Thursday, 10 January 2008

BBD #6: (Sweet) Potato Braid

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

melted butter


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.

Tasting Notes:
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.


Bellini Valli said...

Lucky family Nora. I saw this DB challenge and would still like to try it.

Meghan said...

this looks wonderful... bread is intimidating to me... wow!

Half Baked said...

Your bread looks great! I love sweet bread also:)

Greg said...

ACK! More Carbohydrates! :) looks great.

Cynthia said...

Nora darling this bread looks like perfection, makes me suddenly want to eat bread and butter :)

Lydia said...

Beautiful loaf! I always have fun shaping braided breads -- they don't always come out as even as yours, but it's really fun to do.sabjwov

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Beautiful! I love the bread braid. I'll have to see what I can up with for the shaped bread round-up.

Nora B. said...

Valli, you should try it! Maybe try the original recipe (savoury) one first.

Meghan, thanks. It's really not that scary after trying a few times. And it's fun, plus you get some exercise from kneading ;-)

Half Baked - When in Singapore, I like sweet breads, when in Sydney, savoury :-)

Sorry Greg, it seems like we are carbo loading at Mom's place... will post some protein recipes soon ;-)

Cynthia, thanks. Bread & butter, the perfect food group!

Lydia, it was just pure luck that the braid was quite even. I haven't braided for years!

Lynn, cool! I'm look forward to see what you'll come up with.

Kevin said...

That golden brown braided bread looks really good! I really liked the potato DB bread. Now I am thinking; hmm... maybe sweet potatoes... I wonder if the bread would come out orange (or purple if I can get some purple sweet potatoes)?

winedeb said...

What a perfect loaf! Look how neat your braids look! Your mom's kitchen must be buzzing all the time with all of the goodies you guys are making! I can hardley keep up with you! Too fun!

Big Boys Oven said...

lovely something to look forward to during the weekend simple and yet delicious!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Wow, this is a breathtaking loaf of bread, Nora!
So beautiful!
I'll take part in the event, too - tks for reminding me!

Coffee & Vanilla said...

Nora, this bread looks very nice... I always wanted to make potato bread bu t I never got a chance yet...

Have a great day, Margot

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Sweet potatoes in bread? Are you kidding me? It doesn't get much better. Unless it's beautifully braided like yours. :)

Greg said...

I'm just giving you a hard time! :) Of course I'm still visiting your blog every day. Let me echo the comments about the very nice braiding job. The bread looks fantastic.

Dana said...

This looks beautiful -- and delicious!

Eva said...

I did my first trial for BBD#6 today - shaping was sorta all right but my bread didn't have an appealing colour (dunno why..:-( Yours looks so good - maybe I should try something like that, too...

zorra said...

Great idea to make a sweet potato braid. It looks awesome!