Pane Alle Patate

Homemade bread is truly a delicacy and a treat in my household. The smell of fresh bread permeating throughout the house makes the home feel loved, warm and cozy.  I have been cooking bread since I was a child; my very first bread was baked using a recipe on the back of the yeast package.  For many years, I’ve used various recipes from cookbooks and from the internet.  This has all changed since I graduated from culinary school, where I focused on the Art of International Bread Baking.  This Pane Alle Patate (or Potatoes Bread) was one of my favorite and hence it’s my very first recipe using the skills I learned. This was by far one of the most tasty Italian breads – the potatoes and garlic gives the bread excellent flavor and softness. The Biga, which is made a day in advance, is a preferment which also enhances the flavor of the bread. {Preferments are typically a portion of the flour from the overall recipe that is fermented in advance of making the dough). In the early days,  Biga was developed by the Italians to make up for deficiencies in their flours.

I promise you that bread is not nearly as complicated to make as you may think.  It does take time due to the need to ferment (rise).  Once you eat homemade breads, you will never want to go back to commercially baked breads. One thing that I have changed in bread baking is going from using measurements in cups, pounds and ounces to using grams.  Grams is much more precise in baking.  It is worth an investment in buying a scale that measures grams – you can find a wide selection online and they are not very expensive.

I really hope that you will carve out some time to make this fresh bread recipe and send me your comments and feedback.  Thanks for visiting my blog and be sure to sign up for email update!

Pane Alle Patate

Course Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Bread, Garlic Bread, Homemade Bread, Italian Bread, Pane Alle Patate, Potatoes Bread
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Proof 3 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 55 minutes
Servings 2 Loaves
Author Yasmin Rasheed

Ingredients

FOR THE BIGA (You will only use approximately 1/2 of the Biga):

  • 68 grams All Purpose Flour
  • 58 grams warm tap water (75 to 80 degree temperature)
  • 4 grams instant or rapid rise yeast

FOR THE POTATOES AND GARLIC:

  • 356 grams russet potatoes (about 3 to 4 medium)
  • 19 grams finely chopped fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

FOR THE DOUGH:

  • 474 grams All Purpose flour (or Artisan Four)
  • 237 grams water (80 degree tap water)
  • 62 grams Biga (Refer to included Recipe)
  • 24 grams Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 grams Instant or Rapid Yeast
  • 16 grams salt

Instructions

FOR THE BIGA: (Make this a day ahead at least 18 to 24 hours in advance)

  1. In a two cup mason jar or bowl, add the flour, yeast and water.  Use your hand or a spoon to mix thoroughly until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to ferment overnight. (Biga must be used within 24 hours).

FOR THE POTATOES AND GARLIC (Making this a day in advance is preferred as it allows the garlic to intensify the flavor of the potatoes)

  1. Preheat over to 425 degree.

  2. Wash and dry the potatoes . Cut each potatoes into quarters (if the potatoes are too large, cut into six to eight pieces).

  3. Place the potatoes onto a lined sheet pan and use the olive oil to thoroughly coat (reserve 3 teaspoon of the oil for the garlic).

  4. Place the sheet pan in the oven and roast the potatoes for 30 minutes until they are lightly browned and tender.

  5. While the potatoes are roasting. in a small fry pan, heat three teaspoon olive oil over low heat.  Add the garlic and cook for two minutes until fragrent - stir regularly. 

    Note: Do not brown the garlic.

  6. Once the potatoes are done, transfer to a bowl.  Add the cooked garlic and stir to combine.  Allow to cool completely before adding to the dough.

    Note: Make this the day prior to allow for the flavor of the garlic to season the potatoes.

FOR THE DOUGH: (I use a Kitchen Aid Mixer with an attached dough hook)

  1. Add the flour, water, biga and olive oil to the mixer. Combine the ingredients using low speed - takes about two to three minutes.

    Note: This is a relatively dry dough, so don't worry if it looks dry. Just make sure the ingredients are incorporated.  You can choose to add the olive oil later - it will just take a bit longer to incorporate in the next step).

  2. Add the salt and yeast (and olive oil if you held it back).  Allow this to sit on the initial dough for fifteen minutes. (This process allows the dough to begin gluten development which gives the dough structure).

  3. At low speed, mix to incorporate the yeast and salt - about one to two minutes. If you added the olive oil with the yeast and salt you will need to continue mixing till the oil is absorbed into the dough.

  4. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing until the dough starts to look smoother - about five to eight minutes.

  5. Add the garlic potatoes and continue to mix until it's incorporated into the dough - two to three additional minutes.

  6. Remove the dough and place in a large lightly oiled bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for two hours (rise). After one hour fold the dough (take each corner of the dough and fold into the middle.  Recover with the plastic wrap and allow to continue to ferment for the remaining hour.

    Note: The dough should feel very soft to the touch and it should have increased in size.

  7. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a clean surface or pastry board.  Divide the dough, into two equal parts. Shape each part round (an easy way to do this is fold each corner of the dough into the middle. Place the folded part seam-side down on the counter.  Take your two palms and place them around the dough and pull it under to shape the round.  Cover the doughs loosely with a bread towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

  8. Now make the final round shape.  Use the same method of creating the round pre-shape to create the final round shape.  Place the shapes on a lightly flowered board and allow to proof for an additional 60 minutes. 

  9. Preheat the oven to 450 degree.  Use the convection setting, if your oven has this feature.

    Note: I use a pizza stone in my oven and I place the dough directly on the stone to bake. (If you don't have a pizza stone, place the shaped dough onto a sheet pan - allow it to ferment on the pan so that you can move it easily to the oven.

  10. The dough should feel soft to the tough once it's ready for baking.

  11. Use the tip of a sharp knife to make a score in the middle of the dough (from end to end). 

    Note: This will allow the bread to expand properly while in the oven.

  12. Spray the dough with water (use a misting spray bottle and spray generously).  Place the dough directly onto the pizza stone if you are using one, otherwise place the sheet plan in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes.

    Note: You can check for doneness by tapping the bottom of the dough - will sound hollow.

  13. Remove the bread to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Slice the bread and serve with butter or with your favorite dish.  Enjoy.

Recipe Notes

I highly recommend investing in a kitchen scale that measures grams (usually they also measures pounds).  Using grams help you to be more precise with the measurements.  Also the internet search can help you convert grams to cups or pounds, etc.  This method has flaws, however, differing ingredients weight converts differently.

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