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Your photos are stunning!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Totally awesome focaccia Mandy. Delighted this worked so well for you. Congratulations and welcome to the group.

CB said...

Great job! I am so intrigued with the sweet potato idea.

Rose said...

This is the cuttest focaccia I've ever seen. Welcome to the group.Nice to see you joined in.

tigerfish said...

I really like the purple concentric circles on the bread! Lovely.

Katia said...

Your bread looks beautiful...great ohotos too!

Julius said...

I agree with everyone here: your focaccia is gorgeous. I ♥ them!


Julius from Occasional Baker

Clumsy Cook said...

Mandy your bread looks fabulous! This was my first challenge too---are you as happy as I am to be a DB?! :D

Clumsy Cook said...

Ha, I just found your comments on my site---guess you already knew it was my first challenge! :)

eatme_delicious said...

I love how the focaccia looks. The onion rings on it are so cute! Great job on your first challenge. :)

eatme_delicious said...

Oh and yes I will definitely be kneading future bread with a mixer. ;) Thanks for the olive oil on the hands tip!

Claire said...

This is fantastic. I love the addition of red onion to the focaccia. Welcome!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A gorgeous focaccia! So pretty! I love your wonderful pictures...

Cheers,

Rosa

Peabody said...

Your first challenge...and you did such a wonderful job!

Cherry said...

Ohh I love the beautiful focaccia! It looks so retro (I think the onion rings made it that way) and good enough to be some sort of a wallpaper ! Nice blend of colours on it too!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Your focaccia and the rolls look absolutely beautiful. Well done on completing your first challenge.

April said...

Well done! It looks beautiful!

Baking Soda said...

Very festive looking bread with the red onions and rosemary. Welcome and welld one

bp said...

Great job, Mandy, and this sounds like some prestigious club, if not, another accolade, and I'm sure lots more to come!

Thanks for your message, I only just got a chance at the computer. Me tummy's not as wierd, but cough's taking awhile.

You have a good week!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Very beautiful breads! I love the bright red onions on your foccacia! Congrats on your first DB challenge!

bee said...

drop dead gorgeous.

I(dot)J said...

You SERIOUSLY kicked butt on this challenge. I love the look of your bread. One day I'll be as creative... until then, I'll just keep checking out your page.

Iisha of http://thefablifeofi2daj.blogspot.com/

Miss Ifi said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog and I must say that regarding your comment about you not being able to draw to save your life, I don't know if you realize this, but you actually drew on your focaccia and on your rolls, you drew with your ingredients, I meant the way you carefully placed those onions on top of the holes with rosemary, THAT is drawing! and your bread just just unbelievably beautiful so there!! ^_^

Nan said...

Congratulations on your first DB challenge (it's mine, too)!! I never thought one could make rosemary and red onions look pretty, but your focaccia just proved me wrong!

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

lovely idea with the purple onion rings...n like i said, i love checking ur blog cos the food's yummy n the pics are so beautiful.

Chris said...

The onion rings are so dynamic! Well done. Welcome to the DBs!

chronicler said...

I definitely have focaccia envy! What a wonderful choice!

Aimei said...

COngratulations to you in joining the DB! I'll definitely be looking forward to reading all your post and future DB's challenge bakes. :)

Nupur said...

This focaccia is a work of art! Nice to see this gorgeous St. Louis blog (I live there too).

Jen Yu said...

That is some pretty focaccia, but those rolls are simply beautiful! Wonderful job on the breads. Welcome to the Daring Bakers :)

-jen at use real butter

Venus ~ Vi said...

I am so envious of people who can make magic with their oven!!

I tried to steer away from baking and stick to cold desserts as much as possible.

Christina said...

Your focaccia is so bright and cheery! Excellent job.

Welcome to the DBers!

Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

Bake your cake and eat it too said...

I love the purple of the onion shinning through. Looks wonderful!

Tartelette said...

The focaccia is aboslutely mouth watering, great control of the light in the pictures! I am thrilled that you are part of the Daring Bakers! Way To Go!!

Julie said...

They look beautiful! You did a great job tackling this challenge. The only potato bread I'd ever really had was Aunt Hattie's hot dog buns, and I don't think they count. ;)

Rasa Malaysia said...

Beautiful + Delicious = Beatilicious.

Julie said...

Mandy,
After one botched attempt at focaccia years ago (my baking skills were not awesome back them), I haven't tried since! Yours (and so many of the other DB's) looks wonderful. Maybe for my first try, I should not go with a potato batter though...
Julie

Christina said...

I'd say your first DBers challenge was quite the success! Your pictures look brilliant and I'm sure the potato bread tasted wonderful!

Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

creampuff said...

Yayyy! Well done on your first challenge, Mandy! Your photos are gorgeous and I love the bread with the onion rings on it.

ovenhaven said...

I love how well you've presented the bread! Love the arrangement of onion rings :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Utterly fabulous--the focaccia and you!

Shayne said...

I still can not get over how beautiful your bread is. I saw your bread on teh DBer site and then lost you, wondering where you went because I wanted to post to let you know that I thought the color of your focaccia was great. Welcome to the group.

Mandy said...

thanks everyone for your encouraging comments! I feel so loved ~
xoxo

Dolores said...

Yes... my bench scraper became my best friend as well! Congratulations and welcome... it's an honor to have you among us. Both your dinner rolls and your focaccia look fabulous.

Andrea said...

Your focaccia looks so pretty with the colorful onions on top. Beautiful! Congrats on your first challenge, and welcome to the Daring Bakers!

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