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Potatoes? Cheese? Chives? How can you go wrong? This is a fairly straightforward roll-up loaf that has a nice WOW factor for sharing with friends and a lot of nice flavors that are hard to beat by themselves or with a main course.

Here's what you do:

1 large or two small unpeeled potatoes, coarsely chopped, boiled in 3 cups water until soft
1 Cup potato water (saved from above)
5 Cups bread flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 Cup chopped fresh chives
6 thin slices (about 4 oz.) sharp Cheddar
cornmeal for dusting
a little vegetable or Canola oil

-Boil the potatoes, let cool.
-Stir together the flour, salt, yeast, cooked potatoes and about 1/2 Cup of the potato water in a large bowl. If it's too stiff, add more potato water. Once mixed, let sit for half an hour.
-Transfer dough to floured surface, knead for about 6 minutes. Add chives, continue kneading until they're evenly distributed, about three more minutes. Place kneaded dough, lightly oiled, in a large bowl, let ferment for 90 minutes at room temperature.
-Cut the dough in half, form each half into a rectangle about 8" wide by 6" high. Place 3 slices of cheese on each rectangle, then roll up like a jellyroll or a Ho-Ho, creating a spiral. Seal the ends with your fingers, and seal the bottom seam closed as well.


-Lay the loaves on a peel or a pan with parchment paper dusted with cornmeal, score the tops of each loaf with 2-3 diagonal slashes and let proof for one hour, until doubled in size.

-Meanwhile preheat your oven to 500 and have an empty pan in the top rack ready to be a steam tray. When you put the loaves in the oven, pour a cup of water into the hot pan, wait 30 seconds, then give the oven walls 5 or 6 spurts from a spray bottle. Wait, repeat four times, then let the loaves bake 35-40 minutes, until the loaves are golden brown and the cheese is bubbling out from the cracks. Rest for at least half an hour before slicing.


Happy baking, Groupthink!

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