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Monday, September 04, 2006

Bread, Act 2: Potato Rosemary Bread


When I went to the California Culinary Academy way back in 1999, I was fortunate enough to advance my bread knowledge with Chef Peter Reinhart. He was our Bread Instructor for five weeks, and I learned a great many things from him. He is a big fan of using slow rise techniques in bread baking in order to evoke the fullest flavor from a loaf. I am definitely a follower of his teachings.

The Potato Rosemary Bread is from his book The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I can tell you that at this very moment, our apartment smells like heaven.

The rosemary is the primary player in the scent..with very slight potato undertones. The bread is almost ready to come out of the oven...then I will photograph it as if it was a star walking down the red carpet on an opening night. Then we will have to wait until cutting into it, because, unfortunately, a bread's full flavor is best enjoyed once the loaf has completely cooled (as tempting as it is to cut into right from the oven, I advise against it).

The recipe is from Chef Peter's book, I have shortened his directions a bit.

Potato Rosemary Bread
7 ounces biga (from yesterday's post)
14 ounces unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground (optional)
1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
6 ounces mashed potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
7 to 8 ounces water, at room temperature (or warm if the potatoes are cold)
4 tablespoons coarsely chopped roasted garlic (optional)
Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting
Olive oil for brushing on top
___________________________________________________________
-Take the biga out about an hour before you are going to mix the bread, cut it into about 8 bits and let it sit out, under plastic wrap, to warm it up a bit.
-mix together the flour, salt, pepper and yeast.
-In the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a medium sized bowl) with a dough hook (or a wooden spoon) stir together the liquids, biga and potato until a bit combined.
-Add the flour mixture and the rosemary, beat on low (or stir) until just combined. Turn the machine up to medium speed and mix for about 6 minutes or until the dough is slightly tacky and it bounces back when you poke at it(if doing by hand, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 minutes or until the dough is slightly tacky and elastic).
-Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let ferment for about two hours or until doubled in size.
-Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut in half. Shape each half into a round (boule), place on a sheet pan, or a peel that's been dusted with cornmeal, and cover with plastic wrap and allow it to proof for 1 to 2 hours or until almost doubled again.
-While the dough is proofing, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. If you have a way to make steam in your oven you may want to set that up also (I have a pan I put in the bottom of my oven and pour hot water into it to create steam).
-Once the loaves have doubled, remove from plastic wrap, brush them with olive oil and score them if you would like. Bake them at 400f (if you are going to steam them, do so for the first five minutes of baking) for about 25 to 35 minutes, or until the loaves are a nice deep golden color.
-Let loaves cool completely, and feast!

I'll post pictures of the insides once it is cool :)

Enjoy!

3 comments:

Nicole said...

I love that book! I would love to take some baking classes someday. But for now I'm just reading as much as I can and learning as I go! It's so nice being able to read and see about other people's baking experiences :-) I'm thinking of setting up a blog that's strictly dedicated to my bread-baking since I already write everything down in a notebook.

Jen the bread freak said...

I was very fortunate to have a time in my life where things just kind of fell into place and I was able to attend the Baking and Pastry program! I think it would be awesome if you started a strictly bread blog, the photos of the sourdough you make are wonderful!

wandsworth said...

HI, my bread never takes on as much crustiness, if thats a word as yours, mine always turns out a bit more like a foccaccia instead of athe lovely boules, am I using the wrong flour?