On Sunday I had a bit of an experiment with a Russian potato bread recipe from this book. I’d borrowed the book from a colleague, since each class at our school has to bake a different bread for a school feast coming up. As my class have managed to cultivate quite a few potatoes, I decided we’d make potato bread for the feast, so I thought it might be worthwhile to try out the recipe.
It has quite a few steps to it, and quite a few ingredients, but it was actually quite straightforward to follow the steps and I’m VERY proud of the finished result. I might actually prefer it to normal home-baked bread! It’s very moist and squishy, even when we ate it today.
Anyway…here it is:
Step 1: Weigh out your potatoes. I used a random mixture - some left over in a kitchen drawer, then two different types grown in the garden this year.
Step 3: Weigh out some white and wholemeal flour, the yeast and some salt.
Step 4: Meanwhile, boil your potatoes.
Step 5: Drain potatoes, retaining the liquid, and mash well. Here I fell down, because my masher has quite large holes, so although I mashed lots, there were still little lumps.
Step 6: Pour some of the water the potatoes were cooked in back in and mix it up...
...until it's nice and smooth.
Step 7: Rub some butter into the flour mixture. (That's my yeast waking up in a mug of warm milk by the jug.)
Step 8: This is where is started to look a bit gross - because you have to mix the soggy potato mixture into the floury-buttery mixture.
Step 9: Keep on mixing. At this point it reminded me a bit of banana loaf - at the stage when you're mixing in your mashed banana.
Step 10: Tip it out and wonder how you're ever going to turn THAT into acceptable bread dough.
Step 11: Kneed a lot. Gradually force the extra flour back into the dough.
Step 12: Feel very proud that your dough has finally taken shape!
Step 13: Put the dough in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave in the warmest place you can find... in my case, the windowsill.
Step 14: Return after an hour (ok, I was a bit busy, and hour and a half) to see how impressively big your dough has got!
Step 15: Kneed a little more and shape your bread into a round loaf shape. Attempt, valiantly, but ultimately in vain, to score a nice criss-cross pattern on the top.
Step 16: Bake. I did take a photo of this, but it's just my reflection in the oven door. Trust me, I did bake it.
Step 17: Admire your lovely loaf. Witness what happens when the criss-cross pattern doesn't take - one big fat crack. Never mind.
Step 18: Eat and enjoy! Hurrah!