I would be in very dire straits if I ever had to give up bread. I just love breads of all kinds. I can easily make a meal on nothing but bread, and have done so many times in the past. And of course, with bread you have to have butter. It just wouldn’t be the same without butter. The late, great Julia Child would say “always add more butter. You can never have too much butter”. She was definitely a woman after my own heart and mind, and obviously taste buds too. For my latest bread making adventure, I made whole wheat potato bread. I’ve made it before, and loved it then, just as I do now. My biggest problem is that there just isn’t enough time to make all the recipes I want to make and try, so I make new things and often forget about things I’ve made in the past. Sometimes, I just need to flip through the pages of my many cookbooks to be reminded of all the delicious dishes I’ve made and enjoyed before, and then it is like making them for the first time all over again. I had some leftover potatoes that I needed to use from when I made my loaded potato skins the other day, so I was specifically looking for a good potato bread recipe, and low and behold, I found quite a few. Loaded Potato Skins
Potatoes are found all over the world, and therefore different versions of potato bread are found all over the world as well. The earliest references to breads made from potatoes were from the early 18th century. Making potato flour was first introduced during times of grain shortages, when using potato flour was much cheaper than using wheat or rye flour, and therefore became very popular. People continued to make potato breads not only because at the time, the flour was cheaper, but also because the bread came out really moist, light and airy, and the flavor was very tasty. Using potatoes gives the bread an earthy taste with a hearty texture. Potato bread has withstood the tests of the times, and is just as popular today as it was back in the early 18th century, when it was first made.
2 medium potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
2 tsp dry active yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 large egg at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt – I used dried buttermilk that i reconstituted with milk
1 TBSP oil – I used olive oil, but you can us whatever type of cooking oil you like
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp salt
3-4 cups white flour
If you are making your potatoes at the same time you are making your bread, reserve the cooking water. If you are using leftover potatoes, you will need to add more water.
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let it stand for 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes frothy and creamy.
Mix the wheat flour and the salt together.
Beat the egg, and add 1 cup of either the reserved potato water or plain water and mix it with the buttermilk or yogurt. You want enough liquid to make 2 1/2 cups. Then add the potatoes, add the wheat flour and mix well. Add the white flour 1 cup at a time. You want a nice soft dough, so use as much flour as the dough can stand without making it too hard and difficult to work with. The remaining flour can be spread on your surface to work and knead the dough until it forms into a soft ball.
Once the dough is ready and has been shaped into a large ball, add about 1-1 1/2 TBSP of oil to the bowl and spread it all around, then rub the dough ball with the oil as well. This is to prevent the dough from sticking to the bowl and keeps the dough moist.
Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
Once the dough has completed its first rise, punch it down and return the dough to the floured surface. Cut the dough in half to make two dough rounds. Add some cooking spray and corn meal to the bottom of a baking sheet, then place the dough rounds on top of the corn meal. With a knife, score the top of the dough rounds, then add a light dusting of flour to the tops. Cover and let rise again for about another 45 minutes, or until they dough rounds double in size yet again. Preheat the oven to 400*F about 30 minutes before you put the bread in the oven, to make sure it is very hot.
When the dough is ready, place it on the center rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the bread is brown and has a hollow sound when tapped. Spray the inside of the oven and the loaves with water a few times within the first ten minutes of baking to ensure a nice crust. Once the bread is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for at least a few minutes before cutting.
This recipe makes two medium sized loaves of bread. Once the bread is ready, butter it up and enjoy a slice or two.