Posts Tagged ‘potato’


Traditional British Suet Pudding – April DBC

April 27, 2010

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

I was very intrigued when this came up as the DBC for this month. I’ve never baked with suet nor ever really considered it before now. In my experience, the only time I’ve seen suet is in bird feed squares!  I never knew, until recently, that people even cooked with it.

I recently purchased, second-hand, a book called Pie Every Day and in the author’s discussion of pie crusts she mentions suet! Apparently, suet used to be a very common ingredient in pie crusts in the past. Who knew? Certainly not I. Now, in the discussion in the book she states that suet gives it’s pies a meaty flavor that is hard to overcome with sweet ingredients and makes for a very hard crust. With these two bits of information it was easy for me to decide to go the savory route rather than make something sweet with suet.

The next decision was WHAT savory to make. The sample we were given (listed below) was for steak and kidney pudding. Steak? Yes, please! Kidney? Umm, I’m really not that hungry… So I wanted to find an alternative. Now, being the lovely Daring Baker Challenge host that Esther is, she gave us several links to help us along our puddin’ makin’ way. After perusing her links and pondering a bit I came up with a Meat and Potato Pudding! Esther decided to be kind to us and let us make some non-suet recipes as well so I also made a Very Chocolate Pudding.

My hardest challenge for this… er, challenge was to find the right kind of bowl! I ended up going to 5 different stores before I finally found one at Dillard’s. Apparently, tall and narrow is not very common in America. We seem to be the short and fat bowl kind of people. Ya know… that may just be a commentary on society there…

I found my recipes here and here.

Original challenge recipe below!

Preparation time: Preparation time is 5 to 20 minutes depending on the filling. Cooking time is 1 to 5 hours so do this on a day you have jobs around the house to do or are popping in and out as you need to occasionally check the pan hasn’t boiled dry! However it is otherwise a very low time requirement dish.

Equipment required:
• 2 pint (1 litre) pudding bowl or steam-able containers to contain a similar amount they should be higher rather than wide and low
• Steamer or large pan, ideally with a steaming stand, upturned plate or crumpled up piece of kitchen foil
• Mixing bowl
• Spoon
• Measuring cups or scales
• Foil or grease proof paper to cover the bowl
• String

Type 1 Puddings — suet crusts.

Pudding Crust for both Savoury Pudding or Sweet Pudding (using suet or a suet substitute):


(250 grams/12 ounces) Self-raising flour (Note* If you cannot find self-raising flour, use a combination of all-purpose flour and baking powder.)
(175 grams/6 ounces) Shredded suet or suet substitute (i.e., Vegetable Suet, Crisco, Lard)
(a pinch) Salt and pepper (Note* If making a savory dish, can be replaced with spices for sweet if wished.)
(210 millilitres/a little less than a cup) Water (Note* You can use a milk or a water and milk mix for a richer pastry.)

1. Mix the flour and suet together.
2. Season the flour and suet mixture with salt and pepper if savory and just a bit of salt and/or spices if sweet.
3. Add the water, a tablespoonful at a time, as you mix the ingredients together. Make up the pastry to firm an elastic dough that leaves the bowl clean. The liquid amounts are only an estimate and most recipes just say water to mix.
4. Don’t over handle the pastry or it will be too hard.
5. Reserve a quarter for the lid and roll out the rest and line a well-greased bowl.
6. At this point add your filling.. a couple of options are give below but have fun and go wild!
7. Roll the final piece of pastry out into a circle big enough to cover the top of the basin, dampen the edges and put in position on the pudding, pinching the edges together to seal.
8. Seal well and cover with a double sheet of foil – pleated in the centre to allow room for expansion while cooking. Secure with string, and place it in a steamer over boiling water.
9. Steam for up to 5 hours, you may need to add more boiling water halfway through or possibly more often. There is a lot of leeway in this steaming time and different recipes give different steaming times. Delia Smith says 5 hours for Steak and kidney where as Mrs Beeton says 2.5 for a similar dish! One way to tell that it is cooked is when the pastry changes colour and goes from white to a sort of light golden brown. It is also hard to over steam a pudding so you can leave it bubbling away until you are ready.

This sort of pastry can also be used as a topping for a baked meat pie and becomes quite a light crusty pastry when baked.

Savoury Pudding Filling options: steak and kidney pudding.

1 full amount of suet crust (see recipe above)
(450 grams/about 1 pound) Chuck steak
(225 grams/about 1/2 a pound) Ox kidney
1 medium-sized onion
2 teaspoons well-seasoned flour
splash of Worcestershire sauce

1. Chop the steak and kidney into fairly small cubes, toss them in seasoned flour, then add them to the pastry lined basin.
2. Pop the onion slices in here and there.
3. Add enough cold water to reach almost to the top of the meat and sprinkle in a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper.
4. Follow the rest of the instructions in the crust recipe to finish pudding.
5. Cook for at least 2.5 hours (Mrs Beeton) up to 5 hours (Delia Smith).

Sweet Pudding Options: Sussex Pond Pudding

1 amount of suet pastry (see recipe above)
(120 grams/4.2 ounces) Demerara Sugar
(120 grams/4.2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 large lemon

1. Cut the butter into small pieces and put half in the basin with half the sugar.
2. Prick the whole lemon (preferably one with a thin skin) all over, using a thick skewer.
3. Place on top of the butter and sugar in the basin.
4. Cover with the rest of the butter and sugar.
5. Finish building the pudding as per the pastry recipe.
6. Steam for 3 ½ hours, or longer (for a really tender lemon), adding more water if needed.
7. To serve, turn the pudding into a dish with a deep rim, when you slice into it the rich lemon sauce will gush out.
8. Make sure each person is served some of the suet crust, lemon and tangy luscious sauce.

Type 2 puddings – Steamed Suet Pudding, sponge type.

(100 grams/4 ounces) All-purpose flour
(1/4 teaspoon) salt
(1.5 teaspoons) Baking powder
(100 grams/4 ounces) breadcrumbs
(75 grams/3 ounces) Caster sugar
(75 grams/ 3 ounces) Shredded suet or suet substitute (i.e., Vegetable Suet, Crisco, Lard)
(1) large egg
(6 to 8 tablespoons) Cold milk

1. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into bowl.
2. Add breadcrumbs, sugar and suet.
3. Mix to a soft batter with beaten egg and milk
4. Turn into a buttered 1 litre/ 2pint pudding basin and cover securely with buttered greaseproof paper or aluminum foil.
5. Steam steadily for 2.5 to 3 hours
6. Turn out onto warm plate, Serve with sweet sauce to taste such as custard, caramel or a sweetened fruit sauce.

Spotted Dick – Add 75g/ 3oz currants and 25g/1 oz of mixed chopped peel with the sugar.
Syrup or Treacle or Marmalade Pudding – put 2 Tablespoons of golden syrup, treacle or marmalade at the bottom of the bowl before adding pudding mix.
My Fair Lady Pudding – Add finely grated rind of 1 medium orange or lemon with the sugar.
Ginger Pudding – replace the sugar with 100g/4oz of treacle, and add 1/2 tsp ground ginger.


Homegrown Gourmet #7 – Potato Hot Brown

April 22, 2008

Homegrown Gourmet Logo

Well, I’m participating in, yet another, online baking event! This one is Homegrown! It is being hosted by the lovely Tempered Woman and the ingredient she chose for this month is the potato. The idea behind Homegrown is to make a dish that follows the theme and that somehow represents their home region – town, state, area and your dish can feature a local ingredient, be a traditional dish from your area, or be a creative twist.

Well, being from Louisville, KY I naturally had to make a Hot Brown. It is a classic food of the area and has even been featured on a Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network. It was either this or Derby pie and I didn’t think potatoes would go very will with the chocolate…

Potato Hot Brown

The recipe for a traditional Hot Brown from the Brown Hotel can be found here along with some history here. For my Potato Hot Brown I made a few changes. For starters, my bread is a homemade potato bread. The recipe for it comes from a cookbook (that I stole from my mother) that is older than I am. I think it was a wedding gift for my parents, heh. Yeah, I’m going to hell. I’ve made this bread many times and it was actually the first bread I ever made. I’ve also added mashed potatoes to my Hot Brown, because, well, everything is better with mashed potatoes!! To liven them up and make them feel “part of the dish” I’ve added some of the sauce, pimentos, and bacon to them. (I know. The hardship of having to eat it, but I’ll persevere.) I also got my wheat (had a friend grind it for me), bacon and eggs from a local farm. I used a 5 lb. bag of Idaho potatoes (I like leftovers) and all but 4 pieces of bacon for the mashed tatters… every thing’s better with bacon!

I’ve always thought the original Hot Brown a little on the bland side, but I think with the addition of the potatoes and the potato bread give it an extra twang of flavor; it’s simply perfect!

Pair of Potato Hot Browns

Here’s the recipe! Happy munching!

Potato Hot Brown

12 tablespoons butter
12 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 cups milk
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 egg, room temperature and beaten
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup prepared whipped cream
16 slices toasted potato bread, crust trimmed off
2 pounds cooked turkey breast, thinly sliced
Grated Parmesan cheese for topping
Mashed potatoes (mix in ½ the bacon(crumbled), pimentos(if you’re using them) and sauce) (I used a lot more bacon, but that’s me)

2 (2-ounce) jars diced pimientos, drained (optional)
1or 2 lbs bacon slices, fried crisp (you can never have too much bacon!)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Gradually add flour, stirring constantly, until smooth and free from lumps. Gradually stir in milk until sauce comes to a gentle boil, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Add Parmesan cheese and stir until melted and well blended.

In a small bowl, beat egg. Gradually add 1 cup of the hot sauce, 1/3 cup at a time, to the egg, stirring constantly to temper. Gradually add egg mixture to remaining sauce, stirring constantly until well blended; add salt and pepper to taste. Fold in whipped cream.

For each Hot Brown sandwich, place two slices of toasted bread on a metal (or flameproof) dish. Cover the toast with mashed potatoes and a liberal amount of turkey. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the turkey. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until the sauce is speckled brown and bubbly. Remove from broiler, sprinkle with diced pimientos, cross two pieces of bacon over the top, and serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings of two open-faced sandwiches each.

Potato Loaf

This makes a moist, beautifully textured bread with good keeping qualities due to the potatoes.

1 ½ cups cooked potatoes, unseasoned

¼ to ½ cup butter or margarine

1 or 2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk, scalded

1 or 2 cakes yeast

1/3 cup lukewarm water

6 cups sifted flour

Mash the hot, unseasoned potatoes and add the butter or margarine, sugar, and salt. Pour in the scalded milk, and stir to blend ingredients and melt the butter. Cool to lukewarm. Now dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and stir into the potato-milk mixture. Stir in 3 cups of the flour and beat until smooth. Gradually blend in the rest of the flour to make a medium dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured breadboard. Knead for 5 to 7 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a buttered bowl, brush top of dough with melted butter or oil, cover the bowl and let rise until doubled. When dough has doubled, punch it down and turnout onto a floured breadboard again. Divide dough into 2 parts. Cover with the towel again and let rest for 10 minutes. Then mold and shape the dough, with the hands, into 2 loaves. Place in 2 buttered loaf pans. Cover and let rise until double again. Brush with beaten egg white glaze (p. 348 ) and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake in a 400°F oven for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 350°F and bake for another 40 to 45 minutes.

Braided Potato Loaf

To make the loaf into braids, as suggested in the title, but the dough, after the first rising period, into 2 parts. Cut one part into 3 equal pieces and roll out into strips about 18 inches long. Braid these 3 strips together, tucking the ends under. Place on a lightly buttered cookie sheet. Now divide 2/3 of the remaining part into 3 equal pieces, roll out, and braid as above. Place this braid on top of the first braid. Now, take the remaining piece of dough and roll it out, twist it, like a curlicue, and place this twisted strip of dough on top of the uppermost braid. If you think it necessary, seal the ends with a very little water. Carefully cover the braided loaf, being careful not to disarrange the braids, and let rise until completely doubled. You must not cheat by even 5 or 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake until bread is well browned and done, approximately 45 to 50 minutes longer.

Note: this bread also makes delicious, and very attractive, rolls. Cut or shape into whatever shapes you desire, brush with egg white glaze and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. When rolls are doubled, bake them at 400°F for about 20 minutes.

From A World of Baking by Dolores Casella. Published 1968 by David White, Inc. Recipe is on pages 315-316.


Tender Potato Bread – a bit tardy

November 30, 2007

Hello All!

It’s time to post the November Challenge from the Daring Bakers! Well… It was actually time 4 days ago. We’re a bit late. Had some family health issues that took precedence over postings! The challenge this month was to make a Tender Potato Bread. We experimented with different amounts of flour as the dough could have from 6 – 8 cups of flour.

We did three batches with 7 cups, 7 1/2 cups, and 8 cups, respectively.3 batches together prebaking

For us the 7 1/2 cup batch worked out the best for braiding a loaf.

7 1/2 cup braided loaf

It even held up to braiding mini loaves for rolls.

7 1/2 cup mini loaves

The 7 cup batch was a bit too soft for a good braid,

7 cup braid

but was perfect to make a pan of little rolls.

7 cup rolls

The 8 cup batch gave us more of a foccacia consistency.

It wasn’t what we were originally going for, but it was a fine addition!

The 7 and 7 1/2 cup batches were simply brushed with melted butter prior to baking. The 8 cup loaf was an attempt at a loaded potato bread. When shaping we sprinkled on Hidden Valley Ranch powdered mix, real bacon bits, and cheddar cheese.

8 cup loaded potato bread

The taste was good on the inside of the bread where the toppings mixed together, but most of what was on the outside browned too much to have it’s own flavor.

8 cup close up

When we try this again, we’re planning to put the additions into the dough, rather on top to see how that works.

For the remainder of the 8 cup batch, we made a pan of rolls and topped them with olive oil, minced garlic and grated parmesean cheese.

8 cup rollsThese came out quite tasty, but baked a tiny bit too long.

An additional note about the 8 cup batch. We were making all these batches at the same time with only one oven, so the second rise on this batch was very long. It originally rose well, but by the time it got into the oven it had lost some of its fluff.

Well, with all that introduction we’ll shut up now!

Here’s the recipe!

Tender Potato Bread
(from Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid; who also wrote Hot Sour Salty Sweet)


4 medium to large floury (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks.
Tanna Note: For the beginner bread baker I suggest no more than 8 ounces of potato; for the more advanced no more than 16 ounces. The variety of potatoes you might want to use would include Idaho, Russet & Yukon gold, there are others.

4 cups(950 ml) water, reserve cooking water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 ½ cups to 8 ½ cups (1 kg to 1350g) unbleached all-purpose
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (130g) whole wheat flour

Making the Dough (Directions will be for making by hand):

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. Tanna Note: I have a food mill I will run my potatoes through to mash them.

Measure out 3 cups(750ml) 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 dough in. Let cool to lukewarm (70-80°F/21 – 29°C) – 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.

Add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest/sit 5 minutes.

Note about Adding Yeast: If using Active Dry Yeast or Fresh yeast, mix & stir yeast into cooled water and mashed potatoes & water and let stand 5 minutes. Then add 2 cups of flour to the yeast mix and allow to rest several minutes. If using Instant Dry Yeast, add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest/sit 5 minutes.

Sprinkle in 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.
Tanna Note: 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.

Forming the Bread:
Tanna Note: It is at this point you are requested to Unleash the Daring Baker within. The following is as the recipe is written. You are now free to follow as written or push it to a new level.

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.

To shape the large loaf:
Butter a 9 x 5 x 2.5 inch loaf/bread pan. Flatten the larger piece of dough on the floured surface to an approximate 12 x 8 inch oval, then roll it up from a narrow end to form a loaf. Pinch the seam closed and gently place seam side down in the buttered pan. The dough should come about three-quarters of the way up the sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 35 to 45 minutes, until puffy and almost doubled in volume.

To make a small loaf with the remainder:
Butter an 8x4X2 inch bread pan. Shape and proof the loaf the same way as the large loaf.

To make rolls:
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.

To make focaccia:
Flatten out the dough to a rectangle about 10 x 15 inches with your palms and fingertips. Tear off a piece of parchment paper or wax paper a little longer than the dough and dust it generously with flour. Transfer the focaccia to the paper. Brush the top of the dough generously with olive oil, sprinkle on a little coarse sea salt, as well as some rosemary leaves, if you wish and then finally dimple all over with your fingertips. Cover with plastic and let rise for 20 minutes.

Baking the bread(s):

Note about baking order: bake the flat-bread before you bake the loaf; bake the rolls at the same time as the loaf.

Note about Baking Temps: I believe that 450°F(230°C) is going to prove to be too hot for the either the large or small loaf of bread for the entire 40/50 minutes. I am going to put the loaves in at 450°(230°C) for 10 minutes and then turn the oven down to 375°F (190 °C) for the remaining time.

Note about cooling times: Let all the breads cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Rolls can be served warm or at room temperature.

For loaves and rolls:
Dust risen loaves and 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 loaves 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. Place the rolls next to the loaf in the oven.

Bake rolls until golden, about 30 minutes. Bake the small loaf for about 40 minutes. Bake the large loaf for about 50 minutes.

Transfer the rolls to a rack when done to cool. When the loaf or loaves have baked for the specified time, remove from the pans and place back on the stone, tiles or baking sheet for another 5 to 10 minutes. The corners should be firm when pinched and the bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

For foccaia:
Place a baking stone or unglazed quarry tiles, if you have them, if not use a no edged baking/sheet (you want to be able to slide the shaped dough on the parchment paper onto the stone or baking sheet and an edge complicates things). Place the stone or cookie sheet on a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450°F/230°C.

If making foccacia, just before baking, dimple the bread all over again with your fingertips. Leaving it on the paper, transfer to the hot baking stone, tiles or baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack (remove paper) and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Well, that’s it for this month’s challenge! I’m sure we’ll be seeing everyone a lot this month as it’s Christmas Cookie baking time! I’m a huge fan of the Christmas cookie and plan to bake my little heart out this month!

See everyone really soon!

Katie, Beth and Karoline