A friend of mine said she had a whole bunch of potatoes that she was not sure what to do with, which put me in potato mode. Potatoes were discovered in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in South America and have records dating back to around 400 BC. Potatoes have been feeding the world ever since. Today, potatoes are a staple food source for about 2/3 of the world’s population, and they are the world’s 3rd most important food crop. A field of potatoes yields more energy per acre than any other food crop. Potatoes are used for everything, and come in many different varieties. They are very versatile, and very healthy, as long as they are not loaded with so many of the things we attribute to good potatoes. I admit, I am guilty of that too.
So, in honor of the fabulous potato, I made potato bread today. The recipe itself is pretty simple. Making a good bread, for this one, is more about the process, and the time than anything else.
The first rise.
The second Rise
Scoring the finishing touches before putting in the oven.
Fresh out of the oven.
Dill Potato Bread
2 medium to large potatoes, or enough to make 2 1/2 cups of mashed potatoes. I used russet potatoes (even though my picture is seen with red potatoes).
4 tsp dry active yeast
3 1/2-4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
Boil your potatoes and mash them, reserving the cooking water. Of course, I add garlic to just about everything, so of course my mashed potatoes have garlic in them as well, along with heavy whipping cream and butter. I always have to have butter.
Once the potatoes are mashed and cooled, make your dough.
Sprinkle the yeast into about 1/3 cup of the potato water and let sit for about 5 minutes, or until the yeast is dissolved. Mix the yeast into the flour and salt and cover to let “sponge” for about 20 minutes. Then incorporate the mashed potatoes. I used dill, but if you like other herbs or flavorings, add what you like. Work the potatoes into the flour to make a soft dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes and form into 1 large ball. Cover and let rise for about 2 hours.
Divide the dough in 1/2 and form into round balls and let rise again for another 30 minutes. Once the dough has had it’s second rise, sprinkle some flour on top and make 3 diagonal slices on top. This is called scoring the bread. Bake in a hot, pre-heated oven, at 425* F for about 1 hour or until it comes out golden brown and crusty on top. You will know it is done when you give it a little knock and the sound is hollow. And then there was bread.