One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato…

March 10, 2008

Yes, more potato bread 🙂

My friends and I are going to a big convention this weekend, and since we’re all pretty much broke we decided that bringing food instead of buying was the best idea. And of course, I offered to make bread for sandwiches! I have been torturing my dear friend Dean with pictures of all of my bread for a while now, so he was pretty excited with the idea.

Last month I made a recipe for potato bread. I considered using this one for my friends, since it was something I had been playing with for quite a while. A tried and true recipe, but while tasty, it felt like cheating. Even though I was doing it by hand, it used just potato flakes instead of real potatoes since it came from a bread machine cookbook. I don’t mind cheating once in a while. Shortcuts can be very good. But I wanted to make REAL potato bread and give them something great.

I have two new recipes to try this year and this is one. The other one had reviews from people who had actually tried it (since it was one of those Daring Bakers things I am sure you have seen around) but the reviews seemed rather mixed so I decided to be a little safe and go with this one first.

 

This is a real hearty bread. Wheat flour would make it even more so, but I honestly don’t think it needs it. This is nothing like the potato bread you’ll find in stores, but it’s great and super soft. Perfect for sandwiches or just munching on. I personally think it might need a little sugar, but other than that it’s great. I’ll let you know what my friends think when they try it. In the meantime…

Hearty Potato Bread
Source: A Year in Bread

2 cups water*
5 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
8 ounces mashed potatoes**
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt

*You’ll use the water from boiling the potatoes for this. You can use regular water but this will be better
**Peel and cut a little more than 8 ounces so you can make sure you have enough

1. Peel and cut potatoes and boil for approximately 30 minutes, or until soft enough to mash. Measure out 8 ounces of potatoes, and two cups of water, plus a little more on the side in case you need it. Mash the potatoes in the potato water and allow to cool until approximately 100F.

2. Add the bread flour and yeast to the potato/water mixture. Add the butter and mix until well combined. Mix in the salt.

3. Spread the all-purpose flour onto your work surface and begin to knead the dough, adding more flour/water as needed. This will be a very slack dough but keep working it until it’s soft and supple.

4. Grease a large (very large, this is a huge loaf) bowl and put the dough in, greasing the top of the dough. Cover the bowl and let rest for approximately an hour, or until doubled in size. Punch down, cut the dough in half and let rest for a few minutes. Form two loafs and put them in greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise another hour, or until doubled in size.*** Preheat oven to 375F.

5. Cut two or three slits in the top, lighlty flour the tops and bake bread approximately 20 minutes. Turn and bake for another 15 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a thermometer inserted inside reads 200F.

6. Turn out loaves onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Cut and enjoy 🙂

Like any bread, you don’t have to bake these in loaf pans. You can free-form these loaves easily, and I will probably do so next time I try it. I might also add a tablespoon or so of sugar, but it is still great without it.

*** This made HUGE loaves. I put about 8 ounces of dough aside so I could try it, make sure it was good before sharing a new recipe with people and it STILL overflowed my loaf pans. You might want to make three small loaves, or two loaves and a small baguette or something like that.