Monday, November 26, 2007

Daring Baker's Challenge - Potato Bread




My second Daring Bakers' challenge! And I don't know that I'll ever make bread again. Well I'm sure one day I'll feel ready to give it another shot, but not for a long while. Anyway, I was a bit disappointed to find out that this month's challenge was savory as I really love making sweet things. But it was also a really great challenge for me because it was a real challenge. It pushed me to make something that I love but have never tried making (potato bread specifically but I've always wanted to try making bread).


I made one large loaf and 8 rolls, a few with cheese. I forgot to put the cheese on the rolls before putting them in the oven so had to grab them back out. Then regretted baking the rolls on my Silpat as I didn't want to clean melted cheese off it. I also forgot to slash my loaf before putting it in the oven so I took it out after a few minutes and did that - unsure at the time if I had messed it up as the loaf seemed to already be developing a bit of a crust. The slashed part turned out fine though, and I love how it looked.


I must've been doing something wrong because I was kneading the dough for a good 20 minutes at least. My mom and brother said that seemed like a long time, but it said to knead for 10 minutes, then add the flour 1/4 cup at a time, which means more kneading. The dough was so sticky for most of that first 10 minutes and I really extremely hated that. Is there anything I can do to avoid that? How can you even knead the dough when it's constantly sticking to your hands? Keep flouring up your hands? I ended up using about 6 1/2 cups of flour (the minimum amount) because I was scared of using too much (since it said beginners always use too much flour). And holy crap my forearms got so insanely sore from kneading for so long. I have never had such sore forearms. I must be doing it all wrong (very possible). But I'm sure it didn't help that I was kneading on a flimsy plastic cutting board that kept sliding around.


I must admit that once I smelled the potato bread/rolls baking, and saw them brown it made me really happy and excited. Not excited enough to be making bread again anytime soon though. As for how it tasted - for me, just okay. Apparently my niece really liked it though. I cooked the buns too long and they were pretty chewy unless microwaved. The loaf was soft in the middle, but didn't taste like anything special. To me this bread tasted just like regular white bread. And not very good white bread at that. I didn't taste or notice that the potato had been added (though that could be because I misread the recipe to mean only use 8 ounces of potato total, or maybe that was what I was supposed to do). I don't fault the recipe for how the bread turned out though. I'm sure many of the other Daring Bakers had beautiful delicious loaves and variations that I will be coveting.


Overall, I guess it was a successful enough first bread making experience. It was edible and not rock hard, though when I took the loaf out of the pan to cool it felt like it could be used as a weapon since the exterior was hard and it was so heavy. Throughout the bread making experience I kept thinking to myself, it's okay if it doesn't turn out, it doesn't have to, I'm challenging myself. That helped to make the pressure off my perfectionist self. I am glad that I participated in this challenge, despite all my whining! And I can't wait to find out what the next challenge is.

Check out all the other yummy potato breads made by other Daring Bakers. The recipe is on Tanna's site My Kitchen In Half Cups. Tanna did some amazing things with this bread that I can only aspire to be able to do with bread one day.

42 comments:

Megan said...

At least it looks beautiful even if it tasted ordinary. Good challange

Courtney said...

i think your bread looks wonderful for what you had done. good job on doing the bread it looks good to me

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your breads look scrumptious! They make me hungry... Great job!

Cheers,

Rosa

Shawnda said...

Edible = successful :) And it looks lovely!

Deborah said...

It looks beautiful, even if it didn't taste as well as you hoped for!! Don't give up on bread making yet - this was a more difficult recipe than most.

breadchick said...

I'm glad you kept at it and hope you do make bread again soon. Good job on this month's challenge.

Mandy said...

I can't believe this is your first time baking bread! They all look so pro. I know one trick some use to prevent the dough from sticky is applying olive oil to hands before kneading. Or better, knead it with mixer. :D

Laura Rebecca said...

I'm sorry this didn't turn out the way you'd planned, but your bread looks beautiful. (As for me, I'm looking forward to doing this using my KitchenAid with its dough hook!)

Nazca said...

Don't give up on bread, this recipe was insane, and I'm quite used to making my own bread. It looks as if the bread was over kneaded. I just folded the "dough" as I wasted as much air in it as possible.

Still, bet if you slit it thinly it's lovely when toasted! :-D

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Your breads look great! Practice helps you to know what feels right and gives you more confidence. Don't quit now! And if you have too much bread piling up, bring some over!

Bev and Ollie "O" said...

all of your bread looks wonderful, but that cheese roll at the beginning really had me salivating! yummy!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

This was not an easy dough to work and there was a lot of it. Your loaf has great shape, the crumb looks like it might have been kneaded a little long but it is hard to over knead by hand. Yes just dusting your hands with flour does help.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oops . . .
You sure had a great spirit for this challenge and I'm delighted to got it!

kitten said...

Your bread looks amazing! I too had similar problems kneading the sticky mass of dough. great job with the challenge!

Julius said...

Your bread looks very good. Mine tasted the best after being toasted.


Julius from Occasional Baker

Vegetation said...

I always get really sore arms too, that's what bread machines are for, I don't use mine to bake, it solely does the kneading for me ;)

I too have that perfectionist thing. I get really frustrated and upset when things don't come out perfectly.

Your bread looks really yummy though!

slush said...

Im sorry you didnt like the finished product. All your bread looks fantastic though! Great job!

April said...

Your bread looks great!

Brilynn said...

If this was only your first bread baking experience I do hope you'll try it again. For me, the smell of bread baking makes it all worthwhile!

Gigi said...

Pass the butter and a roll. Great job!

Claire said...

Good for you, stepping out of your comfort zone! I think you did a great job.

I(dot)J said...

All the variations look great. Good job on the tpb.

Peabody said...

The cheese on top is a nice touch.

Miss Ifi said...

mmm CHEESE!! those little rolls look like heaven.. Congratulations!!!

Hannah said...

Maybe your standards are too high, because your bread looks just perfect to me! If only my "disappointments" came out so well...!

Rachael said...

Those photos are heart stoppingly lovely!

Excellent challenge!

VeggieGirl said...

wow, that was your first time baking bread??? you did a fantastic job, if you ask me!! despite the few mishaps you had along the way, I'd say that the result of your second DB challenge is a winner!! :0)

MrsPresley said...

i've never seen your blog before - looks like we share a common interest - sweets :) your bread loaves look beautiful! i would say that you met this challenge with success, as your bread rose and didn't end up a rock (like my first yeast-experience). i'm sorry you didn't really enjoy them, but maybe that's because they were potato bread. try the brown sugar raisin bread in my blog and i promise you won't be disappointed! :) oh, and it's also nice to be able to use a kitchenaid dough hook, so you don't have to do all that work kneading ;)

Pille said...

You've made so many great versions of this bread - well done! (I only did a focaccia and couple of buns).

Jen Yu said...

Ha ha ha! My roll were remarkably heavy too :) I think you did a wonderful job on the bread - they look terrific!

-jen at use real butter

Julie said...

Well, your turnouts were beautiful, trials aside! I do hope you make more bread again soon--from the looks of it, and after hearing about your tenacity, I think you're a natural!

Sheltie Girl said...

Your bread looks delightful. I'm sure that it made some great sandwiches.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Gabi said...

Your loaf and rolls are beautiful!
Nice job!
xoxo
Gabi

Christina said...

At least you made beautiful looking bread! Congrats for doing the challenge.

Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

Lesley said...

Wow, that all looks professional!! Love it!

creampuff said...

I think your bread turned out beautifully but I'm sorry you weren't thrilled with it!

Molly Loves Paris said...

Your breads look wonderful. You should not use this potato bread as an example of what it is normally like to make bread. This was meant to be challenging. Given how nice you breads look I would recommend you try cinnamon bread or sticky buns. Their dough is sticky, but not as sticky and wet as potato bread dough. And they're much sweeter.

marias23 said...

Great job on the bread! At least it didn't bomb like mine, haha! Next time you could try the foccacia. It seems to be really really popular. Everyone's (including mine) foccacia turned out well :)

eatme_delicious said...

Thank you to all the wonderful people that commented. :)

Dolores said...

I'm sorry you weren't so thrilled with the recipe here, because your results look great. I agree that the slashes in your large loaf give it that wonderful rustic look. I do hope you change your mind and experiment with other bread recipes -- you seem quite good at it. But in the end if it doesn't bring you pleasure, buy the bread and make cookies. :)

Mike N. said...

Beautiful bread! I love baking my own bread too... One tip I've employed myself is to spray oil (I use a "Misto" sprayer... or you can brush on oil or butter if you don't have one.) on the bread and cover with a damp tea towel while it cools. Once cool I bag the bread right away. This keeps the crust soft so it is great for sandwiches. I baked two loaves myself last night... Mmmm mmmmmm

eatme_delicious said...

Mike: Thanks for the tip! :)