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Potato and Poblano pepper bread

September 28, 2013

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The first batches of this bread used Hatch green chiles instead of the Poblano peppers.  But between the first try and the final tweaking, Hatch green chiles and even Anaheim chiles were nowhere to be seen.  I had to settle for the Poblanos, nothing at all against them but they are a little more juicier and so trickier to manage in a dough.  They are however,  easily available most of the year.  Here in central Texas,  Hatch green chiles arrive from New Mexico and peak during late August-September when they become all the chile rage.   They are spicier than Anaheims and also pack lots of flavor.  This bread  can be carefully  adapted to either. Though I’ve never tried it, incorporating those extra or leftover mashed potatoes in the dough is one way to use them up I hear.  You may have to eliminate the olive oil in this recipe if you do use mashed potatoes.

 

For 2 medium size loaves-

 

Pate fermentee:

2 1/2 cups bread flour

1/2 tsp. instant yeast

3/4 tsp. salt

about 1 cup water at room temperature

 

Final dough:

all of the pate fermentee

2 1/2 cups bread flour

1 1/4 tsp. instant yeast

2 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups cooked and riced potato (1 medium size Russet potato)

2 -3 fire roasted Poblano pepper or 3 Hatch green chiles

3 T.  e. v. olive oil

1/2 cup potato water (from the cooked potatoes)

 

The day before baking-

Mix together the bread flour,  instant yeast,  and salt in your mixing bowl.  Add most of the water and stir together until it begins to form a dough.  Start mixing with your stand mixer (or by hand if you choose to do so) and gradually adjust with more water as needed to form a smooth and elastic dough, about 6 minutes.

Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, and roll it around so that it is entirely oiled.  Cover with plastic and let it rise to about 1 1/2 times the volume. This may take about 1 hour depending on the temperature of your kitchen. Lightly degass the dough, cover the bowl with plastic, and let it sit overnight in your refrigerator.

 

On the day of baking-

Remove the pate fermente from the refrigerator a good hour before baking the bread to take the chill off.

Before you begin making the dough,  peel and cut into thirds or quarters the potato. Put the potato in a small sauce pan and with enough water to cover. Place it over low- medium heat to simmer until it is fork tender. Do not overcook.  Take the pan off the heat to cool.  Save the water the potatoes were cooked in.

While the potatoes are simmering,  fire roast whatever chiles you decide to use.  Peel them, remove the seeds, and dice them to about 1/2 inch size. When the potato is cool enough to handle,  put it through a ricer, or mash it as best you can with a fork.  Pour at least 1 cup of the potato water into a measuring cup. You will probably not use it all.

 

To make the bread-

With a pastry cutter or knife cut the pate fermente into about a dozen pieces.  Put them in your mixing bowl and add the flour,  instant yeast,  riced potato,  olive oil,  and salt.  Add about 1/4 cup of the potato water and start mixing by spoon or spatula to make the dough.  Add the diced Poblano peppers and continue to mix.  The peppers will release moisture so resist the temptation to add much more water.   Just put enough to allow the ingredients to coalesce.  Mix it with the hook attachment of your mixer. If it is too dry, add a bit more water, but the peppers will continue to release liquid.  Mixing should take about 6-7 minutes for the dough to reach the smooth elastic stage.  My dough slightly stuck to the bottom of the bowl when done, but cleared the sides.

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, roll it around to coat all sides, and cover with plastic.  Let it rise until it is about 2 times in size.  When ready remove onto your work surface.  Divide the dough into 2 pieces and shape into rounds.  I also flattened them somewhat.  Put them on your oiled baking tray or on parchment paper if you are using a baking stone.  Cover with plastic and let rise to almost 2 times in volume. These particular loaves took about 45 minutes.

When they are ready, score them as you desire.  Place them in the preheated oven and lower the temperature to 400 degrees.  I mist the oven 3 times within the first 10 or so minutes to simulate a professional steam-injected oven.  Rotate them halfway through the baking.  They took about 20-25 minutes for them the complete.  The internal temperature should reach 200 degrees when done.

The potatoes gave a hint of their flavor and gave the crumb a good tender quality.  Don’t underestimate their contribution here! The peppers gave a mild spiciness and flavor. When I used Hatch green chiles, the loaves were spicier.  Each kind of pepper will give its own flavor and heat qualities, so it’s important to adapt the recipe. I’m not sure why, but one batch resulted in a more pronounced potato flavor even though I used the same amount potato. Maybe the potato water was more concentrated in flavor.

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In reading about peppers,  I discovered that Poblano peppers,  Hatch green chiles,  jalapenos,  serranos,  chile pequins,  bell peppers, de arbol,  cayennes,  etc., are all the same species. DSC_0087

I’ll have to wait until the next season before I can use fresh Hatch green chiles again.

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The Poblano peppers also gave a nice slight greenish tinge to the crumb.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2013 7:51 pm

    There’s never any leftover mashed potatoes in this house. By the time that happens, I won’t remember where I heard of this recipe! Although I have to say, this recipe sounds REALLY good and one that I’d like to try.

    I’m still buying Serrano peppers one at a time. The last one I used 1/4 of the pepper at a time in a dish! I noticed that the closer I got to the stem, the hotter the pepper became! I was fortunate to get 3 jars full of the pepper with my heirloom tomatoes to make a tasty sauce. I made a cream tomato soup with one of the jars. I thickened it with neufchatel cream cheese. It had just the right amount of spiciness. I just love how the Serrano brings that bite at the end. It has become my favorite pepper to cook with.

  2. October 9, 2013 1:08 am

    That’s an interesting observation about the pepper being hotter nearer the stem. I’ve never noticed that. I can just imagine the reaction I would get from the cashier and the others in line here at my local supermarket where people typically by them by the pound if I wanted to buy just one pepper!…The pickled pequin peppers I made in July continue to evolve in flavor. Amazing how that happens with some pickled foods…
    Even if I use diced or sliced tomatoes in a dish, I try to roast them first if possible to concentrate the flavor. It’s hard to find good flavorful tomatoes at the store sometimes. I don’t have the heirlooms in my back yard waiting to be picked! Never tried adding Neufchatel cream cheese to tomato soup. Sounds pretty good.

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