Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Potato bread

I didn't set out to change the recipe this time. I mean, everyone knows "Beard on Bread" is a bread baker's bible. But I'm just not organized enough to start bread rising in the refrigerator the day before I want to eat it. And I didn't realize that's what this recipe called for until the dough was mixed. So I tried a more typical double rising on the counter, and the result was a dense, low crumb bread that the kids voted the best potato bread they ever had. It was wonderful warm, with a little salted butter. But it was just as good the next morning, toasted (with a little salted butter). And in my dreams it'll make a wonderful French Toast (with a little salted butter). In fact, the next time I make mashed potatoes, I plan to set aside enough to make several loves of this bread.

1 pkg yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 T sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk or potato water (I used milk this time)
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 T salt
2 eggs
1 cup mashed potatoes (I used the real thing, but the recipe says you can use prepared instant)
6 cups unbleached flour

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and let sit until foams, about five minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add milk/potato water, butter, salt and eggs and mix to combine. Add potatoes and flour, one cup at a time, and mix using a dough hook until forms a sticky but stiff ball of dough (alternately you can mix the ingredients together and then kneed about 10 minutes to form the dough). Shape into a ball. Coat a large clean bowl with olive oil or butter and place dough in bowl, turning to coat with oil or butter. Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray and loosely cover bowl. Allow to rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about two hours.
Punch dough down, kneed lightly and cut into two pieces. Form into loose logs and place in a loaf pan coated in cooking spray. Cover loosely again and let rise another two hours.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and continue baking until done, about another 15 minutes. Remove from pan, knock lightly on the bottom to make sure bread is done (it will sound hollow). Return to the oven without the loaf pan to crisp crust, about five minutes. Let cool 30 minutes before slicing.


  1. I made this bread dough again tonight. Only I'm trying it as rolls. I took half the dough, cut it into 12 pieces, cut each piece into three and rolled those into balls. Then I coated a muffin tin with butter and put three balls in each muffin cup. I'll let you know how it works out.

  2. I also brushed the top of each roll with butter. YUM!

    The rolls worked out great -- although I think that because the bread slices so nicely in a loaf, that's the best form for this particular bread dough.

  3. The leftover loaf became a fabulous French Toast this morning. The density of the bread made it slice thin and even, and the slight sweetness was perfect with the egg custard.

    Here's my recipe:
    1 loaf Potato Bread, sliced thin
    7 eggs
    Ground cinnamon/fresh nutmeg
    Real vanilla extract
    Cinnamon sugar/maple syrup, for serving
    Whisk eggs and add enough milk to make a light lemon yellow. Add vanilla, ground cinnamon and fresh ground nutmeg to taste. Melt butter in pan or on griddle over medium heat. Dip bread in egg custard and fry in pan until golden on one side. Flip and fry on remaining side. Remove from pan and serve with cinnamon sugar or maple syrup.