Rise or Not To Rise...

I recently came across a recipe for Potato Bread in a Cooking Light Magazine. I always run... very fast... not looking back... hair flowing in the wind, from anything that calls for yeast. It's just something that I've never been good at. I think it boils down to patience.... and the fact that I wasn't born with that gift (my kids and husband can vouch). It really is a gift, both patience and bread-baking.

Usually when I become brave enough and put my big-girl panties on and go for it, it does one of two things: it rises, it's beautiful, and it leads to twisting and turning the recipe into new experimental bread endeavors... or, it falls flat (pun intended) and it goes in the garbage. I live just outside of Memphis, so I know humidity is not the issue. No, I'm pretty clear this "rising" incompetence has nothing to do with the weather, the yeast freshness, or the procedure. It's definitely me.

This recent reproduction of the Cooking Light Potato Bread turned out beautifully. We ate two loaves in 1 week. I decided I would try the same recipe but with sweet potato (leftover from the cupcakes). I also substituted a bit of white-whole wheat flour. It was a tad more dense, but still came to a rise, and tasted great (especially toasted with honey and butter). However my creativity turned it's back on me and became cruel with these two words: Cinnamon-Raisin.

Now see, here's where they would freeze-frame the movie and the narrator would make some quip and then they would rewind the movie so that the characters could start over with different dialogue that the narrator had referred to during the freeze-frame. I should have stopped while I was ahead.

My Cinnamon-Raisin venture was flat and inedible, verifiying of a couple of things: don't fix it if it ain't broke (that's said with the Southern-most twang imaginable) and a Chef and a Baker are very different things. Not that I'm trying to justify my failure (yeah right).

That Potato Bread recipe just wasn't meant to be tampered with. It was perfect all on its own. I might try the sweet potato substitution again, but right now I'm happy with my new biceps after all that kneading. On to new things....

Original Potato Bread

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