Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Some time ago, we purchased on Amazon a book of Jeffrey Hamelman ‘Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes’. I have to admit that it is pretty advanced and sophisticated as for a home bakers like us. It’s a great source of essential, accurate and detailed technical information and a comprehensive array of artisan formulas. However, long, time consuming recipes, minimal number of photos, lots of yet undiscovered by us terms, such as oxidising, autolyse, stages of fermentation... I could probably go on and on about it.... I could see the lack of my knowledge in those unsuccessful baguettes I made few months ago.... Even though I followed all the steps, they were hard as a stones... hehehe But the Rome wasn’t built in one day, was it? And I don’t give up easily, believe you me! 
Today, I looked into the book again with an intention of trying again, one bread immediately caught my attention and it actually doesn’t need any pre-fermented sourdough culture (mine unfortunately died recently as I forgot to feed it). Since, I promised to dedicate all September posts to potatoes, there it is – Roast Potatoes Bread. So, reading the formula, I was a bit reluctant and worried that it will come out rubbish again... therefore, I've searched internet and looked into one of my favourite polish baking blog of Liska (nick name of the author) and obviously found this simplified version of Hamelmans’s potato bread. Liska’s one doesn’t need pate fermentee made the day before baking. However, Hamelman’s recipe suggest roasted potatoes rather than boiled potatoes (as in Liska’s formula). I find that oven roasting them concentrates the flavour in a way that boiling them does not. Moreover, leaving the skins on saves time and the dark skin bits contrasts nicely with the crumb colour once the bread is sliced. Hamelman also suggest using other ingredients, such as garlic and rosemary which I used in this recipe today and I have to say that they are beautifully composed in the entire recipe. So, the result is that: Simplified recipe of Liska + Roast potatoes, garlic and rosemary of Hamelman = Full Success!!! Just have a look at the photos.

Roasted Potatoes, Garlic and Rosemary Bread

100 g potatoes 
400 g strong bread flour 
200-250 ml of water 
1.5 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon sugar 
1.5 tsp dried yeast 
3 tablespoons olive oil 
3 cloves of garlic 
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary 

Wash the potatoes, dry them and cut into small cubes. Bake potaotes with garlic and rosemary and a few teaspoons of olive oil in the oven preheated to 200 degrees. Then, cool the potatoes and mash with a fork carelessly. Do not discard the burnt skin as it will your loaf a nicer colour and better taste. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Add the water gradually as the amount depends on the type of flour and consistency. Knead smooth and elastic dough (by hand or mixer). Transfer to a bowl greased with olive oil, cover with foil and set aside to raise for an hour. Then, form a round loaf with your hands, and transfer to the basket lined with the cloth and solidly floured to raise. Allow to raise for 45-60 minutes. If you have got a pizza stone – insert it into the oven and heat to 240 degrees. If you don’t have a pizza stone, just use the baking tray lined with a baking paper. Spray the oven walls with water or ideally, put about 1 / 2 cup of ice cubes onto a bottom of your oven. Transfer your raised dough into the oven and bake. After 10 minutes, reduce temperature to 210 degrees and bake for another 15-25 minutes. Cool your loaf down for a good 30 minutes before you start to consume it. And enjoy! 

I definitely recommend the book of Jeffrey Hamelman 'BREAD. A baker's book of techniques and recipes.' to those, more experienced home bakers. 


  1. I agree, one look at the photos and I can tell this bread is amazing. Now that our days of 100+ degree weather are pretty much over (hopefully) I can fire up the oven and give this recipe a try.

  2. Hi Daria & Jarek, Thanks for visiting my blog. It's my first time visiting yours and I like what I see. Your photography is beautiful and recipes are delicious. Potato bread is one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing this great recipe find. I'll be stopping by again soon:) Have a great weekend!

  3. I felt the exact same way about Tartine Bread when I bought it - like I'd signed up for a PHD class in bread making. You had to get through like a 40 page intoduction before you ever made your first loaf! WAY too much for me. I highly recommend Peter Reinhart's books - he's amazingly good and gives fantastic directions.

  4. RChrostopher, thanks for visiting! I always recommend to everyone to try their bread at home - there are plenty formulas for really easy ones!!! and is there anything better than the smell of your own bread in the house? :)

    Spicie Foodie, Thanks for stopping by! hope to see you here more often and share your thoughts!

    Jen, I agree with you!!! and you're one of the few people who mentioned Reinhart's book - it must good then! Have to look on amazon and give it a go! Thanks!

  5. This is probably my favourite book about the bread. It looked pretty boring to me at first, but then I started to study it and realised it is a great source of knowlegde that anybody who wants to make a decent bread should have.

    Your bread looks divine. :)

    P.S. I find reading the comments section very difficult due to an odd font. Is it only me? :(

  6. Karolina, thank you for your comment. And to make more convenient for our readers we changed the font. Have a comfortable reading ;)

  7. Oh, thank you so much! :D It is much better. :) Cheers guys!


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