Wednesday, November 05, 2014


It may seem unusual to add potatoes to a yeast-leavened dough, but the potato serves a great purpose. Cooked potatoes are mostly starch, starch converts to sugar in the dough, helps feed the yeast and helps keep the moisture of the final baked product longer. These are very quick and easy to make, flavoured by rich, buttery mashed potatoes and spices. Great for a brunch with poached eggs, or as a mini savoury sandwich.

450 grams plain flour
2 ½ teaspoons dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
350 grams potatoes
100 grams butter, cold
6 tablespoons hot water
1 medium egg
2 tablespoons light olive oil

Dice the potatoes and cook them over medium heat, in a big pot of lightly salted water until they are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain them really well and let them cool slightly. Reserve about 50 grams of the flour (about ½ cup) and sift the rest with the salt, black pepper and garlic, add the yeast and whisk well. Set it aside for the time being. Mash the potatoes lightly, then transfer them to a large mixing bowl, add two tablespoons of hot water and beat with an electric mixer on high, until creamy. Add cold butter you cut into small pieces and continue mixing. The butter will decrease the temperature in the bowl so the egg doesn't scorch. Add the egg and blend well on high. Switch to a wooden spoon and add the dry ingredients in three additions, along with the rest of the hot water, mixing well after each addition.
Turn the soft and sticky dough on a work surface and vigorously knead in the reserved flour. Keep kneading for at least 5 minutes. If the dough is still sticky, add a bit of flour more. Transfer the dough to a large bowl, cover it and let it rise in a warm spot for about an hour and a half, or until doubled in size. When doubled, turn it out on a generously floured surface and briefly knead it. Roll the dough out to about 5 mm thickness (¼") and cut out the biscuits using a 7 cm biscuit cutter (3"). Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and let them rise for another 30 minutes. Just before baking, brush them with the light olive oil and bake them in a preheated oven, at 200˚C (395˚F), for 15-20 minutes. Let them cool slightly and serve. Yields 30 biscuits.