I moved the day after Thanksgiving and I don’t have internet yet, so my post is a bit on the late (but still on time!) end this month.

This month Tanna of My Kitchen In Half Cups chose “Tender Potato Bread” as the November Daring Bakers challenge. I love bread! And it’s automatically vegan. From the get-go I was excited about the recipe. In the spirit of an already DB vegan recipe I decided to follow it to the letter of the law. So on Thanksgiving morning (mind you, I’m hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year–for the first time ever…) I woke up and started on the delicious carbohydrate goodness.

Following the recipe EXACTLY was a bad bad bad idea. DO NOT add in all of the water first. I used, I swear to god, 8-10 cups of flour and the dough was still hell to work with. Sticky, soppy, sad sad mess. Luckily my mom was at my house by the time I tried to shape the rolls and she gave me a helping hand. It was a two person job. Seriously, the dough was ridiculous.

The rolls, however, were taaaasty. Mmm mmm good. They were soft and sourdoughy and perfect for a mixed vegan-meaty Thanksgiving dinner. Because the dough was so hard to work with, the rolls didn’t turn our nearly as pretty as I was hoping. They were huge and moundish…but the taste is what matters.

I would totally make this recipe again (I’m still eating off of it now!), but I would recommend adding HALF of the water and at the end, when you’re kneading, probably, add more water or flour as needed. Adding all of the water and then trying to add enough flour was a mess and a pain in the ass (pardon my french, I’m young, it comes second nature to me) and got flour all over the kitchen–my clothes were thrown into the hamper as soon as I was done attempting to knead the stickyness.

Anyways, here’s the recipe. Bake if you dare!

Potato Rolls

4 medium to large floury (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks variety of potatoes you might want to use would include Idaho, Russet & Yukon gold
4 cups water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 ½ cups to 8 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup whole wheat flour

Put the potatoes and 4 cups water in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and cook, half covered, until the potatoes are very tender.

Drain the potatoes, SAVE THE POTATO WATER, and mash the potatoes well.

Measure out 3 cups of the reserved potato water (add extra water if needed to make 3 cups). Place the water and mashed potatoes in the bowl you plan to mix the bread in – directions will be for by hand. Let cool to lukewarm – stir well before testing the temperature – it should feel barely warm to your hand. You should be able to submerge you hand in the mix and not be uncomfortable.

Mix & stir yeast into cooled water and mashed potatoes & water and let stand 5 minutes.

Then mix in 2 cups of all-purpose flour and mix. Allow to rest several minutes.

Sprinkle on the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and the softened butter; mix well. Add the 1 cup whole wheat flour, stir briefly.

Add 2 cups of the unbleached all-purpose flour and stir until all the flour has been incorporated.

At this point you have used 4 cups of the possible 8 ½ cups suggested by the recipe.

Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, incorporating flour as needed to prevent sticking. The dough will be very sticky to begin with, but as it takes up more flour from the kneading surface, it will become easier to handle; use a dough scraper to keep your surface clean. The kneaded dough will still be very soft.

Place the dough in a large clean bowl or your rising container of choice, cover with plastic wrap or lid, and let rise about 2 hours or until doubled in volume.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead gently several minutes. It will be moist and a little sticky.

Divide the dough into 2 unequal pieces in a proportion of one-third and two-thirds (one will be twice as large as the other). Place the smaller piece to one side and cover loosely.

Butter a 13 x 9 inch sheet cake pan or a shallow cake pan. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape each into a ball under the palm of your floured hand and place on the baking sheet, leaving 1/2 inch between the balls. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 35 minutes, until puffy and almost doubled.

Dust risen rolls with a little all-purpose flour or lightly brush the tops with a little melted butter or olive oil (the butter will give a golden/browned crust). Slash crosswise two or three times with a razor blade or very sharp knife and immediately place on the stone, tiles or baking sheet in the oven.

Bake rolls until golden, about 30 minutes.

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