Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mr. Potato Bread #BreadBakers

While I haven't been exactly regular at posting these days (I could point fingers as to why but don't have 26 hands), one of the things I've been keeping up is baking bread for the family. I call it a combination of creative release, stress relief and procrastination - as always, work schedules are jam-packed from day in to day out and my weekends (at least for now) are sucked up with a combination of lesson planning and trying to get to the gym after spending all week sitting down, so the break of even a few minutes to punch down, knead or pull a loaf of fresh, aromatic sustenance out of the oven is gold to me. 

This latest bread is technically called "Mr. Potato Bread" by the folks at Australia's Bourke Street Bakery, who documented the original recipe in their cookbook: Bourke Street Bakery: The Ultimate Baking Companion. However, I like to call the hearty, herbed boule The International Bread of Mystery, and when you break down the ingredients it makes sense - black sesame seeds originating in Africa, nigella seeds with Indian heritage, Mediterranean thyme and rosemary, South American potatoes and 100% Canadian rye and wheat. Not only does it have a worldwide pedigree, but it also has a local flair thanks to my backyard wild yeast. The process is definitely a long, multi-step one, and the loaf is a slow riser, but trust me, the flavours marry and enhance each other and the sourdough, the crumb turns tender with a hint of richness from the oil and the whole thing turns into something more than the sum of its parts. The long timeframe is perfect for people like me who can break away from their days for a few minutes at a time to tend to the loaf, and the reward is definitely a delicious one (especially spread with hummus and topped with alfalfa sprouts!)

Mr. Potato Bread

This month's Bread Bakers event is embracing hearty Fall breads... whether it's apples and pumpkins, spices or the dense, "meal in a slice" type of loaves perfect for pairing with soup, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm has picked a theme that is sure to appeal to everyone!

Let's take a look at the other Fall Flavors being shared today!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

 Mr. Potato Bread
Makes 2 loaves, 32 slices
300 g red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1” cubes
¼ cup olive oil, divided
410 g sourdough starter (100% hydration and recently fed starter)
452 g whole wheat bread flour
395 g all purpose flour
100 g rye flour
475 ml water
5g black sesame seeds
10 g nigella seed 10 g (also known as kalonji seed in Indian cuisine) - or 5g cumin seeds + 5g (extra) black sesame seeds + 2g oregano
1 tbsp dried rosemary
2 tsp dried thyme
15 g salt
  1. Heat the oven to 430°F.
  2. Put potato cubes in baking tray and mix in 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
  3. Bake potato at for 15 minutes. The potato will only be partially baked. Set aside.
  4. Mix starter, flours, water, seeds, herbs and the rest of olive oil together until it forms a shaggy ball. Cover and let autolyze 25 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle salt over the dough and mix with the dough hook on medium speed for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the potato cubes and mix at a low speed until incorporated (I actually found this easier to do by hand with a bowl scraper).
  7. Leave the dough in the bowl, covered, for 1 hour, then stretch-and-fold and leave 1 more hour.
  8. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  9. Shape the dough into 2 boules and put into proofing baskets or bowls.
  10. Let stand at room temperature for 4 hours, until risen by about half.
  11. Heat the oven to 550°F (or as high as the oven will go) with a deep pan of water in the bottom.
  12. Turn the loaves onto parchment-lined sheets and immediately place in the oven. Mist with water.
  13. Turn the temperature down to 430°F and bake for 30-40 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 146.7
Total Fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 184.7 mg
Total Carbs: 27.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.7 g
Protein: 4.9 g