I'm a bread fanatic and everyone knows this. But, I have yet to ever made bread with yeast for I've always been far to nervous to do so. When I joined Daring Bakers, I knew that the challenges were going to be difficult. But, I told myself I had to try. At the very least, try. When they announced that the November challenge was to be Potato Bread, I instantly got nervous. "Oh no, oh no!" Were my thoughts.
I went threw with it though, and surprisingly, I've come to find that it's not as hard as it seems! Very time consuming and for any one as impatient as me, time seem extremely slow and seems like forever as you vigerously wait for it to finish. Just have to keep telling myself that it would be totally worth it in the end. And boy was it!
I added Oatmeal to my potato bread. Made it a tad bit more unique than just a regular old Potato Bread. But it also cleared some room in my pantry! I had some left over oatmeal so I just threw it into the mixture to heap it up. Though I was kind of skepitical in adding the oatmeal, being that this was my first bread with yeast, I wanted to try anyway. And it turned out lovely in the end.
So my first Daring Bakers Challenge was a sucess! I am so relieved that this came out and also glad to find out that making bread with yeast isn't all that scary. I was so nervous from the beginning, but so glad in the end. And now I have very tasty bread for the rest of the week!
4 medium to large floury (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 cups water
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp salt
2 tsps active dry yeast
6 1/2 cups to 8 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1. Put the potatoes and 4 cups water in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Add 1 tsp salt and cook, half covered, until the potatoes are very tender. Drain the potatoes and save the water. Mash the potatoes well.
2. Measure out 3 cups of the reserved potato water. Place the water and mashed potatoes in the bowl you plan to mix the bread in and stir well before testing the temperature. Should feel barely warm to your hand.
3. Add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle on the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and the softened butter; mix well. Add the 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup oatmeal and stir briefly. Add 2 cups of the unbleached all-purpose flour and stir until all the flour has been incorporated.
4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, incorporating flour as needed to prevent sticking. Place the dough in a large clean bowl or your rising container of choice, cover with plastic wrap or lid, and let rise about 2 hours or until doubled in volume.
5. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead gently several minutes. Divide the dough into 2 unequal pieces in a proportion of one-third and two-thirds. Place the smaller piece to one side and cover loosely.
6. Butter a 9X5 inch loaf/bread pan. Flatten the larger piece of dough on the floured surface to an approximate 12 x 8 inch oval, then roll it up from a narrow end to form a loaf. Pinch the seam closed and gently place seam side down in the buttered pan. The dough should come about three-quarters of the way up the sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 35 to 45 minutes, until puffy and almost doubled in volume.
7. For the smaller bread, Butter an 8 x 4 inch bread pan. Shape and proof the loaf the same way as the large loaf.