YEAH! Its Potato time!! I will admit, I don't make bread often, my husband and I do not eat bread very much, some toast here and there with eggs, and the occassional pb&j. So I was a little worried, but I figured that I have made bread several times before so how hard could it be. We made several Breads in school, and I had done some at home, so Potato bread has got to be just as easy. So I thought, well lets do it right away and make sure you can do it. The weekend it was posted I set out to make it.
WOW!! was I expecting something different. Realizing that my scale's batteries were dead was one problem, so I thought ok, 8-16oz of potato..hmm..techinically there are 8oz in a cup, but that is generally liquid measure not dry, which is often slightly different. So I just approxiamted, and used about 1 1/2 cups of mashed potato. I got all the ingredients in to that point, and was ready to knead my bread. Well I pulled out my board and had the extra flour ready, I wish I had thought to take pics of my hands..wait no way would I handle anything but the dough with those hands, it was everywhere, stuck to everything. So I added more flour. and yet it just continued to be so very sticky. After I don't know how long kneading the dough, I am sure after too much added flour and mass frustration I said your done and put it in the bowl to rise for the first time.
During previous bread making projects (of course at a different house with a different oven) I had always put my doughs in my large ceramic bowl, covered with plastic wrap on the back of my stove with the oven on low about 200-250 F. My plans had been to make though bread, and during the first rising bake cookies. So I let it be and set out to clean up and start my cookies. I would periodically look at the bowl, to my surprise and happiness it was rising. "Awesome" I thought, this just may work out.
So I let it be and continued. I turned up my oven, figuring it will be no problem and went on with my cookies. The bread rose regularily. As I took out my last batch of cookies and turned off the oven, I noticed my dough had finally doubled, even a little more than doubled. So happy I was, and thought, it has got to be less sticky now. So I moved it to the counter and finished moving my cookies. I floured my board for the next knead and divison of dough. Pulled of the wrap and...omg..part of my dough had BAKED to the side of the bowl. I couldnt believe it, and more frustrated than I was kneading the dough the first time. I pulled out what dough I could, luckily still a large amount of dough, I ended up not loosing nearly as much as I thought, and actually laughed a bit as I through the par baked dough away. I started the 2nd kneading process, and to my dismay..just as damn sticky as before. I kneaded just a little bit as instructed, and divied the dough. I took the largest piece and made forcaccia bread, and with the 2nd dough, I braided it into a loaf. The focaccia bread looked nice as it baked, not as great as I would have like, but nice none the less, and the braid wasn't too bad either. Flavor texture...it was soo very tough, I knew I had kneaded it far too much the first time and added too much flour to it. But it still looked ok. Knowing I would still remake it, as what is bread if it doesn't taste good haha..so here is the first attempt :SO after watching and reading the Blog, and other peoples questions I finally asked about the potato, and determined, I obviously used too much potato. Set out to make it better, I thought of the best way for me to do it. So I borrowed the scale at work and went through the steps again...put together all my ingredients and Started Potato bread for the 2nd time this month..
ok so atleast the potato and yeast mixture looks right, and a little better than I remembered the first attempt. Just maybe this time it will work. I continued on, finally turning it out on to my floured board. Luckily, it appears to not be as sticky as the first attempt, but sticky it still is. I was determined NOT to add as much flour as the last time, as I read that the dough was to be sticky and that it would stay sticky. So I watched the clock and watched my flour and did my best to knead the stickness. So finally after the approximate 10-12 min of kneading I was ready to put it back in my bowl to rise.
If I had thought of it I would have taken the before and after picture, but alas, all I have is my before picture of the dough going into the bow. I had read in the blog, that the microwave is a good place to let it rise. So remembering my first situation, with my dough cooking on my stove, I chose to cover it and put it in my microwave. Figuring, as long as its not on, things should be just fine haha. So for 2 hrs I left my dough. Baked some pumpkin bars, figuring why waste the 2 hrs inbetween a project. When I went to get my dough, woohoo it had doubled as before ( If I ever make bread again, the Microwave is so where it will go to rise..but well after this challenge I must say, I may not do bread again for some time.) I turned out my dough on the floured board and went at the second kneading. It was sticky, but no where near as sticky as it had been the first knead and definately not the first time I tried to make the bread. I divided though dough, and decided this time to still go with the forcaccia bread, with garlic chips, Rosemary and the olive oil of course. I set it up, heated up the oven, and set it aside for the next rise. While that one rised I thought about what to do with the next piece, having done the braid I didnt want to do the same thing. So I thought about it for a bit. I decided to still kind of braid it. I pulled out my shredded colby and jack cheeses, and knead it into the dough, I then added a nice amount of various herbs, thyme, margarm, oregano, etc..I kneaded the dough well enough to intergrate all the items I was adding, I made a log and proceeded to do my braid. I then folded it in half and put it in my loaf pan. As the loaf pan was put to rise, the Focaccia went in the oven, the timings were great, it was only about 10 min after I took out the first baked item that the loaf would go in. Finally I had some bread that looked nice, and tasted good. The loaf bread was wonderful with some chili I had made, and I used the focaccia for sandwhichs. With only me and my husband it was hard to figure out what to do with the bread, as I said we don't eat that much bread as it is, I had considered doing the 2nd attempt at half the recipe, but I also knew I wanted to make the 2 different styles out of the dough. I do think depending on the future challenges, I will definately start halving the recipes. I did give some bread away but as you can see, I had quite a bit. I had to take a pic with the whole loaf, as I found it pretty. So I have 2 pics of it, and hehe I like it with the knife and board as well. I hope this is what I was to do, it was a frustrating first challenge for me, having not knowing what to expect, and a not so happy first attempt. The second attempt went much better, but I am pretty sure that potato bread will most likely never be made in my house again lol, these attempts were more than enough for me. As happy as I was with my final product the second time, the processes of both of them, were just exhausting for me, and the dough frustrated me more than anything. I will stick to my deserts and leave the breads to the breadmakers ..haha.
On a different note, I am very excited to continue to see what future challenges are and what else is to come. I love the experinces I have done so far with the blog, and its only the first month, With so many events I want to do, the only issues is where am I going to find the time. Ha-Ha!!