Whole Wheat Potato Rosemary Bread

 

I am finally getting round to catching up with my blog. This bread was made months ago, when I went through a phase of baking a different type of bread every Saturday – I must get back into that!

This delicious potato bread is perfect for sandwiches or as a dinner accompaniment. It’s made with 100% wholemeal (whole wheat) flour, packed full of flavor and absolutely delicious. It has a soft and spongy interior with a chewy and complex crumb. I love it with lashings of imported European butter. You can add roasted garlic to the dough before baking for an additional flavor punch.

Since I’m incredibly lazy when it comes to making bread, I have adapted the method of Reinhart’s recipe considerably. I wouldn’t know if there is any difference in flavor or texture, but the result was damn good as is.

 

WHOLE WHEAT POTATO ROSEMARY BREAD

Makes 2 loaves or 20 rolls

Adapted from “Whole Grain Breads – New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor”, by Peter Reinhart

 

Ingredients

For the potato and potato water

  • 170 g (6 oz) potato, skin left on, cut into big chunks
  • 475 ml (2 c) water

For the soaker

  • 225 g (1 ½ c) wholemeal (whole wheat) flour
  • ¼ t salt
  • 170 ml (⅔ c and 2 t) potato water, at room temperature

For the biga

  • 225 g (1 ½ c) wholemeal (whole wheat) flour
  • ½ t dried active baking yeast
  • 200 ml (¾ c and 4 t) potato water, at room temperature

For the final dough

  • All soaker
  • All biga
  • 55 g (⅓ c and ½ T) wholemeal (whole wheat) flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 ½ t dried active baking yeast
  • All mashed potato
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 T chopped roasted garlic (optional)
  • ¼ t coarsely ground black pepper

 Extra flour for adjustments

 For the egg white wash

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 T water
  • 1 pinch salt

 

Method

1. Place chopped potato and water into a pan. Boil for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft, but not mushy. Drain and reserve potato water and let cool. Mash potato and set aside.

2. Soaker – Place all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment. Mix together using low speed for 2-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave at room temperature for 12-24 hours (or chill for up to 3 days).

3. Biga – Place all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment. Mix, using low speed until a tacky dough is formed, then knead for 8-10 minutes, using medium-low speed. Cover the stand mixer bowl with cling film (plastic wrap) and chill overnight (or up to 3 days).

4. Final dough – Add everything to the biga in the stand mixer bowl, then using the dough hook attachment mix. Once a dough has formed, knead for 8-10 minutes until smooth, soft and slightly tacky, adding more flour as necessary.

5. Form the dough into a ball, lightly oil and place back into the stand mixer bowl. Cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and sit in a warm, draft-free area for 1 hour, or until 1.5 times its original size.

6. Punch dough down and shape into two freestanding loaves or twenty rolls. Transfer onto parchment lined baking trays, then cover with a damp tea (kitchen) towel. Let rise for 45-60 minutes or until 1.5 times its original size.

7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) and make the egg white wash by blending all the ingredients together.

8. When ready to bake, place a pan of hot water on to the lower shelf of the oven. Brush the loaves with egg white wash, scoring them if desired and pop into the oven. Lower the temperature to 180°C (350°F) and bake for 20 minutes.

9. Rotate the loaves by 180 degrees and bake for another 20-30 minutes or until the loaves are a rich brown color. The bread should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

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