I’ve admired the Bread Baking Babes from afar for a while, but I just don’t have good yeast luck. The last two or three things I’ve baked with yeast just haven’t worked.
I don’t know why that is – I used to be able to bake bread just fine. I thought buying new yeast would help, but the yeast-based cake I tried with the new yeast also didn’t rise.
But I saw Cookie Baker Lynn’s post about her potato chive bread earlier this month, and I figured I’d give bread another try.
The recipe is originally from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson. I didn’t have soy milk, so my version wasn’t vegan – I just used the 2% milk that I happened to have in the fridge. And I didn’t knead mine by hand – I used my stand mixer.
Otherwise, I followed the recipe as written. I made the potatoes the night before and put them in the fridge overnight. I should have mashed them more finely, but when I realized there were chunks, I just turned up the speed on the mixer a bit until they were pulverized out.
When it came time to let it rise, I stole an idea from a more-competent friend, who suggested preheating the oven to 200F, then turning it off, and letting the bread rise on the now-warm stovetop.
It seemed to do the trick – mine was slow to rise, but it did eventually. I suspect there may be a draft in my kitchen. Someone else suggested letting it rise in a cold oven with just the oven light on for warmth – I’ll try that next time.
It’s really great bread. We had half the first loaf with dinner, the second half of the first loaf with soup for lunch today, and the other loaf is going to turn into French Toast (yes, even with the chives – we’ll see how it turns out!) and bread pudding.
And I got this picture, which is terrible, yet amusing:
Doesn’t that look like something you’d see on the set of a low-budget science fiction movie?
Anyway, I’m glad that my yeast problems seem to be over. At least for now.