Friday, 24 December 2010

Potato Kugel Loaf TEd Style

NAME: _Potato Kugel Loaf TEd Style

300g bakers plain flour
4 eggs
2 tsp instant baking yeast
2 medium brown onions
5 medium waxy potatoes (about 700g)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp EVOO
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar or whatever you like.

Peel and grate potatoes, using coarse side of a standard box grater. Place grated potatoes into a teatowel or other clean strong cloth, and twist the end to wring out liquid.  Save the liquid in a bowl.  Squeeze and re-arrange the grated potato a few more times to ensure it is as dry as possible.  Leave wrapped in teatowel and set aside, in a cool place or the refrigerator.

Grate the onion or cut into thin strips about the same size as the grated potato or a bit thicker, place in a bowl, sprinkle over the teaspoonful of salt and toss through.  Set aside in a cool place or the refrigerator.

Put flour in mixer bowl, add the yeast, and stir through quickly with a spoon.  Start mixer on low speed and begin adding three lightly beaten eggs.  Pour off most of the clear liquid from the potato starch and add the starch, then add the last beaten egg slowly, you want a sticky paste not totally liquid but not dry either.

Once the mixer has kneaded this mixture for about three minutes, use half a tablespoon of olive oil to grease a bowl, place the douhg in it and cover with a teatowel.  Leave in a warm place for half an hour to an hour, until it's definitely risen.

Push a hollow into the dough ball, put the grated potato in.  Use the teatowel to similarly squeeze liquid from the onions, be gentle to avoid crushing the onion.  Discard the liquid, add the dried onion to the bowl.  Add a tablespoonful of olive oil, and mix together all with the dough.  The dough will have developed a strong gluten by now, be careful, try and mix the grated ingredients in with minimal disturbance to the cohesiveness of the dough.

Use the remaining half tablespoonful of EVOO to grease a loaf tin that the dough will fill to around 1/4 to 1/3, and put the dough mixture in and level it out.  Cover with a teatowel again and let rise a second time, half an hour to an hour.

Put in preheated oven (180C) and bake for 30 - 40 minutes.  If you are using the grated cheese, then sprinkle this in a thick layer over the risen dough just before placing in the oven.  At the end of baking time, the top should be golden to brown, and the loaf should have risen to the height of the bread pan. Slide a knife or spatula all the way around, and gently turn out onto a biscuit rack.

Server hot or cold, sliced into 2cm slices.  Excellent as a side to dishes with gravy.  Can also be served by itself with a cheese sauce.

Polish and Russian people in particular have "potato kugel" recipes.  Jewish people have a version of it.  The word "kugel" just means a ball, and that's how it's generally baked.  But.  Oh!.  All traditional recipes don't have a leavening agent and this comes out like a heavy dough and potato dumpling.  I've seen recipes where baking powder raising agent is added, but it was still not what I wanted.

The yeast transforms this from a dumpling to a loaf, with a dense but open crumb and a GREAT flavour combination of yeast dough, potato, and the salting of the onion changes the flavour of the onion from sharp to mellow and rounded.  I eat this by itself instead of bread, it just needs buttering and is a complete meal.  It's YUMMY.  'Nuff said.

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