I try not to get braggy about food. Just because I like something, doesn't mean everyone will. Just because I think something is 'the best...' or delicious, doesn't mean you will. Because of that, I normally try to reel in my sentiments. I don't want to over-sell anything. But seriously, this bread was bomb. Yeah, it made me feel cool enough to start talking like a 15 year old boy. And since we are already there, I will just tell you that it was also epic. Seriously.
When I took it out of the oven, I wasn't all that impressed. When bread doesn't go how I want, and comes out looking wonky, I label it 'rustic.' While this was supposed to be rustic, I wasn't in love with the look of it. Have you ever seen someone and you don't think they're much to look at, but then you get to know them and it turns out, they're flippin' beautiful? Or vice-versa: They're beautiful until you get to know them and then they quickly lose all appeal? Well, this bread was the former. I wasn't so impressed with the rustic look of it, but then I got to know it a little better and I can't figure out why I didn't love it from the get-go. I've made potato bread before, but never found a recipe that I wanted to commit to, until now. Mark my words, this bread and I are going to have a long lasting relationship. I am hopelessly in love with it.
I loath peeling potatoes but I was expecting to have to peel them for this bread. Um, nope. And I almost chickened out and peeled them anyway because I thought it was going to be super weird having potato peels in the bread. It wasn't super weird. Everything about this bread was super awesome. (to be read: ..super awesome period!)
I had to use a couple red potatoes because I didn't quite have enough russet. I didn't have enough all purpose flour. I subbed 2 cups of bread flour for the all-purpose so I left out 1/4 cup (I think I read/heard that bread flour soaks up more liquid than all purpose so I didn't want it to be too dry.) to make 4 1/2 cups of flour all together. The substitutions worked seamlessly. So not only is this bread delicious it's also forgiving!
It did give me a little bit of anxiety when I was mixing the dough but the book warned me it would look crumbly. I seriously wanted to add about 1/4 cup of water right here....
'Have faith and keep beating.' And so I did. And it paid off. The dough did come together how it was supposed to. Phew!
I didn't use my baking stone because it wasn't big enough for both loaves at the same time. I lined a baking sheet with parchment, brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with cornmeal.
I was a little worried about transferring the dough, but it wasn't so bad. The biggest hiccup was that one of the loaves was a bit crooked and it stayed that way. (below) Don't you think it's rustic and beautiful? Well, maybe taste it and get back to me.
If you don't love the outside, try not to love the inside. I dare you.
We had chicken salad sandwiches with the bread. I wasn't sure how to cut it because just slicing it would have made for weird shaped sandwiches so I cut the bread down the middle and acted like it was 4 loaves of bread.
I can imagine this bread would be great with anything on it or nothing at all. You really can't go wrong.
If you'd like the recipe, you can buy the book or visit the blog of our host for the week: Simply Sweet. Dawn also has some great step-by-step photos and a loaded baked potato version that I am sure is down-right delicious!
If you'd like to see how the other TWD bakers did you can go HERE.