Monday, January 18, 2016

Roasted Garlic Elephant's Foot Potato Bread

I saw a version of this recipe in one of my German cooking magazines and immediately fell in love with the idea of  an elephant's foot shaped bread.

My version amps up the flavor with whole wheat wheat flour and deliciously fragrant roasted garlic.

The bread takes quite a bit of time to make, including several rise times as well as cooking and grating the potatoes and roasting the garlic. Consequently, it takes some planning from baking to serving. However, the flavor result is worth the effort.

You can shape the bread any way you like. I couldn't resist the elephant's foot version. I think it adds a bit of fun to any dining table.
Roasted Garlic Elephant's Foot Potato Bread
Prep Time: 75 minutes 
Bake Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 1 large bread
  • 1 medium sized head of garlic 
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 lb white or yellow potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 pinch of white granulated sugar 
  • 2+3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 packages of active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm water 
  • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cupcrème fraîche (or substitute sour cream) 
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  • Cut the top off of the garlic head and place on a small sheet of aluminum foil. 
  • Drizzle the two teaspoons of olive oil over the garlic. Wrap the garlic in the foil and place
  • in the oven for 45 minutes. If you are worried about the oil dripping in the oven, place theFOO foil on a parchment paper lined small baking sheet. 
  • In the meantime, place a medium sized saucepan of water over a medium high flame. 
  • Cut the potatoes in half or into large chunks and place them in the saucepan along with a teaspoon of salt and the pinch of white granulated sugar. 
  • Boil the potatoes until soft. You should be able to run a fork through them. Drain the potatoes into a colander and rinse with cold water. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skins with your fingers. 
  • Grate the potato pieces into a bowl. Use a masher or a fork to soften them together. 
  • Place the whole wheat flour into a large bowl and make an impression in the middle. 
  • In a small separate bowl, mix together the active dry yeast, the white granulated sugar with 2 tablespoons of warm water. 
  • Pour the mixture into the impression in the flour.
  • Cover the bowl with a dishcloth and stow in a warm place for 15 minutes. 
  • Squeeze the soft roasted garlic cloves out of their shells into a small bowl and use a fork to mash the roasted garlic cloves into a paste. Set aside. 
  • Add the crème fraîche and 1/3 cup water to the potatoes and mix together. 
  • Add the crème fraîche, potato mixture to the flour and yeast combination and knead together into a smooth dough. Alternatively, you can add both mixtures to a stand mixer and use the dough hook attachment to knead the dough. 
  • Return the dough to the bowl, re-cover it with the dishcloth and stow in a warm place for 30 minutes. 
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Pat it into a round shape and use your fingers or a spatula to smear the soft roasted garlic on top of the dough. Fold the dough over and knead the roasted garlic evenly into the dough. 
  • Shape the dough into a large oval and place it on the baking sheet. 
  • On one of the smaller ends, use a sharp knife to make four cuts, a half inch deep each on the ends of the dough to resemble elephant toes. 
  • Use a pastry brush to paint the dough with water. Place the baking sheet in a warm area and let stand for another 30 minutes. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook the bread for 40 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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