This months Daring Bakers challenge was a savoury potato bread. I liked the sound of making a bread with potatoes. Potato bread sounded like it would be a bit heavier than normal bread and really moist. Of course I left it to the last minute… (I really need to start the next challenge sooner.) I cut the recipe into half of its original size and made sure that I had enough ingredients to make two batches in case the first one didn’t work out too well. The challenge was to make the potato bread and it was left to us to decide what to do with the bread. You could use the potato bread dough to make a loaf, buns, etc. I decided to go with the suggested focaccia bread. A focaccia is a flat bread with optional toppings baked on. I decided to go with a cheese topping. You really can’t go wrong with golden brown cheese baked on bread.
Making your own bread from scratch is surprisingly easy. It takes a bit of effort and it requires a bit of time but over all it is not too difficult. Everything went well and the focaccia turned out great the first time. I really enjoyed the aroma of the bread baking in my apartment. I started to eat the bread as soon as it was cool enough to do so. It was really good! It is hard to beat fresh, still warm from the oven bread! It was nice and moist; soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. I finished the entire focaccia over the course of the day!
Potato Bread Focaccia with Cheese
- 2 potatoes (peeled and cubed)
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
- Boil the potatoes in the water and salt until tender.
- Drain the potatoes, reserving the water.
- Mash the potatoes in a large bowl.
- Mix in 1 1/2 cups of the potato water and let cool until luke warm.
- Mix in the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Mix in 2 cups of flour and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Mix in the whole wheat flour, butter and salt.
- Dump onto a well floured surface and knead for 10 minutes adding flour as needed. When the dough is soft and not too sticky it is ready.
- Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with plastic and let sit for 2 hours. The dough should rise to double its size.
- Knock the dough down.
- Knead the dough for a few minutes.
- Form the dough into a flattened circle on a baking sheet and cover with plastic.
- Let it rise for 20 minutes.
- Remove the plastic.
- Spread the olive oil over the top of the dough and sprinkle on the cheese.
- Bake in a preheated 350F/180C oven until golden brown on top, about 10-20 minutes.