Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Whoosh...November Babe Lateness with Potato Cake

That whoosh sound was the days of
November from the last post to this one just whizzing by. Somehow we are now just a week away from the last day of the month, and I'm just getting my Potato Coffee Cake posted. Part of the reason is that I injured my left foot (I know, I's always the right foot or knee, but sometimes I have to change it up a bit, right?) which came just about the time I would have been baking this luscious treat (having jsut gotten back from Seattle a few days before that). Part of the reason is also that I've been immersed in cleaning out my computer room and also have been busy at the computer with class work. Loving being back doing graphic arts, but it is always time consuming.

All excuses aside, this is one delicious cake. Tanna of My Kitchen in Half Cups, a super Babe and lover of breads made with potatoes, based this bread,

Kartoffel Kuchen or Potato Coffee Cake on a recipe in One Potato, Two Potato by Ray Finamore, but in the process of getting it ready for the Babes and Buddies she tweaked it and patted it and played with it and made it much better than the original recipe.

I made two 9-inch cakes and one big ring cake, which meant that the smaller cakes are also not terribly high and that I made double doses of the fantastic struesel so that each cake had a LOT of it. Once you taste it you'll understand why.

I found this very easy dough to work with. I did add the flax seed meal but didn't have any white whole wheat flour, so used regular whole wheat flour, which worked out well. The dough really liked to rise and I didn't have to bake it any longer than the recipe called for with the 9-inch pans. The big ring pan took 30 minutes.

For toppings I used the light raisins for one, putting them on the dough under the streusel, then I sprinkled pulverized dried orange peel on the dough of the second 9-inch pan, then sprinkled on dried cranberries, followed by streusel. Both got the dimple treatment once all of that happened.

The ring pan was filled with lumpy balls of the dough (half the recipe) which had each been rolled in cinnamon-sugar. No fruit was added, just half of the streusel. I expected to see lines of cinnamon-sugar through the dough when I cut into it, but didn't. It was slightly sweeter and the cinnamon fragrance was wonderful!

If you would like to be a Bread Baking Babes Buddy, and why not?, just bake this bread/cake by the 29th, post about it, and send Tanna an e-mail with a photo and a brief description of your experience baking it. She'll be glad to hear from you and will post a round-up shortly after the 29th.

Thanks, Tanna, for a great challenge and a wonderful coffee cake experience! Sweetie is having trouble resisting it...'just another small piece' has been heard often.

Do visit the other Babe's blogs to see their take on this recipe. Since I'm late you may need to go back a few days to see the post for this coffee cake, but you're sure to enjoy it. The links are to the right toward the top of the blog.

I'm also sending this over to Wild Yeast for the weekly Yeastspotting round-up. Stephanie of Hefe Und Mehr is the hostess this week while Susan takes a break.

Potato Coffee Cake
Recipe Adapted from: One Potato, Two Potato by Roy Finamore
Yield: 2, 10 inch round cakes; 4 eight inch round cakes
From the books intro: There are a lot of things called potato cake in this book, but this one's a real cake, of the coffee cake school. It's based on an old Pennsylvania Dutch recipe.


For the Cake:
1 pound russet or all purpose potato, peeled and cubed
8 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
5 cups AP flour
1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
4 tablespoons flax seed meal
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Streusel
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 tablespoons butter, room temp.
3/4 cup walnuts or pecans or almonds
1/3 cup white raisins

1. Cook potatoes until very tender, just falling apart.
Drain and reserve potato water.

2. Idealy: rice the potatoes otherwise mash them.
Combine with butter and 1 3/4 cups warm potato water. Allow butter to melt and water to cool to luke warm.

3. In a standing mixer bowl: mix together the potatoes, potato water & butter, yeast, sugar, eggs and 2 cups of flour.
Beat until smooth. This is VERY liquid at this point.
Cover the sponge with plastic and leave in a warm place until it's bubbling happily.

4. Original recipe allowed 1 hour for this.
I altered this to a 5 hour rest in the fridge.
I'm working on the premise that a coffee cake is a morning thing so I aimed for an overnight rise in the dough with shaping in the AM.

5. Stir in remaining 4.5 cups flour, nutmeg and salt using the dough hook (or strong wooden spoon) for about 5 minutes. Dough should be very smooth. I never got a really smooth dough. I tried using Richard Bertinet's slapping technique for very liquid doughs but didn't really have any success.
I probably added another almost 1 cup of flour here but didn't want to push it anymore than that.

Cover again & leave to rise until doubled.

6. Again, original recipe allowed for 1 hour. I let this rise overnight.

7. Punch the dough down and turn out onto a lighty floured surface.
Divide the dough in half. If you work quickly while the dough is chilled you can get a reasonable nicely tucked round. As it warms, it'll get more liquid on you.
Shape into two rounds. I did four rounds and used 2 8 inch and 2 10 inch round cake pans. My four cakes were about 2 inches tall.
Original recipe: Place into two 10-inch round cake pans.

8. Preheat oven to 400° at least 20 minutes.

9. For the Streusel Stir flour, brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and add butter.
Mix together creating a soften mixture with dark color and sticky texture.
Work in the nuts.

10. Sprinkle streusel over the cakes.
When cakes are covered, dimple the cakes with your fingers - much like dumpling foccacia.
Dimpling will bury some of the crumbs and leave others on the top.

11. Cover with plastic.
Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, taking about 45 minutes.

12. BAKE Bake cakes at 400° 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool on rack … but not cold … this is too good warm.

Tanna's notes:
This is beautiful toast!
Freeze the second cake if you can get it to the freezer before it's gone.
Notes: my 1 pound of potatoes, cooked then mashed equaled 576 grams of mashed potato
I got lazy here, didn't get out my ricer. Potatoes were perfectly cooked and mashed easily with a fork.

Make as two loaves if you want it tall.
Make into four loaves as I did if you want it lower. My four were something like 2 inches tall.

Double the Streusel if you make this into 4 loaves.
I changed the original recipe from 1 cup AP flour to the oat bran & whole wheat.
I increased the sugar from 3/4 cup to a 1 cup and used brown instead of white … I most always use brown unless it really changes something basic to the outcome; just like the caramel flavor it gives.
Original recipe called for 1 package active dry yeast. I used 2 teaspoons. I don't think it would work to cut it any more. Also, original recipes called for dissolving yeast in 1/4 cup potato water. I put all the potato water into the potatoes with mashing and whisk the yeast into flour mix.


  1. I saw the recipe on Paulchens Foodblog, too and I think the Idea of using Potatoes in a cake very tempting. That is something I will try for sure. The cake looks so delicious!

  2. Whoosh indeed! Sorry to hear about the knee... I think someone somewhere decided that it's only fair the other one got a chance to fame as well?

    Lovely cake Elle, nice cinnamon idea!

  3. Now we know you don't have two left feet!

    I am flabbergasted with your topping! The raisins were good but I haven't gotten to make it with cranberries yet. I must.
    I froze 4 of mine for the family Thanksgiving and they were grand.
    So happy you enjoyed.

    Whoosh ... it is the season.