I am always driven by a challenge, it's what keeps me going! Once I have one, chances are you will have my full attention. Being motivated by a challenge is not always a good thing, I sometimes make more trouble for myself because of it...life can just be simple sometimes (ok- repeat to self 100 times!) The good news is, I am very excited to have found a new outlet for my challenges-- by joining The Daring Bakers. Every month brings a new baking challenge, everyone uses the same recipe and this month it was Potato Bread. I am not an experienced bread baker, so it was a challenge indeed. This month was a little busy, so the pressure was on as I baked it yesterday...the day before it was due! (this is so unlike me, as I'm more than a little OCD, but I procratinated early on, then later in the month I really did not have much of a choice).
The instructions were to follow the recipe exactly as it is written, which would normally be my first challenge, But since I am not an avid bread maker, that really wasn't much of a problem. I was more scared to make a mistake by not doing exactly as it said so I followed all directions. The shapping of the bread was left up to each baker, so I made a loaf, some rolls and foccacia.
I had most fun with the Foccacia, I layered it with olive oil, a very nice crumbled Parmegiano Romano, oven roasted grape tomatoes, black Cerignola olives, capers, Rosemary, and sauteed garlic; I then sprinkled sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. It made a very tasty Foccacia which will probably soon be served at the restaurant.
With the loaf, I made Serrano Ham sandwiches. Mixed a little roasted tomato chutney with home-made mayonnaise then put some slices of goat cheese Gouda and lettuce and tomato.
The rolls were very nice, but next time I will probably make them in a different shape, or in brioche pans. Once they were in the oven I thought they were a little too predictable, but it was too late. Nevertheless, they were quite good while still warm slathered with butter laced with Sal de Mer. After eating all this bread I now need to go for a very long and overdue run. After stuffing myself on Thanksgiving, we went for a walk on the golf course and my friend Ale, pointed out my new running shoes were so clean and white they glowed in the dark...I do believe it's time to put them to some use and dirty them up!
The recipe for the potato bread can be found here. I can't wait to find out what the Challenge is for December!