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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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