The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pretty is as pretty does

  • Pin It
PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Pretty is as pretty does

I like good bread.  This is not good bread.  This is seriously good bread!  And I like it a lot.

This is Hamelman's Potato Bread with Roasted Onions.  It's a rustic bread featuring a preferment, roasted potatoes, and roasted onions.  While the photography isn't anything to write home about, the bread is.

Hamelman starts off with a pate fermentee that works overnight; a new chunk of old dough, if you will.  He also has you oven-roast some potatoes with absolutely no seasonings.  They show up in the bread as a slight variation in texture and flavor.  The onions are lightly coated with olive oil and then also oven-roasted to a deep brown, almost black, thoroughly caramelized state.  They don't need any seasoning!  I roasted the potatoes and onions after putting the pate fermentee together, so that they could be cooled and ready to go into the bread the next morning.

Since I was mixing by hand, instead of by machine, I mixed all of the final dough ingredients together and then kneaded in the pate fermentee until everything was uniformly distributed.  Then the chopped up potatoes were folded in and kneaded to distribute, followed at last by the onions.  Since I stopped short of working the onions to an absolute pulp, they left streaky traces throughout the dough.  

Fermentation, shaping and baking were by the book.

All of this happened last weekend and it was this Thursday before I stirred myself to grab a camera.  Here's what's left of the loaf:

And here's how the crumb looked:

The flavor is absolutely delightful.  There is the gentle aroma and flavor of the onions, more sweet than pungent.  The potatoes are very much in the background, unless you happen to bite into a chunk.  Then you get the roasted notes of both starch and skin.  The bread itself is surprisingly rich in flavor for being a lean dough; the deeply browned crust is very enjoyable.  It's been a fabulous base for sandwiches all week long.  No doubt it would make an excellent savory French toast.

Although the hydration is a nominal 61%, the crumb feels moister in the mouth.  No doubt the moisture from the potatoes and onions contributes to that.  It is a firm bread but not tough.  Given the hydration level and the amount of kneading, the crumb is fairly close-textured, rather than open.

This is a definite two thumbs up bread.  

Paul

Comments

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Hi Paul that looks  and sounds like a really good loaf to try i have already been thinking of something along those lines  so will give it a go myself soon.

regards Derek 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Do give it a try.  I think it would go very nicely with some of your homebrew.

Paul

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Nice to hear you enjoyed this loaf AND remembered to post a photo for us :D

Potatoes and potato water add a nice texture to my loaves too.  I always like to have some frozen potato water on hand when I want to go for a softer texture….Potato flakes work too but I prefer not to use them….too processed.

PR has a really nice Potato Bread in WGB that you might like to try since you liked this one.  Only extra ingredient would be the addition of rosemary which takes on a new flavor completely but people around here really like it when I remember to bake it.  All sorts of tweaking which I am sure you know all about!

Take Care,

Janet

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

PR's formula is a good one, too.  Mmmm, rosemary!  Good stuff!

Paul

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

made with a SD old dough?  I think a SD old dough would be the perfect match for potato and onion.  I lnow ian has a good recipe for potato and caramelzed onionbread  but his has some cheese and bacon in it too - which goes against Ian's  normal FWSY self :-)  I personnaly love Ian's recipe but have to sub home smoked pork jowl instead - way better than bacon

The crumb is pretty open in your example with all the potato and onion in it - about as good as it gets.  Has to taste great too  Well done Paul and happy balking.  I think a potato starter from Clayton's book just for this bread would be the topper.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

It's a yeasted preferment, instead.  Ian's bread has to be scrumptious, but I was looking for a good sandwich bread rather than a good sandwich in a bread.  ;0

No doubt this would be good as a SD, too.

Thanks,

Paul

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

Looks and sounds delicious!

Zita

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

It was, even if I do say so, myself.  ;-)

Paul

golgi70's picture
golgi70

What flours were involved to get that color (I assume the onions and potatoes added some color as well).  Is it the traditional white, wheat, and rye or a different mix? I'm a sucker for breads with onions in the dough so it must be good. 

 

Josh

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

of whole wheat, Josh.  Most of the color comes from the onions; they were very deeply caramelized.  If you like onions, you will love this bread.

Paul

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

Thanks so much for reporting your delicious results!  Bread looks great and is going on my "to-bake" list :)

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

The only thing better than having it on your to-bake list is having it on your baked list.

Paul

isand66's picture
isand66

This bread has 2 of my favorite things, onions and potatoes.  I have made similar formulas myself with yeast and with SD and they always come out great.  This is a fine looking bake Paul....now if you just added some bacon it might be over the top!

Regards,
Ian

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

But in a very good way, I'm sure.  And then toast it and plop a fried egg on top, right?

Thanks,

Paul

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

and your description makes my mouth water.

I have to give this a go!

Juergen

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

do bake some for yourself.  It's a winner.

Paul

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

Very nice bake. One can't go wrong with potato. I agree with dab...a potato starter. c

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Funny, isn't it, how some flavors are just meant for each other?  Chef Hamelman definitely pulled together a good marriage in this bread.

Paul

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Drooling! Lovely bread, Paul!

I will have to try this. Thanks for the reminder.

-Khalid

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

So bake it when you're able.  

Thanks,

Paul