Category Archives: Baking

Adventures in Potato Bread!

So today I decided to use up some of the 10 lb bag of potatoes my boyfriend and I picked up from Costco and have yet to finish. So I pulled out another recipe from Peter Reinhart’s “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” and made the potato cheddar torpedoes. It uses the some of my sourdough starter but it only took a day to make instead of two. It was fun making a flavored bread instead of the play breads I’d been making, and it was an awesome combination, sharp cheddar, red potatoes, and fresh chives. I knew the moment I saw it in the book, I’d be making it at some point. So here we go!

the ingredients to my potato bread
Here are my lovely ingredients. The murky liquid in the measuring cup is the water that I boiled the potatoes in for added potato flavor. The chives and the cheese will come later.
partially mixed potato bread
This is only half of the final amount of flour. I knew I’d be kneading it after it rested so I didn’t bother trying to mash up all of the potatoes.
final kneaded dough

Polka dots!

Trying to get all of the chives worked in there was kind of a pain in the butt. But the dough was sticky enough that at least they didn’t fall out. My hands still smell like flour and potatoes.
shaped potato bread loaves
The dough rose super fast so I punched it down once because it still had a 30 minutes left of fermentation. The cheese is finally rolled up  inside the dough, jelly roll style. Next time I will try to slice the cheese thinner. Based on how much cheese the recipe called for it didn’t cover all of the dough so I ended up cutting more.
baked potato bread
Finally came out of the oven and it smells AMAZING. I can really smell the sweetness of the red potato and the chives.  My scoring is a little bit better this time around but the loaf that was closest to the back of the oven still got much darker than the rest even though I turned them halfway through and made sure to pull them away from the backside of the oven. Hmmm…there must be a hot spot there or something. A little annoying but it should take away from the taste at all. I love how you can see all the chives sprinkled throughout the dough and the cheese that melted out of the top and crisped up. Mmmm…. only 30 minutes before I cut into them!
I finally cut into the bread. It was super soft and fluffy inside. I didn’t cut in far enough to really get at any of the cheese but what I did get was tasty. Next time I’ll make sure to get a better distribution of the cheese. Sadly though I overcooked the loaves a little, the crust has a slight burnt taste to it 😦 I had a lot of things going on at the same time so I didn’t pay attention to the time as well as I should have. Next time will be better!
cut loaf of potato bread
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Adventures in Bread, Pt 2

The bread from yesterday was delicious. Nice and chewy, the crust had a good bite to it. I wish it was more sour but I’ll take what I can get. The crumb was good, it had a lot of larger air holes in it which made me happy. I don’t know if I did something different or if it was just the different dough.

I think next time I make bread with the starter I’m going to try my dad’s way of doing it. He uses a no knead recipe that you just mix and let ferment for 12 hours. Not kneading is such a strange concept to me that I’ve avoided doing it. But I’ve had the bread my dad made that way and it’s quite tasty.

Now I just wish I had a baking stone. Or even parchment paper and cornmeal. Ah, the things I would do with money.

my finished bread


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Adventures In Bread!

I finally pulled that sourdough bread out of the even. It smells AMAZING. But I will do the right thing and wait 45 minutes for it to cool to perfection before cutting into it. I used Peter Reinhart’s basic sourdough recipe from his book “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” and my dad’s sourdough started that he started about a month ago.

Some of my process:

Starter from the fridge

My pre ferment pulled from the fridge to warm up a bit. As soon as I pulled it out and as I was kneading it I could smell the delicious sour flavor.

final dough fermenting

Raise my minion!

Dough before it ferments

shaped loaves

My shaping sucks =/

My batards after shaping. I still can’t get the skin tight enough so during the final proof they mostly ooze outwards instead up upwards.

loaves pulled from the oven


I had some problems with scoring the loaves before I put them in the oven. This dough is a lot denser than others I’ve done and my knife is cheap. That’s another thing to add to the list of things to buy when I finally have money. I don’t know why one got blistered on one side like that. I turned them halfway through. Unless when I turned them, they got pushed too far to the back wall. They smell amazing though. The crust seems nice and crunchy. Sigh… only 30 minutes before I can eat them.


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My New Sourdough Starter!

In his retirement, my dad has begun baking. Never has he been particularly interesting in any sort of cooking, much less baking. Not that I’m complaining, I love fresh bread, it’s why I make it myself. It’s just rather….strange.

But anyway! He’s been working on sourdough bread, something I haven’t had the time to explore, and when I went home for the weekend he gave me some of his starter 🙂 Later tonight I’ll get a loaf started and tomorrow I’ll bake it. I’ll post more of my process later.

sourdough starter

Mmmm... smell that yeasty goodness

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PoticaThis delectable looking thing is potica (po-teet-sah) and my best friend made it for me. 🙂

It’s a Slovenian nut roll bread that her grandmother used to make and now she makes. It’s made by rolling dough extremely thin and layering it with chopped walnuts, vanilla, cream, and butter and then rolling it up tight before baking. It is so incredibly delicious, the filling is so nutty and sweet, it’s like kittens playing in your mouth.

I’m supposed to share it with my boyfriend when he gets home later. But lets face it, if there’s even any left when he gets home, he doesn’t get to touch it. Mine!

Now I just need to get her to teach me how to make it too. Which may or may not be a good thing.  Bah, who has time to count calories when you have potica! Mmmm….

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