You all know how much I hate throwing away food if I can help it. When I made my twice baked potatoes, Video #20 – A Christmas Ham with an Apple-Ginger Cider Glaze I had just enough leftover potato filling to use for making some potato bread. Plus, it was still a cold, chilly day, so it was yet another perfect day to have the oven on and do some baking. I made a Hungarian potato dill bread. It was a dense, hearty bread that was filled with flavor. Not only did it have the flavor of the dill, but when I made my twice baked potatoes, I used butter, cream, cheese and green onions as well, so the bread took on all those flavors too.
Hungarian Potato Dill Bread
2 1/2 cups of cooled mashed potaotes
2 tsp dry active yeast
1/2 – 3/4 cup warm water, divided
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tsp dried dill, optional
Mix the yeast with 1/4 cup of the water and let set for about 10 minutes, or until it becomes frothy.
Mix the flour, salt and dill together. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture, mixing in just enough flour to make a spongy paste. Cover with a towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
Combine the rest of the flour into the spongy paste, and add the additional water as needed. Mix in the potatoes and combine everything thoroughly. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and work everything together, and knead the dough until it forms into a soft ball. Cover and let rise for 2 hours.
This is a thick, dense dough, and will not rise as much at first because of the density of the potatoes. However, once the bread is in the hot oven, the moisture from the potatoes will escape, allowing the bread to dramatically expand.
After the first rise, punch the dough down and let rest for about 10 minutes.
Shape the dough into a round loaf. Place the loaf on a lightly floured baking sheet and let rise again for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425* F or about 220 *C.
Dust the loaf with flour then score the top. Scoring the bread with deep slashes allows the bread to rise and expand as it bakes without tearing or cracking the sides or bottom of the bread. The deeper the slashes, the more the bread will open when it is baked, giving the bread a minimum crust area.
Once the oven is at temperature, before putting the bread into the oven, spray the oven with water to create steam. Then quickly put the bread into the oven. Spray the oven again at least 2 more times within the first 10 minutes of baking the bread.
The steam can be brought into the oven a few ways. I like to spray water directly onto the walls of the oven. You can also place a bowl of ice water, with ice cube, into the oven as it heats, or you can use the oven bricks and spray them with water. The steam helps create a crispy crust on the outside. The moisture helps soften the crust during the initial baking stages, that allows for the dough to fully rise which creates a thin, crisp crust. The moisture also help caramelize the sugars, which helps in the browning process.
Bake the bread for 1 hour or until it is golden brown and the bottom is hollow when tapped. Cool the bread completely before cutting.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.