Monday, November 26, 2007
I'm a Daring Baker!!!
I am very excited to announce that this month I completed my first Daring Baker challenge!! I have been watching others blog about their DB experiences for months and I finally decided to step up to the plate and give it a whirl. In case you are wondering the Daring Bakers are a group of baking bloggers that complete a challenge once a month. Every month some one new chooses a recipe and everyone follows the exact same recipe and then on the same day they post about their experience. The whole idea behind the group is that you step out of your comfort zone and really push your skills to the limits, hence the name DARING Bakers. Of course my first month would require yeast (doh!). I have a little bit of yeast experience, but not much. Plus most of the experience that I have is with a bread machine. One of the rules of this challenge was that we had to knead by hand, so no bread machine. This months challenge was Tender Potato Bread and the event was hosted by Tanna. Thanks to Tanna for hosting this event and coming up with a great challenging recipe.
Everyone kept commenting on how sticky the dough was, but, I couldn't believe it when I finally started the kneading process. I used at least an extra cup (probably more like a cup and a half) while kneading. The dough stuck to my hands, my counter top, my bowl, the scraper I was using to scrape the dough off of the counter, it was quite comical. It took about 10 minutes to knead. Then I left it rise. I was a little nervous at first because in the first hour it did not rise at all. I decided to stop peeking and not check it again until the full 2 hours had passed. To my delight it had doubled in size when I checked again.
The next part really had me laughing. Instead of falling out in a large ball when I tried to dump the dough out of the bowl, it came out like the insides of a pumpkin. Ooey, gooey, sticky and stringy. More kneading and more flour and I finally felt like I was ready to form the dough into the rolls I had been dreaming of all day. This was not as successful as I had hoped it would be. I would form the ball then set it in the pan and one minute later it would start to spread out like a big thick pancake. I some how managed to fit 12 dough "balls" into my 9x13 pan. Now if and when I make this recipe again I will skip the second rise. For one, they already filled the pan with out rising. And two, they almost tripled in size! They were sticking out of the top of the pan a full 2 inches.
Following the advice of several other Daring Bakers I baked the rolls at 425 for the first 10 minutes then dropped down to 375 for the last 20 minutes. The end result was more of a bun than a dinner roll, but they were still pretty tasty. I served them for a late Thanksgiving that we had with friends on Saturday night. They all seemed to enjoy the rolls and actually took the left over ones to make breakfast sandwiches the next day.
All in all I am very pleased with my first challenge. I hope to have a prettier picture next month (these rolls were not very photogenic). But until then, happy baking!