Ask anyone who’s an experienced bread baker about “potato bread” and you’ll get a bright smile from them! This old-fashioned bread is a favorite because the potatoes make the bread moist and flavorful. This is a bread that is popular in many of the Amish homes throughout the country. That said, let’s look at “The Best Potato Bread”.
This is a recipe that’s one step beyond ordinary white bread! You start with one medium potato and cook it until very tender. You’ll reserve 1/2 cup of the potato’s cooking water and mash the potato without any added butter or seasonings. Meantime, you dissolve yeast in warm water, adding milk, butter, sugar, salt, and part of the flour, along with the mashed potatoes and the reserved potato water. This gets beaten together until smooth. If you have a heavy-duty stand mixer, that will be a real help here. Now, you’ll add enough flour to make a stiff dough.
This is turned out onto a floured surface and kneaded until smooth and elastic. Once again, if you have a heavy-duty mixer that has a dough hook attachment, that will make easy work of the kneading. This now goes through its first rising of about one hour. The dough is punched down, divided and shaped into two loaves. These now rise a second time for about 30 minutes. Then, they bake at 375 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. Turn them out and let them cool. And if you have a strong will power, wait until the bread is cooled to warm before slicing and indulging with butter!
A hint for testing for doneness: tap on the surface of the loaf when it appears done. If it has a hollow sound, it’s ready to be removed from the oven. One thing that really helps when I test a loaf of bread is a bread thermometer. These can be found in some baking and kitchen shops. You insert the end of the thermometer inside the bread and if it registers 190 degrees within two minutes, the bread is done.
Another good bread recipe using potatoes is one I shared a while back for “Easy Refrigerator Rolls”, which enable you to make the dough up, refrigerate it, and when you’re ready for some rolls, you remove the dough and take out what is needed. A handy way to have hot bread whenever you choose! To get the recipe, follow the embedded link above.
If you’ve never had bread baked with potatoes before, try this recipe and discover what bakers have been doing for years!
THE BEST POTATO BREAD
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 2 envelopes dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 cup warm milk
- 2 tablespoons soft butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 6-1/2 to 7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- additional flour for dusting
Cook the potato in the 1-1/2 cups water in a small saucepan until very tender. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Mash the potato (not adding any additional butter or seasoning). Set aside. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, butter, sugar, salt, four cups of the flour, mashed potatoes and reserved cooking liquid. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bow, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.
Punch down the dough and turn out again onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and shape into loaves. Place in two greased 9×5 inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and sprinkle loaves lightly with additional flour. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans to wire cooling racks to cool. Yield: 2 loaves, 16 slices each.