Potato Bread and Rolls
Ah potato bread! Here is another lost recipe from the old days that I have been fortunate to rediscover via the wonders of the food-blogging community. These pretty little rolls are made form the recipe for Tender Potato Bread, this month’s challenge from the Daring Bakers, hosted by Tanna at My Kitchen in Half Cups.
This is the first bread I have kneaded by hand in a while. I will just remark that I have not been making no-knead bread for months now. I think I just like kneaded bread better. You have so many more choices.
Tender Potato Bread
(from Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid; who also wrote Hot Sour Salty Sweet)
I made two dozen rolls and two small loaves.
12 ounces potatoes (I used white rose potatoes)
4 cups(950 ml) water, reserve cooking water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast (or active dry yeast)
6 ½ cups to 8 ½ cups (1 kg to 1350g) unbleached all-purpose flour (I used the maximum amount)
1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
1 cup (130g) whole wheat flour
Additional olive oil or coconut oil
Coarse sea salt
Form the Dough
Put the potatoes and 4 cups water in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Add one teaspoon salt and cook, half covered, until the potatoes are very tender.
Drain the potatoes, reserving the water, and mash well. Measure out three cups (750ml) of the reserved potato water. Add extra water if needed to make 3 cups. Place the water and mashed potatoes in the bowl you plan to mix the bread dough in. Let cool to lukewarm (70-80°F/21 - 29°C) – stir well before testing the temperature – it should feel barely warm to your hand. Add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest/sit 5 minutes.
This is called the autolyse step, and it is intended to make the dough easier to knead.
Sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and the softened butter; mix well. Add the 1 cup whole wheat flour, stir briefly.
Add two cups of the unbleached all-purpose flour and stir until all the flour has been incorporated.
Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, incorporating flour as needed to prevent sticking. The dough will be very sticky to begin with, but as it takes up more flour from the kneading surface, it will become easier to handle; use a dough scraper to keep your surface clean. The kneaded dough will still be very soft. Place the dough in a large clean bowl or your rising container of choice, cover with plastic wrap or lid, and let rise about two hours or until doubled in volume.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead gently several minutes. It will be moist and a little sticky.
Form the Bread
Heat the oven to 400. Butter two eight-inch loaf pans, one eight-inch springform pan, and one six-inch heart-shaped pan, or pans of the shape and size of your choosing. Divide the dough into four sections, one larger than the other three. Form two of the three smaller dough sections into loaves and place them in the buttered loaf pans. Divide each of the two remaining sections into twelve balls. I had one dozen one-ounce rolls and one dozen two-ounce rolls. Roll each dough ball so that it has a smooth taut surface. Arrange the rolls in the prepared baking pans and allow to proof for forty minutes. Brush the loaves and rolls with additional melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sea salt, if desired. Bake for ten minutes and lower oven temperature top 375 and bake twenty-five minutes more. At this point, the smaller rolls should be deep golden and ready to remove. Bake another fifteen minutes and remove the larger rolls, and then remove the loaves about ten minutes later. This kind of bread slices up beautifully and is especially suited to grilled cheese sandwiches.