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Monday, June 8, 2009

Rosemary & Olive Oil Potato Bread

there is something comforting about receiving food during a time of stress or change. it's usually the last thing on your mind when you're up to your eyeballs in work, multitasking with the everyday mundane and the new abnormal crisis control BS. when i hear of someone going thru any kind of change, good or bad, a new home, an illness, a birth, a promotion, i immediately think of what i can prepare as an offer of solace or celebration. it was no different when a few weeks ago a family member fell sick. i'm not much for words of comfort, i sorely lack in showing that kind emotion but i knew that i could certainly express my support in food. keeping it simple, i went with my twi-friend dreamrevelry's Rosemary & Olive Oil Potato Bread.

back in the day (as in, jesus' day) breaking of bread was a way to show thankfulness and gratitude (eucharist). for me growing up, i always took the phrase to mean a sharing of a meal, together with those you love around. and i always took such joy in actually breaking the bread, rather savagely, as opposed to properly cutting it with a knife. i know, dorky of me.

for this occasion, this loaf of bread was to be an offering of thanks that my uncle was recovering well, but also in gratitude to my aunt for standing strong thru it all.

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Rosemary & Olive Oil Potato Bread
from dreamrevelry

1 c. packed cold roasted mashed up potatoes (skins removed)
1 envelope (¼ oz.) active dry yeast
3 c. white flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 T. fresh rosemary, finely chopped (measure after chopping finely)
2 t. salt
4 T. olive oil
1 c. warm water

Combine the yeast, flours, rosemary and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine the potatoes and olive oil; mash them together and add a little water if needed to get them smooth. Turn mashed potatoes into the flour mixture and begin mixing. Add about a half cup of warm water and continue mixing. Add more water as needed until it forms a soft dough.

Turn out dough onto a floured countertop and knead for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Clean out the mixing bowl and spray lightly with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl and cover with a dishtowel. Place in a warm place and let rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

Turn out risen dough on to a floured countertop and punch down and knead for a minute or two. (If you want two smaller loaves, divide the dough now.) Flatten out with your hands and then fold dough up like a business letter. Turn it seam side down and rotate while cupped in your hands to shape into a plump oval loaf. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a slipat. Sprinkle the top with a little whole wheat flour. Cover the loaf(s) with the dishtowel and let rise in a warm place for half an hour or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Using a sharp knife, scour the top of the bread with three or four diagonal cuts to make a crisscross pattern. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped. If you have a spray bottle handy, use it to mist the sides of the hot oven with water just before putting the loaf in and then every 3 minutes for the first 9 minutes. This moisture will create an extra crispy crust.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

(makes 1 large loaf or 2 small)

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8 comments:

  1. this looks divine ... I will try this on my trip to become a bread baking un-virgin.

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  2. Nothing means comfort more than bread. I love potato bread! The addition of olive oil and rosemary makes it look and sound even more lovely. I'm not a very good bread baker, but I might have to give this a try.

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  3. I like the texture from what I can see in the picture. A loaf of warm hearty bread like this and butter would be bliss. I like the pairing of potato and rosemary.

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  4. SKIM - please please PLEASE give this a try, bread baking is so rewarding and let me know how it goes!

    friedwontons4u - believe me when i tell you that if i can manage to pull this off, you'll be able to make this like a professional. and the rosemary and olive oil adds such a hint of flavor, it might be difficult to go back to regular bread.

    leela - the bread came out not too dense, it was nice and fluffy. served with butter and/or jam and tea is such a great afternoon snack.

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  5. i like roasting my potatoes with rosemary and olive oil, so i guess i'd probably really like this bread.

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  6. justin, i am also a fan of roasted potatoes with rosemary. the bread doesn't have that exact same flavor, it's more subtle. however, it's now making me think about perhaps giving the dough more kick and flavor somehow....

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  7. SKIM - please please PLEASE give this a try, bread baking is so rewarding and let me know how it goes!

    friedwontons4u - believe me when i tell you that if i can manage to pull this off, you'll be able to make this like a professional. and the rosemary and olive oil adds such a hint of flavor, it might be difficult to go back to regular bread.

    leela - the bread came out not too dense, it was nice and fluffy. served with butter and/or jam and tea is such a great afternoon snack.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nothing means comfort more than bread. I love potato bread! The addition of olive oil and rosemary makes it look and sound even more lovely. I'm not a very good bread baker, but I might have to give this a try.

    ReplyDelete