Sunday, January 13, 2008

Back to normal, back to bread

Not any bread, but potato bread. Not any potato bread, but the roasted potato bread by Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread adapted by Tanna and furthermore adapted by me.... Not because I think I know better, it just happened that way. I'm afraid the only time I manage to really stick to a recipe and that recipe alone is when I'm baking Daring Baker's Challenges. It all started with Tanna's levain, which I didn't have available nor had the patience to wait for. After seeing her good looking breads I simply had to make in NOW! Enter change no. 1: I decided to make a biga (very multi-purpose, takes only 16 hours, no feeding, perfect for instant bread cravings).

Then -change no. 2- I deviated from the original biga recipe and made it predominantly rye flour. And -as it was very late at night and New Years day, (this post being one of the loose ends in need of tying). I accidently switched the amounts of flour and water so I had to correct that; which left me with a bucket full of a very lively rather stiff biga.

1.2/3 cups warm water (360 gr)
1/4 ts yeast
130 gr bread flour (or XX cups bread flour)
360 gr rye flour

Mix into a reasonably stiff biga, cover and overnight out on the counter, use what you need and store in refrigerator. You can bake with this every day, if you don't use it just push back with a spoon. (the regular version keeps for 2 weeks slightly maturing over time, rye biga won't keep as long).

Biga ready in the afternoon; Tanna's recipe with my changes due to the nature of a biga in red:

9 oz (260 gr) bread flour
2.4 oz (1/2 cup - 70 g) whole wheat flour organic
4.6 oz (160 g) water
2.1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons yeast
6 oz (170 gr) roasted potato
9 oz (260 gr) biga
1 ts caraway seeds

Nice soft dough, malleable and shiny, put it to rest good side down for the 2nd rise in a banneton, after pushing a wooden dowel down the middle of it and dusting some flour in the crease that occurred.
Not yet doubled but seriously puffed, bake off in a pre-heated oven at 425°F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° F and bake for another 40 minutes.
I made two of those loaves, one with and the other without caraway seeds. I think I used less water in one and as an afterthought they could have used some more baking time. (They each had 30-35 minutes which was a little too short).
The crumb was very good though, would have like the crust somewhat more pronounced.


  1. When this showed up on my RSS, I looked at your first photo and thought you'd used my photo of Hensperger's Oatmeal-Potato Bread. Did a double take and realized no that's the photo you'd sent me of your Hamelman loaf. Since I'd just read your comment on my Hensperger loaf and laughed thinking mine in one shot looked a lot like a mummy, I realized that our two loaves with different recipes look a little alike.
    Can anybody but me follow that?
    I really like the crust on the Hamelman loaf better than the Hensperger loaf and much better than the one I just did.

  2. This particular Hensperger book puzzles me..I did the oatmeal one as well and didn't like the way it turned out. Kept adding flour and lo and behold got a dense dry bread for result. Aargh!

  3. I tried the original version of this bread several months ago and was unimpressed. I saw your recipe with the modifications and thought I may as well try it since I had some time and some potatoes already roasted. It's so good. :D I am very, very pleased.


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