BBA Challenge #42: Potato, Cheddar, and Chive Torpedoes

The second last bread of the BBA Challenge was an expensive bread. Not only did the recipe call for 4 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, but also did it call for 1 ounce of chives. I grow chives in my backyard, but with all the snow we’ve been having for 3 months (!) – no, this is not normal for our region – my chives were killed.

I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be a problem to buy chives in the grocery store. On my way back from work I hit a grocery store that is close to the train station and went chives hunting. They did have some, but I always check the label because I try to buy as locally as possible – and I was shocked. Israel. Chives from Israel. Israel is like 1700 miles away from Germany. And it was expensive! 3 dollars for 2/3 ounce. And the recipe calls for 1 ounce. But I really wanted to make this bread that day and didn’t have time to hit some other places for locally grown chives, so I reluctantly bought expensive chives from Israel (but only 1 bundle of 2/3 ounce). *Sigh*.

Back home, I mixed the potatoes (which I had prepared in advance) with some flour, barm, yeast and potato water. I was a bit concerned about the potato water because the potatoes were cooked unpeeled. Germans don’t do that. Germans peel their potatoes and cook them. Or they cook and peel then. But usually, they don’t eat the peel. Also, about 2 years back there were reports in the press that potato skins are dangerous because of high alkaloid content. The advice then was to discard the potato water and to not eat unpeeled potatoes (yes, there are some Germans that do eat unpeeled potatoes sometimes). So, I was concerned. And I pondered. And I was still concerned. In the end, I decided to just ignore those reports and use the potato water and unpeeled potatoes.

This mixture had to rest for 30 minutes, after which the rest of the flour and the salt were added. I let my kitchen machine knead the dough, added the chives and kneaded some more. Then I fermented it – the dough easily doubled within 90 minutes. I then transferred the dough to the counter, divided it into 2 equal pieces and pressed each piece into a rectangle. Then I put 3 slices of cheddar cheese on each rectangle. I rolled up the dough, sealed the ends and the bottom seams, put the loaves on the sheet pan and proofed them for about 1 hour.

I prepared the oven for hearth baking, scored the top of each loaf making sure to cut through the first layer of cheese and baked the bread. The result were  heavenly smelling, nice looking loaves. Tastewise, though, it was not cheesy enough for me. Also, I couldn’t detect any chives: neither for my eyes nor for my tastebuds (I KNOW I used only 2/3 of the required amount). So, this wasn’t exactly a bad bread, but if/ when I make it again I’ll definitely use more cheese and more (locally grown) chives.

8 responses to “BBA Challenge #42: Potato, Cheddar, and Chive Torpedoes

  1. Yum! We loved this bread. Don’t worry, your chives will grow back. We are in Canada and ours die back every year.
    So funny about Germans and spuds. I always figured you were okay for alkaloids if there was no green visible on the skin… or maybe I am just lazy!😉

  2. Wow! You’re almost there! Never heard that about potato skins, though. We eat them all the time here. Will have to check into that.

  3. Didn’t know that about the potato skins, either…love ’em anyway~ I wonder if the cheese is shredded, will you get more of a ‘cheesy’ taste in every bite? Can’t wait to make this bread and find out~

  4. I, too, suffered the heartach of $3 chives when I baked this bread a few weeks ago. I knew my chives would come back, but at the time the planting boxes were all covered in snow.

    We get a lot of snow in NE Ohio, and this year was especially white. We had over 60 inches of snow just in February!

    The snow is finally gone, and reading your post got me to wondering. So I checked out back, and sure enough, the chives are peaking through the ground already!

    I’m going to make this bread again in about a month. This time with the most local chives you could ask for!

  5. Note to self: more cheese and more chives! Hopefully my parents’ chives will be blooming by then. My little ones ripped up all of my herbs last season . . . we’ll see how this year’s garden goes! =) Your bread sure looks tasty!

  6. Looks yummy! I made the one of the cheddar & chive breads from PR’s book and it was really good. I can’t wait to get to this one.

  7. I haven’t had good luck find quality herbs in my local markets, so I can relate to the dilemma a at the store. Love the picture of the cut bread – it looks delicious!

  8. I love the cheesy swirl. It’s very pretty.

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