There's something amazing about how a little flour and little water and a few other ingredients come together to create something as substantial as bread. At the same time, the mystery of how it all comes together makes yeast breads a bit... intimidating, at least for me.
I have to admit that when I saw the theme of the November Daring Bakers challenge, I was a little worried. I've never actually made bread by hand before. We have a bread machine and I've used it several times, but take the machine out of the equation and I'm new to the whole bread thing. On top of that - not just bread, but potato bread? Yikes! Fortunately, Tim was willing to pitch in again this month, especially with the promise of tasty bread at the end of the day.
I'm pleased to report that the reassurances of Tanna (this month's host) that it wasn't that hard and we just needed to be brave proved to be more than true. I definitely wouldn't call this month's challenge easy but it definitely wasn't as difficult as I was anticipating.
There was definitely lots of kneading (both Tim and I pitched in for this part):
We decided to make the focaccia version of the recipe, so there was also a little chopping (of rosemary from our garden and also some garlic):
And happily the focaccia turned out really well overall:
Not only did it look good, but it was also really tasty. I think this month's challenge did a great job of showing the variety of things you can do with a reasonably basic bread recipe. Not only did we make the focaccia, but we also ended up with enough dough to make some rolls and also some breadsticks. The rolls turned out really well, but I think I overworked the breadstick dough and they turned out a bit tough.
Overall, I'm really pleased with this challenge - it was a lot of fun, but we also had to be a little creative in deciding what exactly to make of the basic recipe. Thanks for the great challenge, Tanna! As always, you can find links to more postings from other bloggers on the Daring Bakers Blogroll. You should be able to see the recipe on Tanna's blog. I also want to say thanks to everyone who commented on my October Daring Bakers post - I tried to get to as many blogs as I could to comment back about everyone's wonderful entries, but the start of November was really crazy here at Chez Crafty Kim and I know I didn't manage to comment as much as I wanted to. I promise to do better this month :)