Monday, September 10, 2012

Potato Bread

Our college hostel had this routine of sorts for the breakfast served and it included bread with kurma once in two weeks. The bread was baked in their own bakery, just behind the sports area and whenever you passed by, delightful aroma from the bakes gave you the heady sensation. I have dreamed of baking bread since. I would learn to bake bread many years later only!
My neighbour in Johor, Malaysia was a good cook and never have I seen her squander on stuff that she can manage to make herself buy buying it from outside. Having to send her girls and husband across the border everyday to Singapore where they schooled / worked early in the morning, she worked her lunch box ideas by the mid morning. thus she would bake and part cook stuff through the morning.We were close friends and she decided to initiate me to her baking skills.
The apartment came with fitted ovens that were big enough to bake a few cakes /  loaves of bread at one go. In order not to waste power, she would suggest that we both baked on the sme day so we can use one of our ovens and I would only be happy to join her.
She has many books and well used notes on her baking experiments, few of which I have copied and tried often. When we moved to other countries, my microwave in convention mode helps me bake my bread. Though my baking experiments have become infrequent, I do refrain from buying bread.
Recently I joined a group of food enthusiasts on face book who cook with fervor. They baked awesome pistachio cakes few days ago and then they all wanted to showcase bread; any bread would be fine! I wanted to join in and I did with baking this bread.


I had this recipe from my above mentioned friend, but had not baked this bread till date. The reason, I think might be the caution I had written in bold - the first line of the recipe that too. It was a tip which said not to add milk or butter while mashing the potato.....as ridiculous as it may sound, I am sure that I was apprehensive to try the recipe for this. Now was the time I decided to give it a try and I am glad that I did, finally. The bread is so soft from the potatoes and the crust is good too that you can slice it well.
I am unable to credit the original source for I am not sure if I copied from one of her baking books or her notebook only. However, the recipe is given verbatim as I had in my notebook, only that I halved the recipe to bake just one bread.

*DO NOT ADD BUTTER OR MILK TO THE POTATOES WHEN YOU MASH THEM, OR THE DOUGH WILL BE STICKY.

                                             Makes two 23x13 cm/9"x 5" loaves
Ingredients:
Active dry yeast 20ml/ 4 teaspoon
Lukewarm milk 250ml/8 fl oz/1 cup
Potatoes (boiled) 225 grams/ 8 oz
(Keep aside 250 ml of the water in which you have cooked the potatoes)
Oil 30 ml/ 2 tablespoons
Salt 20 ml/ 4 teaspoons
Plain Flour 850 grams - 900 grams /3&1/2 to 4 cups
Sugar 1 teaspoon (not in the recipe, but I add to proof the yeast)



Method:
Combine yeast, sugar and milk in a large bowl and leave to dissolve and grow for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile mash the potatoes well. (read the * Caution*)
When the yeast is ready, add the mashed potatoes, oil and salt to it and mix them well.
Stir in the reserved water from boiling the potatoes to this and the flour in six alternate batches, mixing them in a stiff dough.
Knead till a smooth dough has been formed. lightly grease the bowl and transfer the dough to ti. Cover and leave to rise for an hour and a half or until the dough has doubled in volume.
After the first rise, punch the dough down and transfer back to the bowl to rise again for 40 minutes.
Grease two 23x 13 cm loaf tins.
Roll the dough into 20 small balls and place ten balls in one tin in two rows of five  each.
Leave again until the dough rises to the rim of the tin.
Pre heat the oven to 200 Degrees Centigrade/ 400 Degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake the bread for 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 190 degrees and bake for a further 35 to 40 minutes.
Remove and cool on wire racks.



Though I do not understand why the dough has to be rolled in balls and placed inside the loaf tin, I did like the shape of the bread which reminds you of the pav.

The sesame seeds on the top are my addition to the bread and are purely optional.
My loaf tin was smaller in dimensions and thus I had to fit the dough in and made eight balls only instead of ten. The flour measure may vary slightly but do not add beyond the 900 grams. I could do with 850 grams and small amount for dusting the board while punching the dough.






14 comments:

  1. Perfectly baked and the pav bread type of potato bread is new to me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks so perfectly baked ....adding potato is great

    ReplyDelete
  3. Perfectly baked bread..love the color of it!
    Great-secret-of-life.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Its been a long i baked with mashed potatoes, bread looks prefect and fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well baked .. feel like taking a bite ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. That looks wonderful..have been so wanting to bake bread ..almost a year I haven't done..so just made some pizza bases last week..am surely going to try this one soon..Malays cook and bake beautifully!,,

    ReplyDelete
  7. Potato bread looks delicious and perfect, I would love to see a cut portion to how the crumb was? it must good as it has potato in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am baking again and will update the cut portion then, Swathi.

      Delete
  8. You get the bread, I'll bring my Tomato confit.. we shd polish the whole lot off within say 10 minutes, No??

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am in love with your blog.. Its just awesomestttt. Excellent.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That looks perfect ! Love the look of it and sesame sprinkle on top :)It has been a while since I baked a bread

    ReplyDelete

Hello,
Welcome and thank you for taking time to drop by.
I appreciate your valuable comments and tips.
I sincerely hope to improve with them.
Hope we shall interact often.
Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.