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Monday, May 27, 2013

Swabian Potato Bread (Schwäbisches Kartoffelbrot)

 

This bread has fast become one of our favorites!

As the bread baker of the family, I always like to be inspired to try new bread recipes or methods, and there is so much inspiration on the web! Rarely do breads however come out the way they are supposed to - even for a seasoned bread baker like myself!

This one, however, was a success from the very first time I tried it! I didn’t alter the recipe very much - it works fine as it is!

There is something so utterly delicious about fresh baked bread, and this potato bread does not disappoint in aroma, texture or flavor!

 

When you read through the recipe, it may seem like a lot of work, but really it isn’t, especially once you get into the grove of it. Since I usually prepare some type of dough for my bread in the evening before baking, making the 3 different batches was different but not really more work!

And on baking day itself, things go pretty swiftly too!

This bread is so delicious right out of the oven, with that wonderful crackling of the crust when you cut that first slice!

However, unlike many other loaves, this bread still has a delicious and moist crumb, days later.

In fact, it’s still great even over a week later, as we found out this week!

We all came down with a stomach virus and were off bread for a few days, yet the bread was still great, with a chewy crust and a moist interior. There is a slight note of sourdough, but it is not pronounced.

 

It’s an all around good bread that goes with savory as well as sweet! The crust is quite tender too, which my currently somewhat toothless children really appreciate!

 

I reminds me of the bread I grew up with! But better, somehow! This one doesn’t go stale as quickly and is so flavorful!

And even though it is called “potato bread”, it really has very little potato in it. Just one small one for the whole loaf. However, it seems to do amazing things to the crumb!

 

So, here are the step-by-step instructions for this delectable bread!

I am doing this recipe in grams, as it is just so much more accurate and ensures baking success, especially with bread. So, please get out your kitchen scales!

 

Swabian Potato Bread

 

The Night before:


SOURDOUGH
135 g  Rye flour
135 g  Water
13g  Sourdough starter 100% Hydration -(freshly fed)

---> COMBINE IN A BOWL, LOSELY COVER AND LET IT SIT ON THE COUNTER TOP OVERNIGHT(12-16 hrs.)


PRE-DOUGH

100g  Unbleached Wheat Flour
90 g  Water
1/8 tsp Granulated yeast   

---> COMBINE IN A BOWL OR JAR, LET IT SIT AT ROOM TEMPERATURE FOR 2 HRS, THEN PLACE IN THE REFRIGERATOR OVER NIGHT (12-16 hrs.)

   
SOAKER
40 g  Bread Crumbs (Any will work, I have even done it with some gluten-free bread crumbs that needed using up!)
75 g Water

---> COMBINE IN A BOWL OR JAR AND LET SIT IN THE REFRIGERATOR OVER NIGHT.

On Baking Day:


MAIN DOUGH:

150 g  Potatoes (cooked, peeled and mashed with a fork)

415 g Unbleached Wheat Flour

120 g Water

3  g   Granulated Yeast

16  g Salt (I use Pink Himalayan Sea Salt)

10 g Oil, Ghee, Lard or Palm Shortening


Preparation:


Prepare the Soaker, Sourdough and Pre-dough as instructed above.

On baking day, combine the ingredients of the main dough with all the other ingredients and knead with the dough hook attachment on low for 4 minutes in a stand mixer.

The dough should be slightly sticky and not coming off the sides of the bowl. If necessary, add a little more water.

Turn the speed up to medium and knead the dough for a further 5 minutes.

Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover and let rise for one hour.

Shape the loaf  by gently folding the sides inwards a few times, without kneading it too much. We want to preserve some of that rise! Place into a floured proofing basket.

Let the dough rise for another hour or so. It should almost be fully proofed.

Heat a pizza or baking stone in the oven at 480 F. Once it reaches temperature, let it heat up for a further 15 minutes.

While it is heating, turn the proofed loaf onto a baking peel sprinkled with corn flour or semolina, or onto a sheet of baking parchment (that’s what I use.)

Brush off the excess flour and slash the loaf 2-3 times, depending on the shape of your loaf.

 

 

Transfer the loaf onto the baking stone and just before closing the oven door, pour a cup or so of water in the bottom of the oven. Quickly close the oven door, so as little steam as possible escapes.

We’re going to bake this loaf with  sliding temperature and several injections of steam for a total of 1 hour.

After you put the loaf on the stone and injected your first steam, leave it to bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 445 F and let it bake for a further 15 minutes. Reduce to 400 F, toss another cup of water on the bottom of your oven and let it bake another 15 minutes. Reduce to 350 F and let it bake for another 15-20 minutes.

 

 

Should the top of your bread get too dark, cover it loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil.

Let the bread cool completely before cutting into it!

 

 

Letting it cool before tearing into it, is pretty much the hardest part around here. The family is swarming the kitchen and checking the oven usually half an hour before it comes out because the smell of fresh crusty bread is all over the house - and it is irresistible!

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