The Fresh Loaf

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[ITJB Challenge] - Week 6: Polish Potato Bread

loydb's picture
loydb

[ITJB Challenge] - Week 6: Polish Potato Bread

It's week 6 in the Inside the Jewish Bakery Challenge - Semester 1. This week is Polish Potato Bread.

By procrastinating my bake until the end of the week, I can learn from the experience of those who have their act together and baked earlier! A common theme seemed to be "dough too wet," so I was meticulous about my measuring. The biggest opportunity for adding moisture seems to be during the process of boiling the potatoes. I weighed them prior to boiling, and again after draining, and they had gained a half-ounce. I reduced the potato water in the recipe accordingly.

For the flour, I milled hard red wheat and sifted it to ~80% extraction through a #30 sieve.

As you can see, the dough was still wet, but it wasn’t the batter that some folks have gotten. I was able to more-or-less wrangle it into a shape with well-floured hands.

I would change the following things next time I made it:

First, I would allow the proof to continue until the loaf was higher than the top of the pan. Like many others, I got no oven spring at all. I had gotten such a vigorous rise in the fermentation, I think I could have easily gotten another inch during the proof.

Second, I got burned (almost literally) by putting the pans into the top third of the oven rack. The tops were starting to get really dark at the 40 minute mark, so I pulled the pans. I left the bread in the pan for 15 minutes, then moved to a cooling rack. The bottoms were very undercooked. If you look at the bottom of the slices in the last picture, you see no crust at all. Next time, I’ll put them lower in the oven, and tent with foil if necessary to get a longer bake.

And there will certainly be a next time. The bread is unbelievably soft – the softest milled wheat bread I’ve made. I made potato soup to go with it, and they paired perfectly. I would imagine I’ll make this every time I make potato soup in the future – I’m already boiling them, it’s really easy to add a couple extra for the bread.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Comments

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Loyd,

I am not participating in the challenge but this recipe got my attention.  It is in the works now and I too am making changes based on what others have said.  

I appreciate your comments as my grain most resembles yours.  I will note the changes in baking and proofing that you recommended and I am certainly going to watch the hydration because that seems to be the most common comment.  I am retarding it overnight so will have to wait until tomorrow to see what happens.

Your loaves look really nice despite your comment that the bottoms of the loaves didn't get baked all the way through.

Whenever I cook potatoes now I always cook too many and freeze them for doughs.  I also freeze the water.  Both recommended by PR in his book WGB.....I love his side bar notes :-)

Thanks for the post and a look at your loaves.

Janet

loydb's picture
loydb

I hadn't thought of freezing the water, that's a great idea. How did yours come out?

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Loyd,

I freeze potatoes too.  Small red or yellow potatoes work great for this.  Very easy to grab what you need when you need potatoes to bake with.

Well my results were very different from others with this recipe as I really tweaked things around so what I have really isn't how I imagine it is supposed to be.

First: I used a sd leaven at 25% the total wt of the flour - freshly ground hard white whole wheat - 15% of the flour was pre-fermented.

Second: Since my potatoes had been frozen I squeezed the extra moisture out which dropped the total wt of the potatoes to only 283g.

Third: I mixed the final dough last night and after about an hour of room time it went into the refrig. until this morning when I let it warm up for a couple of hours before shaping it into a loaf and 4 - 90g rolls.

As a result my dough was firm and held it's shape well.  It was a very nice smooth dough to work with.  I didn't add more water or any extra flour.  I did add 1g of IY since people had mentioned the oven spring being non existant.

I let it proof for a couple of hours and baked it.  No oven spring but the loaf did have to bake for almost an hour at 375°.  I baked it in the middle of my oven as I NEVER move my lower shelf due to a very heavy baking stone on it....

No one has tasted any of it yet so I have no idea how the flavor or texture is.  The loaf is going to a neighbor and I will follow up on those details later....if I remember....Rolls stayed here so maybe my husband will let me know tonight when he gets home.

Turned out to be  a fun dough to work with - very easy but really not the recipe in the book....liberties taken by the baker turned it into something else :-)

Janet

Franchiello's picture
Franchiello

I just tried this recipe and ended up with batter, then I tried adding more flour and ended up with two gooey bricks after the loaves were baked.  I think the next time I try this recipe I will cook the potatoes first and then put them back in the pot over low heat to "dry" them out a little and then weigh them, just like I do when making potato gnocchi.  Other than that, I've had some great results with some of the other recipes I've tried from ITJB.

loydb's picture
loydb

I would be interested in the weights before cooking, after cooking, and after drying. Maybe it's because I didn't let them overcook, but I really didn't gain much water at all in the potato process.