Nothing brings back memories of my childhood faster than the smell of fresh bread! Growing up, we never had store bought bread. Mom always made it from scratch. It was an all day process. She’d make 10 – 15 loaves at a time and freeze them to use later. I remember, if I was very good and helped with the dishes or measuring the flour, when that first loaf came out of the oven, Mom would slice off the heel, slather butter on it and give it to me as a reward! The warm yeast bread and salty goodness of the butter was always a special treat!
Even now, when I make bread, that first warm slice has to have real butter spread across it and the first bite must be savored with your eyes closed!
This bread is a little different from Moms. She always made either white bread or wheat bread. Sometimes, if she was feeling daring, even a combination of the two! She never wrote down her recipe, so sadly it’s lost to memories of the past. I went searching for a simple, yet hearty bread recipe and this is what I found.
I choose to make a potato bread for several reasons. First, homemade bread is not hard to make! Yes, with yeast bread, it’s a little time consuming because you need to allow for the bread to rise twice, but I love knowing exactly what I’m eating. We can have fresh bread without all the preservatives and it’s a lot cheaper than the store bought stuff! That’s important to us right now. Next, I just bought 10 lbs of potatoes for only $2.00 at my local market! Seriously! Potatoes are economical, wonderful, healthy and versatile! They can be incorporated into your daily diet in many different ways. Not every potato has to become a french fry. Some are destined for greater things!
I used two potatoes to get the six ounces of mashed potatoes required for this recipe. The potatoes were rather small, about fist sized and because I peeled and mashed them, one just wasn’t enough. You could use one large baking potato or about 3/4 – 1 cup of leftover, cooled mashed potatoes too. If you don’t have leftovers, microwave a large, well pricked Idaho baking potato in the microwave for three minutes, turn it over and microwave for another three minutes. Let it cool. Peel and mash it thoroughly.
The flavor of this potato bread is a little heavier than regular bread, but that makes it perfect for your morning toast (preferably with an avocado mash and an egg!) or for fixing sandwiches throughout the week. It’s going to hold up very nicely to layers of lettuce, tomato and your favorite sandwich meats.
Here’s how it goes together in pictures!
This is the dough, together and ready for it’s first rise. It’s in an oil-coated bowl. I’m going to cover it and stick it in the oven (with the oven OFF) for it’s first rise. This will take about 1 1/2 hours.
The bread has doubled in size and is ready to be turned out on a lightly floured covered surface, then split down the middle to make two separate loaves of perfect potato bread!
Now it’s time to cover them again and let them rise for about an hour.
Now, into the oven for 35 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Mmmmm! Warm bread! See how different the loaves look? It’s because one of my very old loaf pans is non-stick and coated, thus producing a lighter crust. The closer one in the picture has a darker crust because it was in an aluminum pan. Both are equally delicious however!
Give it a try this weekend! Not only will you appreciate having homemade bread, your house will smell wonderful! Oh, and don’t forget to have that first slice all for yourself, or a special helper!
Perfect Potato Bread
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 6 ounces mashed potato
- 4 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- In a medium size mixing bowl, add water, dry milk, salt, yeast and two tablespoons vegetable oil.
- Blend in the mashed potato and flour.
- When it's mixed together well enough so the dough begins to come away from the sides of the bowl, turn it out onto a lightly floured kneading surface and knead for 3 to 4 minutes. (This amount of dough is easily prepared in a 1 1/2 pound bread machine set to the dough cycle. You can also use a kitchen aid stand mixer and a dough hook, set on medium speed for 2 -3 minutes.)
- Don't add more flour to the dough to make it more manageable. This dough should be slack.
- Let the dough relax while you wash out and grease the mixing bowl.
- Add remaining vegetable oil to the bowl and swirl it around to cover the entire inside surface of the bowl.
- Return to the dough and continue to knead for another 3 -4 minutes.
- Place the dough into the prepared bowl, then turn it over so the top of the dough has a thin film of oil on it.
- Cover the bowl and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Knock the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Cut the dough in half and pat each half into a well greased loaf pan.
- The dough is wet enough to resist shaping so you will have to pat it in to shape.
- Cover the dough again and let rise for a second time. 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- About 15 minutes before you want to bake your bread, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake the two separate loaves for 35 minutes, or until the top has a nice golden brown color to it.
- Immediately turn the loaves out and let them cool on a rack.
- Serve as toast for breakfast or use for sandwiches!
Potato Project 2016:
10 lbs = 28 potatoes
Potatoes used in this recipe: 2
Current Potato Count: 26
Recipes so far: 1
Stay tuned for more! How many recipes do you think I can make with 10 lbs of potatoes?