Tag Archives: Jeffrey Hamelman Bread

Roast Potato Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman

Roast Potato Bread Jeffrey HamelmanPotato, almond meal, rice, tree-bark, many other foodstuffs besides grains, get added into bread. This has a historical precedent; when times are hard and wheat expensive, it is common practice to bulk out the dough with a locally available and probably cheaper ingredient.

This bread is a reminder of those times according to Jeffrey Hamelman. It’s a good idea to keep these thoughts in mind;  climate change will bring many changes to the grains we have available to bake with and the way the world thinks about food.

Some quick notes on this bread:

I chopped the potato up, skin and all into 1 cm cubes, and roasted them in a shallow dish in the minimum of olive oil for about 25 minutes while I was cooking something else in the oven.

I added at least another 50  grams of water as my flour was very thirsty and the dough was very tight when I first mixed it.

All was going well and then I had to go out, so I put the dough in the fridge after the first hour at room temperature.  Three hours later I returned, and rescued the dough. I  flattened it out gently and folded it. After half an hour I divided it into two portions, rounded them up and popped the dough into bannetons which I left in a warm spot in the kitchen.

Life intervened again and when I finally came back to the kitchen two hours later they were well and truly risen, so I baked them as soon as the oven was up to temperature. They didn’t appear to be overproved, the slashes opened and they rose nicely in the oven. I loved Abby’s pattern on her loaves so I thought I’d try and do that.

These loaves had very thick crusts, which surprised me a little, given all the steam and were quite difficult to cut the first day. By the following day, the crusts had softened and the bread had developed more flavour and we are still eating our way through them happily this weekend.

Roast Potato Bread CrumbStrangely I can’t really taste the potato as a separate taste, it adds something but I can’t describe it. One can see the great colour the roast potato lends to the loaf , plus it adds a sort of unctuous chewy mouthfeel as well, something like crumpets but not as sticky.


And today, Sunday, three days after I baked it, the sun has come out and look how lovely it looks still:

The sun has got his hat on!

Other Mellow Bakers who have tried this bread so far this month – and they all seem to really like it too – are :

If you would like to have a go, the other bakers have written out the formula on their blogs so no need for me to do that here, as I didn’t do anything different!

And after this I really have to face the braiding of the challah – watch this space.

Mellow Baking – Every Way OK.

Sourdough Rye Bread with Walnuts (Revisited)

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You didn’t think I was going to give up, did you?

No strange ingredients this time!  Only thing I did was put half light and half whole rye flour in the dough, but otherwise I measured to the nearest gram and followed the timings and was rewarded by the Spirit of the Rye!

This is a classic rye bread, full of flavour. Make sure your walnuts are sweet before you put them in the dough. I broke them up a bit but maybe not enough but I quite like the way they break through the top of the dough. This was a very firm dough, I proofed it on a couche cloth having shaped it into a sort of peaked oval with my hands and it didn’t spread sideways at all. I could maybe have left it another half an hour on the cloth, who knows?

Not one for those who don’t eat nuts or don’t like rye, but you can still look at the pictures.

That’s the last of the September breads for Mellow Bakers. To see how the others got on, here are some links to pictures from some of the other Mellows…

Ulrike ‘s beautiful bread with its elegant scoring,  Bnom’s lovely twist with hazelnuts and figs, Cathy’s carefully detailed step-by-step post is here,  and Lello‘s great midnight bread!

Next month we are baking Roast Potato Bread, Challah and maybe having a play with making Pretzels.

Soft butter rolls and (rye sourdough with walnuts)

Egg glazed high baked rolls

Here we go with two of the September breads for Mellow Bakers, who are baking their way through Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman in an easy going and take our time sort of way.  Join in, bake a couple of breads with us, bake loads, it’s all good fun!

I baked these rolls a little hot, hence the colour, and they were very petite in scale. The dough took forever to prove, no idea why and I wasn’t very optimistic, but I managed to make them. Didn’t read the bit about putting them close together, if I had done that they would have risen like batch rolls and then the sides would have been soft.

I only made a half batch which was plenty for us and we had them for lunch with some good Ardennes paté. You can taste the egg and the butter in them, a little like a poor cousin of a brioche, perfectly nice as a side roll goes. I would say make sure you use good quality butter if you make these as it will show if you don’t.

Good with some chunky paté

They reminded me of meals in old fashioned restaurants with my grandparents, with stiff white linen tablecloths and dusty wineglasses; the waiters would ceremoniously bring you a teeny tiny roll, which you would try to eat slowly, and always ate really fast because you got bored waiting for the food to show up…. Some of the other Mellows said they weren’t too keen, we thought they were fine, they are what they are that’s all.


I could lie a bit at this point and post a picture of the rye sourdough with walnuts, but the fact is you can’t smell pictures. The rye sourdough with walnuts was not a success. I thought I would be adventurous and added some walnut oil to the dough. Unfortunately I didn’t smell the oil before I tipped it in and it had gone stale and the smell of the bread when I had baked and cut it was so bad I had to throw it away. (weeps bitter tears….) There is a moral in that somewhere…. I might make it again one day but not just yet.

To see what the bread should have looked like have a peek here at Natashya‘s lovely take on this or Andrea‘s light and open loaf  and maybe visit Mellow Bakers here to see what the others come up with this month.

But to cheer you up after that sad news here is a picture of Zeb instead!

Please suggest a caption for me!