Thursday, February 11, 2010

Started Potato Bread Ooo Laa Laa

Papas! Potatoes. Spud-nifticent creation. All hail the zee pommes de terre. Yup. We're making potato bread. I'm really excited about that. Can you tell? Well, look at this fluffy cloud of bread. What's not to love about a light luscious spud cake? Spud muffins are hot. My auntie Dorothea is the queen of puns. She used to do a whole spiel about potatoes. Or was it a potato peel? Participa'taters...anticipa'tators...pontifipa'taters. "The eyes have it"...

This bread is raised without the use of regular yeast...just potato starter. Once you have a potato starter you can bake forever and a day using just it in place of commercial yeast. So, my cousin String Cheese came over yesterday and I had to make sure she had an ample sample (see my rhyming skills...yeah, be impressed). This onion poppy seed potato bread is out of this universe bursting with homemade matronly goodness and glory. Praise be.
You will need to make some of the basic potato starter from Tuesday's post (Potato Starter "Everlasting Yeast"). From that point, let us proceed. The starter will smell nice and "yeasty". It will not smell sour unless you've let it sit for more than a few days. The beauty of this potato starter is in fact that it doesn't get too sour if you use it frequently enough, which for me means I get a nice long fermented dough that doesn't taste sour. Sometimes I just want a deeply intense earthy bread with a nice flavor, but not have it be a sourdough. I also happen to be to my core one of the most frugal people you will ever meet, at least when it matters most. I also know when to just blow the wad and get a quality product. Seriously, I have such a split personality in that sense sometimes. Buy a quality solar oven and grain mill (coming soon, I might add)...scrimp and save on ingredients by grinding my own flour and making my own starters, cottage cheese... I'm nuts. I also buy really good quality spices and extracts. I got a pedicure once. Like I say, I'm such a split personality.

Here's what the potato starter looks like. Cousin String Cheese got a jar full of it from me today. I'm cool that way. You know, giving away fermented potato goop is such an act of love. Really. Like valentines day for really quirky people. Oh hey speaking of Valentines...remember to leave a comment on the potato starter entry from Tuesday to enter the drawing for the EatSmart kitchen scale! You have until midnight Friday.
Chef Tess' Basic Started Potato Bread Ooo Laa Laa
yield 2 loaves
8 oz potato starter (scant 1 cup)
16 oz water (2 cups)
3.3 oz oil or melted butter (about 6 T)
1 lb 11 oz. bread flour (about 7 cups)
1 oz "everything bagel topping" (about 3T) (Remember the frozen dinner roll post?)
.2 oz salt (about 2 tsp)

Combine all ingredients in a 2 gallon bowl and knead by hand about 5 minutes, until smooth. You may need a little more liquid if your flour is really dry. Notice the weights on the recipe? That's a new feature. I'll be doing a lot more of that in the future for the pro-bakers out there who want to use my recipes. Notice the other regular measurements? Those are for the beginners who don't have a scale. Honestly, I love you all wherever you are in your baking. Smoooches.
Okay, form the dough into a ball and place in an ungreased bowl and cover with plastic or a lid. My dough was 90 degrees and my room was 75 degrees. At that temperature the dough took 8-12 hours to raise. Before you panic, realize that you can mix this dough at night before you go to bed, and whenever you wake's ready to form into loaves. Easy stuff right? It can be done as early as 7 hours and as late as 12 hours, so there isn't a rush. Or, if you make the dough in the morning before you leave for work, you can form it into loaves when you get home. It takes 2-4 hours for it to raise into loaves to go in the oven...again it's very flexible for life "happening". I love that. If I want it for dinner, it's golden. If I want to bake it in the morning after running all my errands, I'll form it into loaves first thing in the morning and it's ready when I'm done with my 3 hours of running around. Nice...and it's flexible either way.
i love mom so much

Little man hopped on the computer while I was away for a second. Totally leaving that in my post. Oh, I also wanted to say that this Watkins bacon and onion dip seasoning is really wicked. It should never ever ever be put in your bread if you want the bread to remain uneaten. It's so good. 1 oz in place of the everything bagel topping is insane. Don't do it. It's too good. Shameless plug for the awesome folks at Watkins. Outstanding...outstanding. I love your stuff! Wayne's wife Laura is the best darn Watkins salesman I've met. Wait...she's also the only one I've met, but I loved her right away. Thanks Laura!
When the bread has raised and is ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake 35-40 minutes until internal temperature of 165 degrees. Oh...I also really love replacing one cup of the bread flour with fresh ground cornmeal...this one was made with fresh ground popcorn.
With the everything bagel topping, you end up with this seeded wonderfully onion and garlic loaf.

So what do I do with the starter stuff now?

Your brilliant question has merit. It shows you are reading well...and I am in need of editing for beginner starter bakers. I've been at this so long sometimes I forget. OK.

Answer...add same amount as first recipe and mix it up. Allow to sit a couple more day. In this way, the portion that was left in your container is fed starch to keep being effective yeast, and the portion you put in your dough is raising your bread. You can make a double recipe of the bread and have just a little bit of starter left...mix this with a new recipe...same as the first, and there you go. It just continues.

Another bright question from a reader named Barb:
Do you keep the yeast in the refrigerator after it is made? If you do, how long in between feedings?
Good question! I usually keep it at room temperature if I'm using it often, but in the case of storage in the fridge, I would take it out about twice a month and refresh it. Meaning, use a portion for dough and the remaining refresh with more potato and water and leave out at room temperature for 24 hours. Then you can return it to the fridge until you're ready to use it again.
Any more questions? Keep them coming...I'm happy to answer.

There you go.
Be a participa'tater. Go make some.


Dori said...

I'm sorry...did you say "fresh ground POPCORN"?! Because if you bake with popcorn then my son is in love with you.

Totally making this tonight--LOVE that it can be left overnight. That's my kind of baking! The stuff I can walk away from, forget about and go back to hours later and NOT have ruined it! :)

Chef Tess said...

Popcorn is correct. I ran the unpopped kernels through our hand mill. It is so sweet and loaded with fiber. Awesome stuff! Totally reminded me of Napoleon Dynamite when you said make the dough and walk away. Instantly got a visual of me in some American Flag pants and a bandanna saying, "Make the dough and walk away...It's that simple people."

Coby said...

Yum, I am making this tonight too!! I started my potatoes the other day and they are ready. I think I will make mine plain without the seasoning though. Can't wait til tomorrow....

Tracey said...

Your bread looks so good. I need to start my potatoe starter.

Chef Tess said...

Tracey! This was made with your amazing Wheat Montana flour! I'm hopelessly addicted! Thank you!!

Coby said...

Ok...I got mine going. I did have to add quite a bit of flour while kneading. My dough was SUPER sticky.

Chef Tess said...

Coby, I usually knead my dough in the bowl by hand and it is a little sticky, however after raising it absorbs quite a bit. I did allow a little more moisture in the recipe for the dehydrated onions and garlic in the "everything" topping as well. Let me know how it goes with raising/baking. I'm so excited!

Anonymous said...

I had issues...big issues. I should just stay out of the kitchen today, nothing is going right for me! So, my bread. This morning the dough had risen nicely and was bubbly. I shaped mine into loaves and put in a 8x4 pan (maybe I should have just put them on a stone). The bread rose, but never filled up the pan enough. My oven runs a bit hot so I baked at 400 and I still had a crust that was too dark and a middle that was not done, even thought the temp got to at least 165, not sure how high...I pulled out the thermometer when it hit 165. SIGH...I'll try again tomorrow night when my starter is ready again. The flavor is good though!

Chef Tess said...

Hmm. didn't raise very well proofing. How cool was your house? Usually in those cases I let the dough go a little longer, even if it's been the 3-4 hours. Especially when the starter is newer and gaining it's strength. If the flavor was good, you're right on track. I'd say next time set your oven for 350 if it's running high on you. The extra starch in the potato will make this brown more if your temperature gets too high. Don't give up. I know you can do it.

Anonymous said...

I let it rise for about 5 hours in my oven with the light on, usually is 75-78 in there like that. My house is too cold to do it on the counter. I'll try again, don't worry:)

Chef Tess said...

Well that's good to hear!

Bergamot said...

The breads look just amazing... i like the idea of the potato starter a lot.