Welp, now that I’m married to someone who is of Irish descent, I figured I’d start learning more about Irish… cuisine. Don’t laugh, there are a lot of Irish cookbooks out there!
My Irish Table by Cathal Armstrong and David Hagedorn is a beautiful book. I loved reading the short, 7-page introduction and all of the anecdotes at the beginning of each chapter. Chapters range in topics such as, “What Mam Cooked,” “Fridays are for Fish,” “Special Occasions,” (with sub-chapters of some major holidays,) and more.
The recipe I decided to take for a spin out of this book, were the “Potato Rolls.” Nothin’ fancy. Again, you’ll note from my previous cookbook reviews, I like to take a simple recipe from a cookbook and see how well it is written, and how much it can wow-me. This recipe… fell short. Unfortunately.
The recipe has many flaws. In the list of ingredients, there is 1 cup of water, which is later referenced to add to the potato puree. But then, within the instructions, the reader is to reserve the cooking liquid (in which you boiled your potato) to later add it to the dough mixture. But… how much reserved cooking liquid? 1/4 cup? 1/2 cup? 1 cup? The precise amount is never given.
And even worse, the recipe is written like so (in my own words): “Step 1: Make potato puree. Step 2: Come over here and make this other bread.”
… Wait, when do I add the potato puree?? The reader is never told when to add the potato puree to the flour/salt/yeast mixture. Uh-oh. That’s a major part of the recipe that has been left out!
So I attempted to make this, and kind of wing-it as I went along. The dough was impossibly sticky. Because I have a 7-quart mixer, I can’t use my dough hook attachment at a speed greater than 2 (according to Kitchenaid) so I had to adjust how long to let the dough go whipping around in there.
Also, I couldn’t roll the dough into neat, little, 4 oz. balls as instructed in the book. So I made some globs on a baking sheet, threw them into the oven, and crossed my fingers. The results?
The blobs kind of formed into a loaf, which is no big deal… but… overall? Kind of bland, needed salt. However, the texture was quite lovely, soft, and tender. I’m not normally a fan of potato rolls, because they’re heavy. Maybe it’s because I haven’t eaten any bread or pasta in over a month, but after two bites, I was done.
I’m still looking forward to trying different recipes out of this book, however I am a bit guarded due to the errors that were in this recipe.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.