Saturday, April 3, 2010

potato garlic white bread

This morning I thought I'd try a bread experiment and hit upon potato and garlic as possible contributors. I love potato bread, and sometimes buy a roasted garlic bread at Costco that is one of my favorites.

  • 1 packet active yeast
  • 18 grams Morton's kosher salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 150 grams baked russet potato with skin, cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • 12 grams minced (pressed) garlic (a few cloves)
  • 650 grams unbleached bread flour
In the KitchenAid mixing bowl I proofed the yeast in 1/4 cup of the water. Added all other ingredients then mixed on 2 for a couple of minutes. Let rest, covered, for 30 minutes. Kneaded on 2 for 10 minutes. The dough migrated downward into a more spherical form in the last couple of minutes.

It was a fairly wet dough but not too tough to work into shape. Let rise for an hour, punched down, reshaped. It was sticky enough that it suffered some damage as I tore off parchment paper and plastic. Should have let rise on a heavily floured counter, and heavily floured the top before covering.

It proofed for 2.25 hours, and was very pillowy but resilient. I was getting worried about having not let it rise long enough, and proofing too long, so I rushed it into a 500 degree oven onto a stone that had preheated for only 30 minutes. Added .5 cup water for steam and turned down to 450.

I tried a new slash shape and technique, using an X and a shallow cut at 45 degrees. The dough did not deflate, to my relief, so if it was overproofed it wasn't by much. It had good oven spring and the grigne opened pretty nicely.

Baked for 30 minutes and removed at about 195 degrees internal temperature, after which it coasted to 199.

The crust was just slightly reddish, perhaps indicative of overproofing and too much conversion of starches to sugars on the skin. It deflated a bit as it cooled and felt very soft beneath the leathery crust.

As bread, it's great. Superb texture, stretchy and tender, moist, and solid white bread flavor. As far as realizing my vision, it's kind of a miss. The potato flavor is present but subtle. I was hoping for noticeable tidbits of potato, too. And the garlic got lost somewhere along the way. The crust has a slight burnt note that I'd try to lose, perhaps by baking at a lower temperature but on a very hot stone, or proofing for a shorter time.

Next time I'd probably double the amount of potato and at least triple the garlic. The garlic might work better if it were coarsely chopped rather than pressed. Potato should also be a larger dice. Doubling the potato might call for reducing the water slightly. I think it should perhaps have a longer first rise and shorter proofing. Need to do some reading about this.

Bottom line, it's a keeper as a basic idea but needs some tweaking to achieve the desired result.

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