Potato Rosemary Bread

My journey through Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice continued on this morning, much earlier than I’d anticipated.  Nate woke up crying 10 minutes to 5 and was not to be consoled.  Stupid molars coming in.  Why oh why can’t we just be born with teeth in place, which would spare every parent the crabiness that comes with teething?

So I got an early start to my bread making this morning.  I pulled the biga that I’d prepared last night out of the fridge to warm it up (biga is an Italian style starter that much more resembles actual bread than poolish, in that it’s nowhere near as slack as poolish and you actually have to knead it and let it rise).  I also brought the roasted garlic out to warm it up some too (I’d also roasted 2 heads of garlic yesterday).

While the biga was warming up I made mashed potatoes and got everything measured and prepared. 

Mise en place for potato rosemary bread

The next step is to put everything together except for the roasted garlic (an instruction I’d overlooked last week when I made this same bread at my parents house and which led to a slightly burnt garlic taste), mix and then knead.  This time I’d remembered not to add the garlic in and instead wait and only knead that for a minute or so.  My only problem this time is that I needed to add a lot more flour than the recipe indicates, no doubt most likely due to the presence of the mashed potatoes.

The resulting bread is delicious.  I topped one loaf with kosher salt while I left the other loaf plain (Reinhart suggests garnishing with a rosemary branch but I didn’t feel like it).

Potato rosemary bread

I’m happy with the resulting bread this time, and I’m also happy that it came out after the whole wheat fiasco (not to mention that it proves my yeast is healthy).

I’m not sure what I’m going to make next, but cinnamon rolls are definitely on my mind.  And now that spring has arrived here in the South I’m planning on starting in on the sourdough part of the book, which means in the next week or two I’ll be getting a starter going (I’ve had to wait until warmer weather because we don’t keep our house warm enough to keep yeast happy in the winter).


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