Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Roasted Potato Bread with Whole Rye Flour

Prior to brushing the excess flour off with the pastry brush
I adapted this recipe from a formula from Jeffrey Hamelman's book Bread. What I especially like about this formula is that it calls for roasted potatoes rather than boiled potatoes. I have found that when you roast potatoes, the process deeply infuses a wonderful baked potato-like flavor into this bread, particularly in the crust. We happened to have the oven on yesterday and I knew that I wanted to bake a crusty bread for tonight's dinner which will be Home Made Chicken Pot Pie. Kelly has never tried this bread, even after a year of dating me, so it was time to bang it out. When I roast the potatoes for the bread, I look for a deep dark color in the skin of the potatoes, which really provides a wonderful earthy flavor. Depending on the size of the potato, I suggest baking them at 425-450 for close to one hour. The skin should be crispy while the flesh of the potato should remain tender and soft. I like to bake these potatoes on my baking stone, which helps to provide a crispier crust. In my opinion, the trick is to not refrigerate them after baking them. Keep them on the kitchen counter, uncovered for the best results. 

Pate fermente after 16 hours of bench time

Be aware that depending on the potatoes' water content, this bread might need slight adjustments in hydration. The dough that I worked with today was on the wet side, but I left it alone because I wanted a crusty loaf. It was a bit tricky to work with. I had to add quite a bit of whole rye flour on the bench to shape it and to ensure that it would not stick to the brotforms. I learned a cool new trick while baking this bread. I took the finished loaf with its excessive flour on the surface and I very lightly brushed it with a pastry brush. Most of the excessive flour was removed and it left some pretty good brotform rings. Another related trick: use this same technique to get extra flour out of your brotform, don't washing it. It really worked well.

All the ingredients minus the pate fermente

Back to the bread at hand. This dough is prepared with a pate fermente, which literally translates to 'old dough'. In days of old, bakers would take a portion of the day's dough and save it for tomorrow's bake. It is a great way to add flavor and to help with gluten development. Unlike the poolish or Biga or sourdough build, a pate fermente contains salt and therefore does not grow to the same extent as the other pre-ferments. For this bread, combine all of the ingredients in the mixing bowl except for the preferment.  Mix for three minutes on first speed. As this mix is happening and as the dough comes together, add the pre-ferment in chunks. The dough is then mixed on second speed for three to four minutes. I went with four minutes, since I did not exactly knead the preferment when it was prepared. I was forced to mix the final dough a bit longer.

Some nice gluten development post fold
The dough is given 90 minutes of bulk fermentation, with a fold after forty five minutes. It is then shaped into a round and proofed for an hour. Then it is baked in a well heated 450 degree oven with normal steam. Oddly, this bread did not darken quite as much as it normally does. Typically it become very dark from the starch provided by the roasted potatoes. To compensate for this, I steamed the oven a second time, and once I brushed off about 60% of flour from the top the bread, it looked much better and was even pleasing to the eye. I am sure the taste will be amazing. This is one of my favorite breads, and it will be the October "Bread of the Month" in Artisan Bread Bakers Group on Facebook. Check us out, and check out this newly revised Hearthbakedtunes.com bread.

Bake On

-DW, The Rye King

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