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.