My friend Eva of Sweet Sins is hosting Bread Baking Day (BBD) #6. She is my "bread idol" - I savoured every last crumb of all the breads that she's given to me. About a year ago, she excitedly gave me some sourdough starter that she had painstaking and patiently made and I somehow managed to kill it. While I gave up making my own sourdough bread, she persisted and succeeded. Eva is also a very talented photographer, so do head over to her blog even if you are not thinking of participanting in BBD.
Zorra of 1x umrühren bitte created the monthly event BBD. For the month of Feb, Eva has chosen the theme Shaped Breads. Since I am in Singapore visiting my family, I thought I might make something traditional but I am in rice country, so I couldn't find any traditional shaped bread recipe to share. I decided to make a sweet bread that I know my family will enjoy.
This bread, which has mashed potato in it, is an adaptation of the Daring Baker's November challenge Tender Potato Bread. I simplified the method and added some sugar in the dough and sprinkled more sugar on the braided loaf just before baking it. I also used only 1/4 of the original recipe to get one braided loaf.
(Sweet) Potato Braid
400g all-purpose flour
½ tsp instant yeast
1/8 tsp salt
113g (4oz) potato, unpeeled weight
1 cup of potato water
¼ cup caster sugar
1 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1. Peel potato and boil chunks in 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Drain and mash the potato. Reserve the potato water for making the dough. Let potato and the water cool to lukewarm.
2. Mix the flour, yeast, salt and sugar together in a large bowl and make a well in the center.
3. Add the mashed potato, required amount of potato water and butter to the center of the flour and mix to soft dough.
4. Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. The dough will be quite sticky so use a dough scraper to keep your work surface clean. Add more water or flour if necessary. Knead dough until smooth and elastic.
5. Place in a lightly oil bowl, cover with a lightly oiled clear film and leave in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours, or until doubled in bulk.
6. Turn the dough into a lightly floured surface and knock it back (punch down) lightly. Shape the dough to your preference. To learn how to braid the dough, have a look here. Place it onto a baking sheet and cover with the oiled clear film and leave it to rise for a further 30-45 minutes.
7. When the dough is almost double in size, preheat the oven to 230° C. Brush the top of the dough with melted butter and sprinkle sugar liberally over the braids.
8. Bake at 230° C for about 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 190° C and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Due to the sugar, the bread might brown too quickly. So after 15 minutes, it may be necessary to cover the bread with foil.
The bread had a hint of sweetness, so it was lovely buttered and enjoyed with a cup of tea. I liked the crackle that the sugar topping gave to the crust. Half the loaf was gone in a flash....need I say more?
Other breads to try:
Why not join in the fun? If you haven't tried shaping bread, then you should definitely use this opportunity to learn. You can have a look here for pictorial instructions on creating some basic shapes.
You have till 1 Feb to post your bread shaping creations. For more details have a look here. Eva will post the round-up by 5 Feb.