Daring Bakers: Tender potato bread

Potato buns, decorated with poppy seeds and ready to be baked in the oven

This is my fifth month as a member of the Daring Bakers. The Daring bakers consist of proud women and men that love to bake and are not afraid of baking challenges. The idea of the Daring Bakers is that every month one baking recipe is presented that all members have to follow exactly without any modifications except where specifically allowed. During the month we share our experiences and learn to be better bakers. The recipe, our photos and experiences are then officially posted on a specified day, this time on the 26th of November. This month’s challenge was nothing sweet, but savoury! The challenge was to bake tender potato bread from “Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World” by Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid, and the recipe was picked by Tanna from My Kitchen in half cups.

As usual I started with the challenge late, quite late or actually just late. So on Sunday evening I finally peeled and cooked the potatoes for the potato bread. I started making the dough and it was quite sticky all the time despite all flour and me struggling. I didn’t want to add more flour than the maximum in the recipe so the dough was very soft. I left it to rise for 2 hours and it grew beautifully.

Pototo buns, decorated with sesame seeds and ready to bake.

My plan was to make buns, but actually braided or decorated in some way. But my dough was too soft to shape so I just made round buns. After the second rise I decorated half of the buns with poppy seeds and the other half with sesame seeds. Then, when it was time to put the three sheets with buns in the oven I first didn’t react. Then I suddenly realised that the TV was totally quiet and when I turned to the oven I just frooze. POWER FAILURE!!!!

And now you may ask, didn’t I notice the darkness? No, since this was only a partial power failure which took out one third of our appartment: only some of the lights, the TV, the fridge (but not the freezer), the washing machine and THE OVEN!!!! After a lot of effort we came to the conclusion that the error was nothing we could fix, so Fredrik quickly connected the fridge to a working socket. And what about the bread? Well, 6 of the buns was put in the freezer. One whole sheet I put in the fridge with hope that the power would come back and one sheet was left on the counter (those buns looked like tortilla breads this morning). And we, instead of having freshly baked potato buns as evening snack, microwaved some pizza instead. However not any pizza, but homemade pizza with buffallo mozzarella and spicy sausages which I made the evening before. We ate the pizza in the light of three candles and with Yoshi staring. It was almost the “perfect” power failure: a working fridge and a microwave is all you need :-)

This morning we still had the partial power failure, so I couldn’t bake the buns that I put in the fridge. The problem is reported and if the power gets back this evening I’ll bake them tonight otherwise I’ll de-frost the frozen ones and bake them when ever the power comes back.

I hope that all other Daring Bakers enjoyed their bread. I regret not getting to taste it, but I think it’s in the spirit of the Daring Bakers to cook so hard the power blows… :-)

EDIT 26th November:
On Monday evening we got back the one third of the power that was missing. I know that it sounds weird that we only had partial power failure, but we have three incoming power inflows to the appartment and they are independent of each other. Someone asked about heating, but that is done separate so we still had a warm and cosy appartment. Anyway, the buns didn’t look good after being in the fridge for 20 hours, they had collapsed into rather flat buns and it didn’t help to keep them in room temperature for an hour before baking. The baked buns were quite soft but still a bit cheewy and I’m sure that they would have come out much better if baked directly after the second rise. So I don’t really have any verdict, I need to make them from scratch again. And I’ll also try to de-frost the frozen ones and see if they’ll come out better then the ones keept in the fridge.

66 Responses to “Daring Bakers: Tender potato bread”

  1. Nora
    November 26th, 2007 12:32

    Oh, I’m sorry that you had the power failure. But at least you had a romantic candle light dinner ;-)

    I hope that you’ll get to bake the bread soon because it’s delicious!

  2. Rosa
    November 26th, 2007 12:47

    Wonderful! Those rolls look delicious! I love their seed toppings…



  3. Pille
    November 26th, 2007 13:10

    Dagmar – that must have been the most annoying power failure ever! Hope you get to bake your buns soon, however, as they do look really cute pre-baking!

  4. Camila
    November 26th, 2007 13:16

    I’m so soory for you… who would guess that the power would go down rigth!!
    But i’m sure that as soon as the power come back and you’ll be able to bake the buns you will love it!!

  5. Dharm
    November 26th, 2007 13:21

    Those rolls look so good unbaked… imagine what they will taste like when they are done! Sorry about your power failure….pooh!

  6. Meeta
    November 26th, 2007 13:49

    oh Dagmar! I am so sorry to hear about that. I did have a little chuckle about the “tortillas” though. I have never heard of a weird power failure like that before. However, it all looks so romantic and I hope you get to make the bread some time. It was great!

  7. sunita
    November 26th, 2007 14:11

    aaawww you poor girl! But you know what, they look lovely even without being baked…But I do hope you soon get to taste them too.

  8. courtney
    November 26th, 2007 15:20

    that is crazy about the partial power failure, they still look great as they are

  9. Anne
    November 26th, 2007 15:45

    Oh my god – talk about bad timing! Well – your rolls look really nice (my dough was WAY to wet to shape into anything, including rounds – I used pans) and I hope they bake well too! If all else fails, you can have some of my bread – my freezer is stocked :)

  10. ilva
    November 26th, 2007 16:07

    That’s really unlucky Dagmar! I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

  11. Ulrike
    November 26th, 2007 16:12

    You poor girl, do you have still the heating, mine won’t work without power…

    I made buns and a loaf in a pan.

  12. Courtney
    November 26th, 2007 16:15

    Oh wow. How unfortunate. Well lets see how the frozen ones come out.

  13. April
    November 26th, 2007 16:59

    I am sorry to hear about your power failure…just another chapter to add to your baking novel.! Your buns look great with the toppings though!

  14. Katie
    November 26th, 2007 17:06

    What a shame about your power failure. The pre baking rolls look wonderful though.

  15. fanny
    November 26th, 2007 17:51

    Hi Dagmar, your bread rolls look so cute.

  16. maria~
    November 26th, 2007 18:39

    The unbaked rolls look delicious already! I love sesame and I wonder why I didn’t think of adding sesame seeds to my bread… ;)

  17. laurie
    November 26th, 2007 19:06

    Well your unbaked rolls look PERFECT! I am so sorry you didnt get to bake them. However, all your pictures and lovely. so

  18. Shawnda
    November 26th, 2007 19:40

    The unbaked rolls look delicious! Hopefully you’ll get to enjoy them fully cooked soon :)

  19. breadchick
    November 26th, 2007 20:14

    Dagmar just think of the flavour your rolls are getting in the fridge! They are lovely looking so I’m sure they’ll taste fine too. Great job on the challenge

  20. Meryl
    November 26th, 2007 21:03

    How pretty! I love the poppy seed idea!

  21. Miss Ifi
    November 26th, 2007 21:41

    Poppy seed!! I didn’t think of that one! beautiful photos by the way!!

  22. Annemarie
    November 26th, 2007 22:44

    Ha ha – at least you managed to take pictures before being plunged in darkness. It sounds a romantic mishap at least. Hope you get to taste those buns soon!

  23. Gigi
    November 26th, 2007 23:04

    Marvelous looking rolls!

  24. Jen Yu
    November 26th, 2007 23:38

    Oh, you poor thing! I am so sorry about the power outage (we hate it when it happens to us, but it happens all the time in the mountains for no apparent reason). At the very least, the rolls look gorgeous without the baking and so I can only conclude that your rolls would have been (will be!) awesome. Good luck.

  25. peabody
    November 26th, 2007 23:46

    Oh no! How crazy is that, only 1/3 of the home…figures it would be the oven.

  26. marye
    November 27th, 2007 01:40

    the rolls look wonderful..you and the cat did a great job.

  27. Caron
    November 27th, 2007 01:54

    Your buns looked so beautiful that I am going to try and make some now – well done.

  28. augustina
    November 27th, 2007 02:03

    wow, what an adventure in baking! your poppy and sesame seed buns look great though so I’m sure they’ll bake beautifully once you get your power back on.

  29. Tartelette
    November 27th, 2007 03:01

    Now that’s a way to turn the challenge into a romantic candlelit evening! I hope you get to bake them soon and let us know what you think! The pre baked rolls look good with the toppings.

  30. brilynn
    November 27th, 2007 04:30

    That’s some rotten luck you’ve got there! But I assure you, the bread will eventually be delicious!

  31. Iisha
    November 27th, 2007 04:34

    I loved what you did with the tpb.

  32. Sheltie Girl
    November 27th, 2007 05:29

    Fabulous job on your bread!

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  33. the chocolate lady
    November 27th, 2007 05:55

    Yummy, I made round rolls too, but snuggled up close together! Hope everything is up and running smoothly for you!

  34. Dolores
    November 27th, 2007 07:46

    There are certainly worse fates than pizza by candlelight… but I do hope you get the power situation straightened out and we get to hear how your bread turned out. The seeded buns look fantastic!

  35. Cherry
    November 27th, 2007 08:07

    Oh no! I’ve had times like that too and I totally understand how you feel! I was about to pop my cake batter in the oven when the power tripped and killed the oven!

    You rolls look lovely already without baking. I’m sure it would be turn out great once you bake it! =)

  36. Julie
    November 27th, 2007 08:15

    It’s a bad month for ovens! Mine broke the week before Thanksgiving and was fixed just today. Your buns look really lovely under the poppy and sesame seeds, though! I hope those in the fridge and freezer work out!

  37. Jessica
    November 27th, 2007 08:25

    They look great, but how upsetting for you! That is so dissapointing

  38. baking soda
    November 27th, 2007 08:54

    Isn’t that just crazy? We had the same experience a couple of weeks ago and it had me running around the house flipping switches in wonderment…this one works, that one doesn’t.. living in an old house didn’t help in understanding what was happening either.
    You got some lovely pics though!

  39. Lisa
    November 27th, 2007 09:03

    Oh my!

    First I was going to comment and tell you how good those buns look. I made a mental note to try some with poppyseeds and sesame seeds, they look so good.

    But that is some crazy timing with the power failure. I hope the power comes back soon and you can finish baking them!

  40. Bev
    November 27th, 2007 09:11

    O dear! Well, your decorated dough looks fabulous! I love poppy seeds, wish I’d thought of that!

    Your pizza sounds yummy!

  41. Anne
    November 27th, 2007 09:56

    Sorry about the power failure but the rolls look really cute though (“,)

  42. Sarah
    November 27th, 2007 14:45

    What a shame but your rolls look lovely – how did they turn out? I love your blog and always look forward to looking at the pictures for inspiration.

  43. joey
    November 27th, 2007 17:36

    Oh no! Well, it looks like you had a nice cozy candlelight dinner…and that homemade pizza sounded great :) Hope you do give this bread a go…it was delicious!

  44. Kaykat
    November 27th, 2007 23:15

    Poppy seeds on rolls – yum! I love the first picture.

  45. steph (whisk/spoon)
    November 27th, 2007 23:52

    tragedy! i hope those frozen ones bake up ok!

  46. Eva
    November 28th, 2007 02:25

    What a bummer! However, it could well be that the frozen ones taste very good because of the prolonged, even if unvoluntary, fermentation they’ve got!

  47. Adrion
    November 28th, 2007 02:56

    At least you stuck with it. Next month will be better!!!

  48. Katie B.
    November 28th, 2007 04:19

    Moments like that, you just have to laugh! You absolutely get cute roll points anyway!! :)

  49. Tika Blue
    November 28th, 2007 05:36

    Love the picture!!

  50. claire
    November 28th, 2007 05:39

    Quite interesting. When hurricane Katrina came through, my apartment building was the ONLY one in the entire complex to lose power and then this summer, my building’s power (only) went our one evening. Power supply is an interesting thing. I hope that your frozen rolls come out well. The unbaked ones look wonderful!

  51. cupcaketastic
    November 28th, 2007 13:14

    Isn’t it always the way, but now you have a great story for the next dinner party, and the sound of that emergency pizza is just delish.

  52. monica
    November 28th, 2007 13:31

    wow aren’t these rolls some seeded little beauties! love them! great job on the challenge…

  53. chronicler
    November 28th, 2007 16:48

    Okay so you get the award for most daring baker this month! A power failure in the middle!!! You bread looks wonderful!

  54. Deborah
    November 28th, 2007 17:45

    Oh my goodness!! I don’t know what I would have done – I would have been mad though, because of all of the work that went into them!! The unbaked buns look great, though!

  55. Gabi
    November 28th, 2007 18:52

    Oh- it is so frustrating when that happens- but I can tell you are a Daring Baker because you worked around the obstacle!
    The rising buns with seeds look yummy and I am glad you were at least able to have a micro and fridge working!
    Take care.

  56. Dove
    November 28th, 2007 22:54

    Oh, Dagmar…Sorry about your power outage (outrage). You got that first try out of the way…just like that…no foul! Next time, they’ll be perfection. Hope you post when you pull them out of the oven!

  57. Flo Bretzel
    November 29th, 2007 15:24

    Hallo Dagmar
    Patato bread, what a good idea, I want to try it!

  58. Cheryl
    November 29th, 2007 21:16

    Wow, you do bake hard to blow the power out. Fantastic job.

  59. Mindy
    November 29th, 2007 23:58

    What beautiful poppy see rolls.. I adore the picture of those rolls!

    The power went out on you! Yikes!

  60. Christina
    December 1st, 2007 04:41

    I know what it’s like to deal with a power outage, that happens quite often where I am. But you made the best of it and that’s a great thing!

    Your rolls are lovely, I like the way it looks when it’s sprinkled with poppy seeds! Great job.

  61. Molly
    December 1st, 2007 11:17

    Your frozen ones should do just fine. It’s like the frozen bread dough you can buy at the store. If you make this bread again don’t knead it by hand, you already did that, so that counts. I once had dough that had been left on the counter for more than a day. I put it back into the mixer, added some dissolved yeast and did it all over. The bread was fantastic.

  62. heather
    December 1st, 2007 18:44

    I would have never thought to put seeds on the rolls. thanks for the idea

  63. Dagmar
    December 2nd, 2007 22:48

    A BIG thank you for all comments, compliments and tips! Hugs to all of you!

    Molly: Great, thanks. Now I feel much more confident and will make sure to bake the frozen buns.

  64. Ivonne
    December 3rd, 2007 04:43

    What a time to have a power failure! Your unbaked loaves look amazing, though! Hope you get to try the bread again.

  65. Jenny
    December 4th, 2007 15:31

    Yes, sometimes life just interferes with what we want to do, doesn’t it?
    Wise of you to take advantage of the power you had an enjoy it!

  66. Andrea
    December 10th, 2007 19:15

    Oh that must have been sooo annoying! Things like that always seem to happen when there is a deadline! The prepped buns do look beautiful!

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