Sunday, January 30, 2011

BBA Challenge Bread #42—Potato, Cheddar & Chive Torpedoes


Oh, that sly Mr. Reinhart. He saved some humdingers for the final two breads in The Bread Baker's Apprentice – "the final grace notes" recipes. We've made it to the second to last – Potato, Cheddar, and Chive Torpedos – and they're wonderful. Let's take a look.

I'm baking my way through Peter Reinhart's award winning book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, along with a number of other amateur bakers. (I'm not sure how many are still with us. Many have finished - and some are just starting). Want to learn more about it? Check out the following links:

Technically, this bread is meant to be a mixed-method formula, meaning it combines a wild yeast starter with commercial yeast. As I mentioned in my BBA bread #35, I managed to lose my starter and I never bothered to make another. I kinda sorta thought about giving it another whirl, but never got around to it. So when it came time for this bread, I diverged from the formula as written and replaced the barm (or starter) with poolish, a standard preferment we've used at various points throughout the book. 

PCC-poolish collage

I made a half batch of the poolish formula in the book which would yield a bit more than I needed, but I wasn't concerned about that. I mixed it up on a Friday evening and let it sit out until I used it the next day. I didn't bother to refrigerate it, so all told, it was bubbling away for about 18 hours.

Before I put the preferment to use, I cooked up the potato, let it cool, then added it and about 3/4 cup of potato water to some flour, yeast and salt. 

PPC-potato collage

This recipe calls for fresh chives which is the one herb I actually DO successfully grow, but mine was under a foot of snow. Gah. If I'd picked up the pace last year, I could have used some, but alas, it didn't happen. Instead, I used this.
chives collage

I would have picked up some "fresh" chives at the store, but they were ridiculously expensive for what you got, so I made peace with it, and bought the dried. The recipe called for 1/4 cup of fresh, so I guestimated on how much to use of the dried and went with one tablespoon.

Chives were incorporated, dough was kneaded and placed in an oiled bowl, ready to ferment to double in size. It did me proud.


The it was time to shape. I had my sharp cheddar sliced, weighed and ready to go.
PCC-prep for shaping

I divided the dough, patted into a small rectangle, layered on the cheese and rolled into a log. Then you push down and roll the ends into slight tapers to give it the torpedo shape.

PCC-cheese layer

I put the two shaped loaves on the parchment lined, cornmeal dusted sheet and let them proof about 90 minutes.

PCC-2 shaped

By the time the loaves finished baking, it was dark so the next photos aren't the greatest, but you get the idea. Unfortunately, I didn't roll these tightly enough and they both oozed cheese out the side at the bottom. The cheese is *supposed* to ooze out of the slashes at the top, but I didn't have much luck with that.
PCC-cheese ooze

Appearances didn't matter, though, because the bread was delicious. I kept coming back for slice after slice until I realized that I was way too full to eat any more. 


There are only three things I'd change. 
1) I'd add more dried chives, probably double the amount.
2) I'd divide the dough in thirds so that I could pat it out thinner and add more cheese (more cheese is always good)
3) I'd roll it nice and tight and keep the seem side up just to be safe. 

These are all minor, nit picky kinds of things. Overall it was fantastic and in my top 10. OOH! I just thought of something. You know what would be amazing?! Combine bread #28, potato rosemary bread with roasted garlic with this. *heaven*


  1. Congrats on your almost-last BBAC post! This was one of my very favorites, and I've actually made it a bunch more times. You're right about the price of chives though (sheesh) so I always steal them from my parents' garden! ;-)

  2. Oooohh...that looks divine! Yes, more cheese is always good. Loved how you were able to 'cheat' with a poolish...I never would have thought of that. I can't wait to get to this recipe...

  3. Now this is my kind of bread, the kind that oozes cheese! And it's a potato bread at that, even better. Your photos are always so vivid and lovely.

  4. I'm glad I came across your blog! I love this recipe, can't wait to try it!

  5. Those look awesome! Love the crumb, bet they were delicious. I make something similar, but I do a faux braid so all the openings are on the top and it has a solid bottom. I sometimes put pizza filling in too, which really livens them up! I can hardly wait to get to this one, but we have a ways to go yet. Just finished ciabatta and am about to make cinnamon buns.

  6. I absolutely adore your blog... It's fantastic and amazing. I can't wait to make all these different breads you have posted :D

  7. Abby - Thank you! I think I'll have to mix another batch up when my chives are growing like crazy!

    Frieda - The poolish seemed to work great. Used it on the last one, too.

    Robin Sue - Thany you so much for the compliments!

    Alissa - Thank you for stopping by!

    Joanne - They were fantastic. I love the idea of the faux braid - genius! Have fun with the challenge!

    Justin - You just made my day. Seriously! Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a kind comment. Have fun with your bread making!


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