Potato bread, that's something I have regarded with suspicion. I like my potato the way they are, mashed or fried. But to be part of a loaf of bread, that I cannot understand. However, age does strange things to people and my boundaries are pushed further, with a confidence that comes with age ( but not too old, where the process regresses again ).
So when the fragrance of potato bread perfumed the house, I know I am into something good. It was finished in 2 meals. Dense and moist, it tastes like a cake-bread and its rich texture makes it an excellent mop for stews and chowders.
Hopefully, I can embark on new breads this year. Nothing earth shattering, simply starting from the basics. The guys at home will be rubbing their palms in anticipation, so I hope I will not disappoint them.
One loaf for 3. Adapted from thefreshloaf.com
1 small potato, steamed, peeled
Dry ingredients :
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon pink salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
Wet ingredients :
1/4 cup bacon bits
1/2 cup low fat yogurt ( european )
3/4 cup water
Combine dry ingredients in the retainer of the bread machine or big mixing bowl. Whisk and set aside.
Prepare a bread baking tray. Butter the insides and dust with flour. Set aside.
Rice or finely mash potato.
Whisk wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Add potato and mix well.
Pour wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients.
At this point, you have 2 options : use the bread machine or some elbow grease :
If using a bread machine, set to dough cycle. The dough, risen for the first time, will be ready in 1.5 hours. Doing manually, knead the dough for at least 10 minutes such that it is no longer sticky. Transfer to an oiled bowl and let it rise for about 1 hour, covered. The dough should double in size for the next set of procedures.
Retrieve dough and on a floured work surface, knock down the dough and shape it . Transfer to the dusted baking tray. With a very sharp knife, score through the middle of the dough. Let the dough rise for another 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.
Preheat oven to the highest temperature.
Transfer to the oven and bake at 180 C for 35 minutes. The bread is ready when it gives a hollow sound when tapped at the bottom.
Allow the bread to cool before serving with a bowl of clam chowder or chili. I made this specially to mop up my bowl of mussel stew, the ideal kind of combination for a wet evening.
Verdict : this bread is quite dense due to the non-gluten potato and short rise time. Texture wise, it is a cross between a cake and bread. The bacon lends a savory undertone and the crust is thin and crispy. It is best used for mopping up sauces and chowders.