Monday, July 07, 2008

Potato Dough Makes the World a Brighter Place

I’ve been really pleased with the way my summer cooking has been going. My biggest coup by far has been my mastering of the making and use of potato refrigerator dough. This versatile foodstuff is just the best. I’ve used it to make burger buns, hot dog buns and dinner rolls. I even drizzled leftover dinner rolls with margarine and cinnamon sugar to make a yummy addition to a birthday breakfast.

My recipe is basically this one with the changes Ruthie mentioned plus one change of my own, I used all whole wheat bread flour. That's the key for me. Store bought whole wheat buns are so expensive. That may be the best reason of all to give this recipe a try. It's so easy to shape a few buns when the dough is already mixed and waiting.

As Ruthie mentioned, I didn’t need to punch it down daily. I also found it needed a longer rising time than the original recipe called for. I feel such shame confessing this but I used mahed potato flakes. There, I said it. Stone me if you must. I’m a huge fan of everything from scratch but baking potatoes in the absence of a microwave in the summer is not my idea of a good time. Plus they carry the mashed potato flakes at the local discount grocery store.

The meals themselves have largely been the ones from the meal plan I put together a few months back. I still can’t believe how much time and mental energy having a meal plan saves. I like the way a meal plan gives me ideas but invites variation. For example, I made baked seitan but instead of making jerk seitan with it, I made BBQ seitan. Simple? Yes, but very effective and tasty too. Now go, look in your fridge, cabinet or garden and make a substitution. Start small, substitute some collards for spinach (in cooked recipes only or you'll be sorry. It's a memorable mistake that you'd only make once!)

I’ve been very adept at combining several days of leftover bean dishes and making veggie burgers. The leftovers have included Cajun black eyed peas, Cuban Black Beans, Brilliant Baked Beans (From How It All Vegan) and BBQ Chickpeas. My only mistake in combing them was pureeing them too much and making the texture a little too gooey. A potato masher would have done a better job. (Is it odd that a potato masher should come up right after I confess to not using one a mere paragraph ago?)

I’ve discovered a real PMS snack pleaser, try combining dried unsweetened cherries with dark chocolate chips. No cooking, just toss them together in a bowl. You can try conning yourself into thinking it’s healthy just because you’re eating fruit. Then again, if you’re PMSing, you probably don’t give a hoot if it’s healthy.

In the fruit and veggie department, the CSA and farmers market have been our primary source. I just discovered a woman in walking distance who has a farm stand set up in her front yard. I'm planning to head her way toward the end of the week when my fridge begins to look empty in anticipation of the next pickup.


Ruthie said...

Sweet use of potato dough. Isn't it to die for?! :)

Did you finish your log cabin blanket or blue jean quilt? PICTURES!!!

That lady with the farm stand may be a good source of gardening advice as well... :)

Enjoy your summer. Your posts may be sporadic, but mine are sporadicker.


Ruthie said...


be sure to try a tip from the Tightwad Gazette - Bunches and Bunches (or something) use the potato dough and roll it out into a circle, add some leftovers (any of those bean dishes would be yum with some leftover veggies) and bunch it up, bake until golden. YUM

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

I'm so glad that you like the dough recipe. It probably takes yours longer to rise because of the whole wheat-I find that when I bake with my chapati flour (which has MEGA fiber) it takes much longer to rise and doesn't rise anywhere near as high.

I've been making a different bread recipe (just plain white bread but with 1/2 wheat) letting the bread machine mix it up and then baking it in the oven-about 2 loaves a week to take care of dinners and sandwiches. But with BBQ weather upon us I've had to mix up some batches of rolls midweek. This has reminded me that the potato dough is a good option.