Monday, 26 November 2007
Everyone who is as addicted to food blogs as I am, must have noticed a new group showing up, many months ago. As the word spread across the food blogging universe, the group began to grow and I secretly started wondering if it were possible to join in. It took a little while but finally Nora from Life's Smorgasbord convinced me that we definitely should become part of The Daring Bakers - and a quick look at their official blogroll proved that they are always happy about new members! While starting off with Yvonne and Lis as the founding members about a year ago, the group now has more than 300 members.
In short: Each month, one member chooses a particular recipe (for its beauty, difficulty or both) and the others have to bake it, too, without changing anything so they can compare and discuss their results afterwards. This is not for the ones who can't leave a recipe alone, I'm afraid. So there are some rules to it but in turn you'll get to extend your baking knowledge plus the wonderful support from all the other bakers. Which is not a small thing considering the elaborateness of some challenges like this or that or have a look at this extravaganza!
This month's challenge was not quite as involved (it can be accomplished in one day) and luckily not as calorie-laden (I'm trying to be good, these days): Our host Tanna had chosen Tender Potato Bread. Having baked my fair share of breads in the last two years, I tackled this challenge with some confidence and everything worked out pretty well. Usually, I'm only baking for two people so I halved the recipe as I didn't want to end up with bread going stale (I hope that's not against the rules??). Apart from that, I behaved like a good girl and followed the recipe to the t. In contrast to other challenges this recipe had some room for improvisation, though. The amounts of mashed potato and flour were flexible and I ended up using 290g of potatoe (weighed before cooking) and a little bit less than 500g of bread flour (including the flour for kneading).
In between the kneading phase of ten minutes I decided to give the dough a little rest of 15 minutes so the gluten strands could relax and after that, I didn't have any trouble with the formerly rather sticky dough. "Unleashing my inner baker" I made potato bread pockets with a spinach and feta filling for dinner, and the remaining dough simply got baked in a loaf pan. There's no exact recipe for the filling (I'm so daring...), I just sauteed onions and garlic until translucent, stirred in some spinach, added a splash of milk, and some salt/pepper/nutmeg. Once the filling was cooked, I stirred in a few spoons of sour cream and a leftover eggwhite (hoping that it would solidify the filling but I'm not sure if it really made a difference). I topped the filling with feta chunks - and that's about it!
I really enjoyed this challenge and already look forward to participating next month!