With the circuit-breaker measures in place and all the time in the world at home, I have started to bake bread the slower way again.
I went back to kneading bread dough with a standing mixer. I also reduced the instant yeast in the recipe, from 1/2 tablespoon to 1/2 teaspoon. The final bread proofing time took longer but it still managed to rise above the rim of the bread tin. I have tried baking the recipe for a second time with a bigger Pullman loaf tin, it worked well.
More importantly, the potato bread was soft and pillowy. Definitely the kind of breakfast to look forward to every morning.
Potato Bread Loaf
220g plain flour 2 tablespoons milk powder, optional 1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 2 tablespoons raw honey 100g mashed potato 1 large egg, beaten ** 30-40g potato water *** 20g cold butter, cubed
** I used large egg that weighs 75grams with shell.
*** Potato water refers to the water that the potatoes were cooked in. Cool it down to room temperature before using.
In a mixer bowl, combine plain flour, milk powder, instant yeast, sea salt, raw honey, mashed potato, egg, and water. Turn on the mixer with a dough hook attachment and knead these ingredients on the lowest speed (KA 1) till they come into a ball. Continue to knead for 3 minutes, then stop the mixer and let the dough sit for 15 minutes.
Turn on the mixer again and knead for 1 minute before adding butter cubes one by one while the mixer is running on its lowest speed. Keep kneading till there are no traces of butter left and the dough has reached window pane stage. At this stage, the dough will be extremely pliable and baby-bottom soft.
Leave the dough in the mixer bowl for its first proof of 60 minutes. The dough will rise to double its volume, punch down to deflate and transfer it to a clean worktop.
Shape the dough and place in a bread tin. Proof for 60-70 minutes.
Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 30 minutes. Remove bread from bread tin immediately after baking and let it cool completely on a rack before slicing.
To soften the top crust, brush melted butter over the top of the loaf while it is hot. I keep a handy small block of butter just for this purpose and run it over the crust and let the heat from the bread melt the butter as they come in contact. Save the hassle of melting butter and washing an oily brush.