Accepting the Challenge!


That’s right! I have become a Daring Baker, apparently alongside most of the rest of the food blog community as the group now numbers somewhere around 400. What fun! Many thanks to Lis of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for starting the whole thing and then allowing more and more of us to participate.

Rolls made with white potato

This is the reason it’s been a little quiet here lately. All year long as I would visit some of my favorite blogs, I would see amazing things like the strawberry mirror cake, Gateau Saint Honore, even the chocolate crepe cake that so many disliked and I was so envious. Ooooh, I want to be a Daring Baker when I grow up! It would be so much fun to make the same thing as some of my favorite food bloggers and then have a little ‘Show-n-Tell’ at the end. So after a hectic summer and early fall, I committed to be a Daring Baker, to make my challenge recipes no matter what they may entail, to wait to share until the given date, and I eagerly awaited the recipe. Oh, what marvelous thing could it be?

loaf made with white potato

Potato bread?! What the . . . ? Potato bread. But there’s no chocolate in that at *all*. In fact, the instructions clearly stated savory only. Not only that, but my first challenge involved the dreaded Yeasty Beasties! Well, what sort of Daring Baker would I be if I just turned tail and ran? I totally contemplated cowardice. Desertion in the ranks. Hmm, did someone say ‘dessert’? No. Well, there’s only one thing left. Accept the challenge! (You have to say that with a Chief Inspector Clouseau accent.)

loaf made with Yukon Gold potatoes and bread flour

So I approached this with the attitude that I would have to try this a few times. My bread attempts have been rather lame. The first batch I used some white potatoes and saved them out from a batch I boiled for mashed potatoes. I didn’t have time to make the bread that day so I put the water and potatoes in the fridge and then brought them up to temp the next day to bake bread. I just mashed the potatoes with a fork in a bowl so there were a few lumps and irregularities, but it was pretty mushy. The recipe called for making a loaf of bread with 2/3 of the dough and then rolls or focaccia or a braid or something with the remaining 1/3. I forgot to slash the top of that loaf, but the family did like the rolls made that day. You can find the recipe here.

focaccia bread made with Yukon Gold dough, topped with olives, roasted red peppers and basil

That made me want to try it a little differently. The second batch I made with Yukon Gold potatoes and ran them through my food mill on the finest grate. I also made this batch immediately after cooking the potatoes *and*, just to make it completely impossible to make a good comparison, I used a bag of bread flour I had rather than all-purpose. This day I also made a focaccia, spreading the top with oil and basil and then sprinkling some roasted red pepper and black olives on top. This batch had absolutely the best texture and made me feel all brave and daring with those little Yeasty Beasties. Whoo-hoo! Success with bread! The family loved this round, especially since I spread a little butter over the top of the loaf and it softened the crust compared to the first batch.

sweet potato braid stuffed with pepperoni and mozzarella

By the third time around, I was getting quite daring and decided I wanted to try sweet potatoes, having forgone my praline sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving. Originally I was thinking I would make a braid with the leftover ham from our Thanksgiving dinner, but I didn’t want to wrestle with The Husband while he made us sandwiches for lunch so I could bake the bread, so I used pepperoni instead. The kids thought this was fantastic. I used my pizza seasoning grinder to put some herbs on top.

sweet potato braid with pepperoni and mozzarella

Now that I’m daring, I decided that the third time with the challenge I would flaunt the rules too. I made my loaf sweet. (shh! don’t tell!) The sweet potato was just calling for a little cinnamon and sugar — what could I do?

sweet potato loaf with cinnamon and *sugar*

See that little swirl of cinnamon and sugar peeking out of the loaf? I spread the rolled out dough with canola margarine and topped it with a little brown sugar and cinnamon and then rolled it up.

sweet potato loaf with cinnamon swirl

Tartlet 1 declared this was the absolute best of them all. She’s my kid, what can I say? She liked the sugar and cinnamon with the bread. I’ll probably make this bread several more times. It was nice to make a few sandwiches with thick slabs of home made bread. Thank you Tanna for a great challenge!

sweet potato loaf with cinnamon swirl

Unfortunately, if having a food blog is likely to make one gain 10 lbs, I think being a Daring Baker will probably have me gain 20. Do I see a show of hands for taste testers in the future? I thought I might find a few people willing to sacrifice for the good of the food blog. I’ll be contacting you next month! To see all 400 renditions of Tender Potato Bread, visit the Daring Bakers blogroll.

41 Responses

  1. did you just say cinnamon? yum! and your filled bread OMG fantastic!

  2. looks wonderful! I love your idea with the cinnamon and sweet potatoes!

  3. Great job on your first challenge and I won’t tell anyone about the lovely looking cinnamon bread 😉

  4. taste testers? did you say you needed taste testers? ::waves hand in air:: call on me!! 😉

  5. I’ll be taste tester!!!!! Especially since bread is involved! Let me know. All of those pictures made my mouth water.

  6. kudos for trying the recipes 3 times with different potatoes! I have been wondering how the bread will taste with sweet potato. Thanks for testing out that idea for me. 🙂

  7. Welcome to the DB”s and well done on your first challenge. Your bread looks tasty.

  8. Boy have you been busy! Your bread looks fab! x

  9. You certainly embraced the DB spirit! Well done! I’m impressed with your sweet potato attempts!

  10. Wow – you really did make a lot of versions of this!! Great job on your first challenge!!!

  11. Ha ha! Yeasty beasties! I’m gonna use that! Good job!

  12. Wow, I’m glad you joined DB! Your work looks delicious.

    Julius from Occasional Baker

  13. Nicely done — I can’t believe the variety you whipped up! Welcome to the DBers and congratulations on completing your first challenge.

  14. Sweet potato…what a fantastic idea.

  15. LOL- when I joined the Daring Bakers there were 5 of us! My how times have changed.
    An outstanding job on your first go around.

  16. I totally craving for a bite of that sweet potato braid with pepperoni and mozzarella! =D

  17. What gorgeous looking breads! Wonderful! Great job!



  18. Wow, so many different ones! That’s very impressive for your first DB challenge. Love the cinnamon version.

  19. I am so impressed you tried this out so many times! The filled bread looks wonderful and cinnamon yum!

  20. Everything you made is so impressive! Glad you’re a DB 🙂

  21. congrats on completing your first challenge!! they all look wonderful!

  22. Wow, you really went all out on your first challenge! Everything looks marvelous. I know what you mean about the 20 lbs. Think we need to start a Daring Baker’s workout challenge?

  23. These all look fantastic! Three times!!! Wow! You sure are a *daring* baker! I love the thought of a sweet potato bread. That may be the only reason I give this recipe another go around! Congrats on your first DB challenge, 3 times over!

  24. Truly amazing what you’ve done with this bread. Very good job.

    Iisha of

  25. With so many variations, you really have been a daring baker! Great job!

  26. I went for pepperoni bread as well and it was damn good. All your bread looks fantastic, GREAT JOB!

  27. Gah! You are so industrious! I love all of the incarnations of your bread. The stuffed bread though… omg, that is the stuff of dreams. *drool* Wonderful, delicious, terrific job!!

  28. Wow, I am in love with your sweet potato version! All the loaves looks absolutely wonderful, too!

    Welcome to the DBers!

  29. Oh my! For somebody afraid of yeast you truly showed your Daring Baker spirit! Way to go! I love all the sweet potato variations, very creative!!

  30. Oh wow, they ALL look great, and your second and third batches were especially inspiring! I was wondering how this would go as a sweet. =) You’re triply daring!

  31. Thank you, everyone, for the kind comments and good words!

  32. Woah! Those are some lovely breads! True daring baker! The sweet potato variation is awesome too..and I won’t tell no one!

    great toppings on the focaccia too!

  33. Holy crap! You sound so daunted and then you whip up not one…not two…but three rounds on this dare? And I’m sorry but if this is your first go around with bread I’m going to have to slit my wrists- because they were all freaking gorgeous! You totally missed your calling girlfriend- you should open a bakery and charm a fortune for those beautiful creations. Really great job!

  34. Tempered — don’t do anything drastic! I have certainly worked with yeast before, but my results in the last 10 yrs have been quite varied and less than stellar. I made my own sourdough bread every Saturday while in grad school the first year and less frequently the next two. Then I rarely made bread while we lived in NM (too hot and we could get cheap tortillas) and since moving to IL it seems like I can only get a decent loaf when it’s raining! And I *did* bake the first two loafs on days that it was raining! 😉

  35. Wow you really blew the lid off this challenge!
    Great job on ALL the variations-which are gorgeous!
    Mine was just lazin’ about 🙂

  36. I’m impressed ! 3 attempts and 3 successes ! that sweet potato loaf with cinnamon and sugar looks so great I may need to try that the next time I make this dough. good job !

  37. Congratulations on your first DB challenge! I love all those variations … you were a busy bread bee!

  38. Kudos to you!! You did a fabulous job, and were very creative. Love the sweet potato roll!

  39. Crystal said I needed to come check out your blog to a) meet another DB and b) look at her (4? 5?) birthday cake(s). Yum Yum Yum. I can’t wait to do the sweet potato version. And make your carrot cupcakes. And . . . 🙂

  40. Wow! You really went above and beyond with this challenge! Bravo!

  41. Oh Melody I’m so-ooo glad you chose to accept the challenge. Sweet potato bread. Stuffed with pepperoni. And a second loaf swirled with cinnamon. Brilliant!

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