I have a gift.
A gift for killing food scales.
Not sure why I have this gift, but I am out 5 food scales in the last 3 years alone. Now a days most things are written in cups and tsp, etc and so I held off on buying a food scale this time around. But when I saw that we were making potato bread, and that I need ounces of potato I browsed Amazon.com and found one. This time around UPS helped me out and my food scale came to me mutilated and in pieces. Well crap I thought. I was already to make potato bread and even planned my meal to include it. So I decided I would make it anyway.
What was my solution. Well, I stood on my scale holding an empty bowl. I have one of those scales that tells you not only weight, but body fat(oh the horror!), how much water is in your body and so on. So after I weighed myself I went and added some mashed up potato to the bowl and re-weighed myself…till I “gained” a pound. 🙂 It worked. So I sent back my food scale and didn’t get another one yet…the holidays are no time to kill things.
This is a good, straightforward recipe that Tanna of My Kitchen in Half Cups found for us, the Daring Bakers that is. I think if you are not a bread baker and even a little fearful of yeast(you know who you are) should give this one a go around.
Tender Potato Bread
Metric measurements are from the European edition. Thank you Linda (Linda.kovacevic.nl) from Make Life Sweeter
4 medium to large floury (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks.
Tanna Note: For the beginner bread baker I suggest no more than 8 ounces of potato; for the more advanced no more than 16 ounces. The variety of potatoes you might want to use would include Idaho, Russet & Yukon gold, there are others.
4 cups(950 ml) water, reserve cooking water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 ½ cups to 8 ½ cups (1 kg to 1350g) unbleached all-purpose
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (130g) whole wheat flour
Making the Dough (Directions will be for making by hand):
Put the potatoes and 4 cups water in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and cook, half covered, until the potatoes are very tender.
Drain the potatoes, SAVE THE POTATO WATER, and mash the potatoes well. Tanna Note: I have a food mill I will run my potatoes through to mash them.
Measure out 3 cups(750ml) of the reserved potato water. Add extra water if needed to make 3 cups. Place the water and mashed potatoes in the bowl you plan to mix the bread dough in. Let cool to lukewarm (70-80°F/21 – 29°C) ¢â¬â€œ stir well before testing the temperature ¢â¬â€œ it should feel barely warm to your hand. You should be able to submerge you hand in the mix and not be uncomfortable.
Add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest/sit 5 minutes.
Note about Adding Yeast: If using Active Dry Yeast or Fresh yeast, mix & stir yeast into cooled water and mashed potatoes & water and let stand 5 minutes. Then add 2 cups of flour to the yeast mix and allow to rest several minutes. If using Instant Dry Yeast, add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest/sit 5 minutes.
Sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and the softened butter; mix well. Add the 1 cup whole wheat flour, stir briefly.
Add 2 cups of the unbleached all-purpose flour and stir until all the flour has been incorporated.
Tanna Note: At this point you have used 4 cups of the possible 8 ½ cups suggested by the recipe.
Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, incorporating flour as needed to prevent sticking. The dough will be very sticky to begin with, but as it takes up more flour from the kneading surface, it will become easier to handle; use a dough scraper to keep your surface clean. The kneaded dough will still be very soft. Place the dough in a large clean bowl or your rising container of choice, cover with plastic wrap or lid, and let rise about 2 hours or until doubled in volume.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead gently several minutes. It will be moist and a little sticky.
Forming the Bread:
Tanna Note: It is at this point you are requested to Unleash the Daring Baker within. The following is as the recipe is written. You are now free to follow as written or push it to a new level.
Divide the dough into 2 unequal pieces in a proportion of one-third and two-thirds (one will be twice as large as the other). Place the smaller piece to one side and cover loosely.
To shape the large loaf:
Butter a 9 x 5 x 2.5 inch loaf/bread pan. Flatten the larger piece of dough on the floured surface to an approximate 12 x 8 inch oval, then roll it up from a narrow end to form a loaf. Pinch the seam closed and gently place seam side down in the buttered pan. The dough should come about three-quarters of the way up the sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 35 to 45 minutes, until puffy and almost doubled in volume.
To make a small loaf with the remainder:
Butter an 8x4X2 inch bread pan. Shape and proof the loaf the same way as the large loaf.
To make rolls:
Butter a 13 x 9 inch sheet cake pan or a shallow cake pan. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape each into a ball under the palm of your floured hand and place on the baking sheet, leaving 1/2 inch between the balls. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 35 minutes, until puffy and almost doubled.
To make focaccia:
Flatten out the dough to a rectangle about 10 x 15 inches with your palms and fingertips. Tear off a piece of parchment paper or wax paper a little longer than the dough and dust it generously with flour. Transfer the focaccia to the paper. Brush the top of the dough generously with olive oil, sprinkle on a little coarse sea salt, as well as some rosemary leaves, if you wish and then finally dimple all over with your fingertips. Cover with plastic and let rise for 20 minutes.
Baking the bread(s):
Note about baking order: bake the flat-bread before you bake the loaf; bake the rolls at the same time as the loaf.
Note about Baking Temps: I believe that 450°F(230°C) is going to prove to be too hot for the either the large or small loaf of bread for the entire 40/50 minutes. I am going to put the loaves in at 450°(230°C) for 10 minutes and then turn the oven down to 375°F (190 °C) for the remaining time.
Note about cooling times: Let all the breads cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Rolls can be served warm or at room temperature.
For loaves and rolls:
Dust risen loaves and rolls with a little all-purpose flour or lightly brush the tops with a little melted butter or olive oil (the butter will give a golden/browned crust). Slash loaves crosswise two or three times with a razor blade or very sharp knife and immediately place on the stone, tiles or baking sheet in the oven. Place the rolls next to the loaf in the oven.
Bake rolls until golden, about 30 minutes. Bake the small loaf for about 40 minutes. Bake the large loaf for about 50 minutes.
Transfer the rolls to a rack when done to cool. When the loaf or loaves have baked for the specified time, remove from the pans and place back on the stone, tiles or baking sheet for another 5 to 10 minutes. The corners should be firm when pinched and the bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Place a baking stone or unglazed quarry tiles, if you have them, if not use a no edged baking/sheet (you want to be able to slide the shaped dough on the parchment paper onto the stone or baking sheet and an edge complicates things). Place the stone or cookie sheet on a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450°F/230°C.
If making foccacia, just before baking, dimple the bread all over again with your fingertips. Leaving it on the paper, transfer to the hot baking stone, tiles or baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack (remove paper) and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
To see what all the other Daring Bakers did…and there are a lot of them… head on over to the Daring Bakers Blog Roll.
foodie froggy says
It looks like a bread made by a professional baker (and I know what I am talking about, I live in Paris !)
I agree–those pictures are amazing–but yours always are!
I’m still smiling, thinking of you–the food scale menace–standing on the scale! :):)
Heehee! I was wondering if someone else would have the same post title. Your bread looks just like the loaves I buy at the Ferry Building. BTW, that’s how I weigh packages to determine postage. 🙂
Your bread looks so good….if only mine looked half as good! Well done 🙂
well, you are a true DBer, you even managed to find alternative ways of measuring the weight of potatoes! Beautiful bread!
Very rustic and looks good with a slice of cheese!
I can just see you standing on that scale with that bowl. Hilarious. And what a gorgeous loaf of bread. I just love all those cracks and crannies. YUM!
How wonderfully rustic looking! Really very pretty!
ha! that is an awesome story–way to improvise! looks like it worked out perfectly!
Your loaf looks beautiful! The Daring Bakers have challenged us all once again!
wonderful looking bread, Peabody! And what a novel way to measure ingredients 🙂
Your loaf looks ever so beautiful! I love it’s gorgeous crust!
Hahaha! I can literally see you standing on your scales weighing out your stuff. Too funny! The loaf looks gorgeous!
Ingenius. Now not only can you find out your body fat content, but also be as equally informed about know your body potato content! Hehe..
Oh how jealous am I, you loaf came out -perfectly!- My sad un-focaccia pales in comparison.
Peabody, what a riot about you and scales! I can see you running between that new kitchen of yours and the scale, bowl of mashed potatoes in your hand (he-he) Great job on this month’s challenge!
peabody, that was hilarious about the scales:-)))…I am visualising you in that state :-)))…but jokes apart, that bread is to die for…absolutely perfect 🙂
How did you get your dough to make that shape?!? I am sooo jealous 🙂
That crust just looks beautiful. Right when I saw it I imagined hollowing it out and putting some clam chowder in it!
Ha – very creative solution to the problem 🙂 I love your bread, it looks wonderful!
Butta Buns says
How clever you are! And your bread looks heavenly!
wow your bread looks great, too funny about the scale, glad it worked for you
Your bread looks amazing!! And what a funny mental picture of you walking back and forth with a bowl of potato water to the bathroom scale.
Such a glorious crust, I want to reach through the monitor and break off a piece. Love your idea for weighing the potatoes. 😉
OoOo, very crusty looking loaf. Just the way I like it. Fantastic job!
Your a genius , Peabody to use the weighing scale that way. I’m in the market for a scale too. One that would weigh to 1 gram and measures both liquid and solid. Love the crumb on your bread and it looks so wonderfully crusty!
Haha that’s hilarious that you stood on your scale with a measuring bowl. Your bread is beautiful!
Your pictures are killing me. Your bread looks so crusty yet has a fine crumb.
Gorgeous bread! I’m so impressed! Excellent job, dear.
Hilarious story! I’m sitting here laughing out loud. (Good thing I’m home alone.) It worked for you. Your breads look great!
I used to stand on the scale with my daughter when she was a baby to see how much she weighed. Unfortunately, I had to weigh myself first. Um…we don’t own a scale anymore! Ignorance is bliss.
Oh my god! What a way to make me start my day…I was holding my ribs reading your post! I salute you for going the extra pound for the DB. The loaf looks gorgeous! Yeah!!!!
That is too funny – I didn’t think to weigh the potatoes that way!! Your bread looks perfect. Does anything ever not turn out for you???? 🙂
Alice Q. Foodie says
Jeez Louise that’s gorgeous! I don’t think my scale is that sensitive… at least I hope it isn’t!
Your loaf is Gooorgiss…really, it’s absolutely stunning. And boy does that crust have some character! Your pics make me want to bake this again — cheers!
Beautiful Bread! I’m inspired!
Again you have made a beautiful concoction. How did you ever create such a beautiful loaf? I mean honestly, everything out of your kitchen is perfection.
That’s probably the healthiest way to gain a pound in 30 seconds 🙂 Your bread looks perfect!
Awesome crust on that bread!
Wow- Beautiful crusty loaf! Creative scale work too 🙂
Always your photos are stunning! If only I could gain pounds that I could then place on the counter and make bread with. Always with the funny side Peabody. Thanks.
Beautiful rustic loaf Peabody
I just want to grab some butter and rip a piece right off!
Skrockodile (Sabra) says
What a beautiful, crusty bread! I was not quite daring enough to try a bread like this – I went for focaccia which seemed easier, but next time!
oh my, I love the crackly crust you got!
hahaha, what a smart way to weigh the potato. You crack me up on this. I am thinking of getting a food scale through Amazon,but after reading this, I have to think twice….
hee hee hee
You have me laughing over the bathroom scales! So funny. Your loaf is stunning. That crackly crust makes me want to have another go at it to try and replicate your results. 🙂
Ooh what crusty goodness!
That’s such a gorgeous crust on the loaf! It does look like scale-tipper, doesn’t it!
Erika of Sweet Pea Blog says
Now that is a crust! Am very impressed. I made little buns so they turned out quite differently from your bread. I am thinking of tartine, toast, or just a little olive oil and salt… just looking at your photos makes me hungry!! Wonderful job 🙂
I think the measuring of the potato story was the highlight of my day! hehe
Maybe I should’ve weighed mine like that if you get a loaf that looks like that! wow
Beautiful bread, gorgeous crust!
Your blog is always a feast for the eyes.
Julius from Occasional Baker
That crust is fabulous! Spraying/steaming makes such a difference.
I am cracking up over you and the scale issue. Your bread looks wonderful!
your bread looks so scrumptious i can just smell it !! the crust is amazing… how did you do that ??
Ha – I love your weighing process! I don’t own scales, so I had to stand there with a handful of potatoes in one hand, a pound bag of onions in the other, and think “hmm…feels pretty close…”. The bread, by the way, looks little less than amazing.
That bread is absolutely beautiful – you have a great gift 🙂
Laura Rebecca says
That loaf is lovely; I can almost feel the crust crunching between my teeth!
wow, this looks amazing!
can’t say that I’ve ever used a food scale, but now I’m not so sure if I want to learn how ;0) your version of the potato bread, for this month’s DB challenge, looks delicious!! I DO have a fear of baking with yeast, but hopefully I’ll work up the courage to work with it!
A scale and a candy thermometer…those are things I NEED! 🙂 I love the picture that focuses on the “crumb” at the front…so cool!
Wow. That crust. I’m envious. Beautiful beautiful bread. And the story about the scale is hilarious. What dedication!
I love love love love LOVE the rustic look of your bread. It looks incredible and that is SO creative with the scale. lol. I am thinking of getting a scale too to be more accurate in my baking recipes.
Looks wonderful! So professional looking!
Gretchen Noelle says
I *love* the cracks! It looks so, so, so much better than mine came out. Maybe I could be inspired to do it a third time!
Gorgeous loaf & I love your solution to weighing the potato. Poor food scales…they should stay away from your door.
Your potato bread looks really good. Just look at the crispy crust!
Sheltie Girl says
Peabody – Your bread is beautifully crusty and airy. Lovely job!
Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go
That’s an interesting gift you have that makes you kill scales. What do you do to them? I love your story, though, and your loaf looks lovely.
Wow! Let me bring the soup, then I will grab a chair and eat this beautiful bead up in 2.2!
Wow! Maybe I should try this again – your loaf looks so wonderful…
I officially want to eat your bread through my monitor. Great job. Wowser
Your food scale story is so funny. I can just picture you standing on your weighing scales trying to gain a pound! And that bread looks just amazing!! Superb. But then, peabody, you never fail to amaze!
Oh gosh…the texture of the crust and the colour makes me feel like stealing that bread from my monitor! Grats on making this fabulous challenge =)
Jen Yu says
Hey – you’ve done this before, haven’t you? 😉
I got tired of systematically going through the A’s, the Z’s, the B’s, the Y’s… and I jumped to your blog skipping a lot of C’s! Your bread looks great. I don’t know what you are doing with your kitchen scales that you’ve gone through five (okay four – the postal service is pretty talented, no?), but I’m glad that you have your trusty science training to measure your potatoes correctly.
baking soda says
OMG! This looks so good! I just love to picture you on the scale holding that bowl! Too funny
african vanielje says
Wow, your bread looks amazing and your scale experiment obviously worked. Although why anyone would want to put themselves through the agony of knowing what their bodyfat was, ….
I find the best way to get weighing scales to last is to buy a 1960’s one (or is it a pair?), with a cracked pan that has been mended and can’t be put in the dishwasher, from a bootsale or junk shop. It will constantly appear to be on the brink of collapse, but never actually tip over into being useless. And it may be red or brown or orange or some other fantastic retro colour.
Have you tried getting on your person weighing scales with a pound of butter? Would be great to hear it start bleeping and getting all concerned for your heart…
kim at Hey Mum, I'm Hungry! says
Oh man, your loaf looks so crusty and wholesome I just want to hack into it, slather it with butter and gobble it up. YUM.
Oh my goodness! Bread-envy alert! That is exactly how I want my bread to look! 🙂 How do you get it to look so artisanal-y? Picture perfect! And I bet it was out of this world delicious too 🙂
The great advantage to standing on the scale is that you can drop a pound by dropping the bowl. Sigh, if life were just so easy!
Jenn - The Leftover Queen says
That crust looks fantastic! Honestly Peabody – I do believe your gift is baking!
It is lunch time here and my mouth is watering – a slab of butter, some salt and cheese…Your bread looks wonderful…..However if I had a set of scales as evil as yours I would probably forgo the butter…
For some reason I could only see your last photo, but it is enough to say your bread came out fab!
What a beautiful loaf!
S. from The Student Stomach says
Yet another sucessful challenge!
Your bread is so beautiful! It looks like it came from the bakery. Great job on the challenge! The scale fiasco is hilarious:)
I love the crackly crust on your bread Peabody!
What a great way you found to measure the potatos!!!
Your bread looks like the italian breads we find here in Brazil!
Amanda @ Little Foodies says
Do you have professional baker genes? What a great crust, and the inside looks perfect too. That’s a lot of scales to get through in 3 years.
Bravo for the challenge, your bread looks beautiful!
To digress for a brief moment, how exactly can a scale tell your body fat percentage? I’m guessing it’s a rough estimate?
Okay, back to the bread! WOWzorz! That’s the most beautiful bread I have ever seen, the crust is brilliant! How did you form it and bake it? Because I guess I’m not reading your post thoroughly or something, my eyes hate me :(.
Wow! Your bread looks simply stunning – crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside.
Patricia Scarpin says
I love how rustic and crisp it is, Pea. Beautiful.
Your bread definitely look like it was made from a professional bakery! I loved your scale story, it made me laugh and feels like something I have done before.
Your loaf looks lovely and fluffy in the interior. I love how crisp and rustic looking you got the crust.
I love your way of measuring weight without scales ^__^ Hilarious
That bread is STUNNING (as are the photos) and is making me hungry D= Definitely makes me want to have a go!
Miss Ifi says
Your bread is beautiful and also your pictures, but I think that your method of weighting the potatoes MUST win a prize, it is just SO smart *giggles* congratulations!!
That is a fantastic loaf of bread! Just gorgeous.
Your bread looks so beautiful–picture-perfect crumb! Smart improvisation to measure weights, too!
What a gorgeous crust your bread has, Peabody!!! Absolutely perfect!
Excellent! The photos, the post, the story about the scale!!! Your bread turned out great!
Gorgeous crust on your bread. Way to fix the scale problem.
The Pic says it all!! the loaf is gorgeous..lovely colour to the crust!
That picture is the epitome of “crusty loaf”…sooo good.
Talk about using what you got! Great story and beautiful bread.
Wonderful pictures! And great idea about the scale. Talk about resourcefulness. Well done!
Five scales in three years…wow! I have my mother’s trusty Weight Watchers food scale from the 1980’s. I think it’s indestructable — though we learned last weighing turkey carcass for stock that it only holds 5 pounds at a time. I guess Weight Watchers doesn’t expect their devotees to be piling in 5 pounds of food…
Your bread? I don’t have any thoughts not expressed at least once by the 105 people ahead of me in line here. Gorgeous!
This makes my mouth water, a little butter and I’d be in heaven for sure…crusty bread, my weakness.
Your bread looks really rustic. I like your crust and it would probably go nicely with some cheese.
What more could I possibly say that you have not heard already ~well done…again!
Droooolz…. Look at that crust!
Anyhoo, what a gift for killing food scales 🙂 At least, you have no gift whatsoever in killing yeast, unlike me (sometimes)!
most beautiful loaf i’ve seen so far! well done you.
i missed this round, with 40 c and over and on the sick bed. will try and make this weekend, as seeing yours, this bread is har to resist…
That bread is unbelievable! I’d buy that any day if you’re selling!
What a gorgeous loaf! (And I have to ask – why didn’t you just put the bowl on the scale and add until it reached the right weight?)
I went without a scale too, but I love your solution. Your bread is stunning: so crusty and airy!
Wow. Just… I’m a bad baker. No scale. I should have added THAT to my wishlist!!
Man, I can’t wait to try this one. Have been looking for a better potato bread recipe and this one turned out beautifully for you.
Wow….what a handsome loaf!!