Thursday, April 29, 2010

Buddy time - Potato bread with chives... and roasted garlic

"Oh Mommy, this is SO yummy, you have to try it!"  I was so relieved to get that feedback from my daughter.  I almost thought I was going to have a fail with this one.  Which is quite strange since it is such a simple recipe and I can count the number of bread fails I've had in the last 20 years on one hand.  I suppose the more new things you try, the more chances you have to... learn.  So, BBB for this month: Potato Bread with Chives.  This month's recipe brought to you by Sara at i like to cook.

Aha!  I just had an epiphany.  I know what happened to my bread!  Wow, I cannot believe I forgot that.  Okay, so the recipe calls for soy or non dairy milk.  We are allergic to soy, so I used regular milk.  I almost always scald my milk because I think you get better results that way.  Nowadays, you don't absolutely have  to because milk is pasteurized which technically does the job for you.  (I still think it makes a difference in both volume and flavor.)  However, today I happened to use some raw milk.  So it really should have been scalded to inactivate the enzymes.  Basically the protease enzyme in it was predigesting the protein in my flour and slowing down my yeast to boot!  Oy vey.  Bread soup.  Now I know why.  Well, I ended up kneading in a lot more flour before the final rise and extending the time for the rise.  Fortunately it turned out very tasty, if not with quite the same structure as some of the other bakers.  With the portion of gluten that was prematurely broken down, I ended up with a loose, tender crumb as opposed to the dense structure expected.  My little tweak to the recipe was to add about a bulb of roasted garlic cloves to the dough.  It was a good choice.  My hubby called it a great dipping (sopping) bread for something like spaghetti.  I would definitely make it again, remembering of course to scald my milk next time!

Potato Bread with Chives
from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson

"The addition of mashed potatos gives this bread a moist, dense texture and delicate flavor that is accented by that of the chives. This bread is best eaten slightly warm from the oven on the day it is made. It is also good toasted."

2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar or pure maple syrup
2 Tb corn oil (olive oil or butter - corn allergy, and corn oil is bad for you anyway)
2 tsp salt
1 cup cold mashed potatoes
1 cup soy milk or other dairy free milk
5 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
2 Tb minced fresh chives
(one bulb's worth of roasted garlic cloves)

In a large bowl, combine the yeast and 1/4 cup of the water. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, then stir in the remaining 3/4 cup of water, the oil or butter and the salt. Mix in the potatoes, then stir in the milk. Add about half the flour, stirring to combine, then work in the remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Transfer to a lightly floured board.

Lightly flour your hands and work surface. Knead the dough well until it is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes, using more flour as necessary so the dough does not stick. Place in a large lightly oiled bowl and turn over once to coat with oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or lightly oiled piece of plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, lightly oil a large baking sheet and set aside. Punch the dough down and knead lightly. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, sprinkle with the chives, and knead until the dough is elastic and the chives are well distributed, 3 to 5 minutes. Shape the dough into one large or two small round loaves and place on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly and cover with a clean damp towel or lightly oiled plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Use a sharp knife to cut an X into the top of the loaf or loaves. Bake on the center oven rack until golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes, depending on size. Tap on the bottom of the loaf or loaves - if they sound hollow, the bread is done. Remove from the sheet and let cool slightly on a wire rack before slicing.


  1. Nice bread basking in the early morning sunlight. :)

  2. hehe ... the more chances to ... learn ... I love that, positive always works best to keep us on track!
    You are right on about the raw milk.
    Delighted you all enjoyed the bread and that you joined us again!

  3. Thank you for the explanation on the milk, (I'm geeky like that ;-)
    That second picture looks like it's from an old Dutch master painter, lovely slashes on the crust!

  4. glad you managed to save it, garlic sounds like a great addition!

  5. Great bread !!!!
    Thanks for baking with us Baking Buddie !

  6. oh wow I didn't know that about raw milk! (I don't think you can buy raw milk here, so I never thought about it either. So glad that your bread turned out fine in the end. Thanks for baking with us.

  7. The scoring looks perfect!

  8. Thanks for talking about the raw milk...I didn't know about how it affected the flour. You did a fantastic job of fixing it after it souped out on you...beautiful bread!

  9. Wow, leaving a comment for the third time, must be your beautiful loaf that is distracting me. I adore the scientific info on the bread-baking process, which complements so nicely my totally intuitive approach, however, not any more. I'm coming back for more yeast an gluten knowledge. Until the next BBB challenge!

  10. Beautiful scoring! And roasted garlic - brilliant!
    Thanks for baking with us this month.

  11. Your loaf looks beautiful! Interesting about the raw milk. Good job saving the loaf!


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