Basil/Mushroom Potato Bread Roll

posted by Adam Cogen Wick <>

(makes a lot)

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 can Cream of Potato Soup
  • Some Water
  • 2 tablespoons shortening/butter/margarine/whatever
  • 2 tablesppons sugar
  • LOTS of flour (6-7 cups)
  • 1 small can/bottle tomato sauce
  • 1 small to medium sized packages mushrooms
  • Some amount of garlic
  • Some amount of basil

To make:

Remove rings and watches and change out of your good clothes. I don't care what kind of apron you have, flour will ALWAYS find its way to your clothes. Its one of the laws of nature.

Find a very large mixing bowl. Very gently mix 1/4 cup warm water (note the warm; very hot and very cold water are bad) and the yeast. It should bubble a little bit and smell fairly distinctive.

In a pot, make some cream of potato soup. I use Campbell's, but feel free to make any brand or make your own. Campbell's has the advantage of being cheap and the differences between cheap and fancy cream of potato is going to be lost.

In yet another smallish pot, melt the margarine. When melted, add a cup of the soup, the sugar, some finely chopped garlic (I use about 1/3 a clove, but I like garlic), and 3/4 cup of water. Some bread recipes claim you should also add a tablespoon of salt; I don't, cause I haven't noticed much difference between adding and not adding and my blood pressure is too high. Turn off any heat and stir.

When the liquid mixture above becomes lukewarm, add to the yeast mixture and stir gently. Slowly start adding and mixing flour into the mixture. Personally, I add a cup, mix, and repeat. The amount of flour you need will vary; you want the dough to be dry enough that it doesn't stick (much) to an unfloured board, but wet enough that its one cohesive mass. On the subject of bread mixers and food processors: I don't use my food processor to make bread, but that's purely because mine wouldn't be able to make this much dough. Just use your hands. Half the fun is in the kneading.

Knead. Knead quite a bit. Then put the dough back in the bowl, cover the bowl and put it somewhere cool and dry. Personally, I just toss the bown in an unheated oven. Works well enough.

Grab the leftover soup, put it in a bowl and get a spoon. Go over to your computer, eat your soup, check your email, write fluffy yet witty posts to Clean your bowl and put it back in the cupboard, have a nice, long snog with your partner of choice. Watch some TV. Hopefully about two or three hours have passed. If not, go back to snogging your partner.

Hopefully you haven't forgotten where you put your dough (I did once). Take a look at it. Books on bread making say that it should have "doubled in bulk". Generally, at this point, I've forgotten how bulky the dough was originally, so I won't comment on the truthfullness of this statement. Just nod, turn to your partner, and say "Yup, it doubled" in a wise voice.

Find a large cutting board or clean counter and flour it. Gently roll the dough into a somewhat rectangular shape. I try to get the dough down to about half an inch (a little over a cm) thick, but if you find yourself pushing hard, stop. Pour about half a cup (exact amount depends on the area of the dough) of tomato sauce onto the dough and evenly distribute. You really don't need that much, so don't overdo it. I generally do only slightly more than a thin glaze.

Wash and dry your mushrooms and basil, and distribute over the dough. Now you should have a rectangular piece of dough with an even amount of tomato sauce, mushrooms and basil. Carefully roll the dough into a cylindrical shape. You should do it width-wise:

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I have never gotten it to roll right the other way.

Find a baking sheet, grease it, and put your creation on it. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. When its heated, put the cooking sheet in the oven. After 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 350. Cooking times vary depending on the flour and the oven; generally it takes another 20+ minuts. Check frequently; when the dough is golden-brown, remove. Let cool a few minutes before cutting.

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