Do you like potato bread?
What is Potato Bread?
Potato bread is essentially wheat bread with a mashed potato worked into the dough.
It has the most wonderful crust. And the light, but firm, structure with generous craggly holes make for the most fantastic toast. (All those nooks and crannies? Perfect butter and jam receptacles.)
With all of the artisan breads available at the markets these days it's a wonder anyone makes their own bread anymore. But I have yet to find freshly baked potato bread at the market, and making it at home is easy, especially if you have a mixer or bread machine.
I recently came across a basic recipe for potato bread (called Hot Loaf) in MK Fisher's classic How to Cook a Wolf, written during WWII with essays on keeping the wolves of hunger at bay when food and money are scarce.
The recipe gave some basic guidelines, but left some things completely open to interpretation, like the amount of dough, "sift in enough flour to make the dough soft and workable..." and the baking temperature, "bake in a moderate oven until a fine golden crust is formed."
So, I've gathered advice from other recipes (here's a good one from the fine folks at King Arthur) to come up with more specific instructions.
That said, bread making really is an art that improves with practice. This recipe is flexible and forgiving, so it's a good one to try if you are just starting your home breadmaking adventures.
Types of Potatoes To Use in Potato Bread
This recipe calls for russet potatoes, but over the years our readers have shared other options that worked for them.
- Leftover mashed potatoes
- Potato flakes: they should be rehydrated, enough to yield 3/4 to one cup of mashed potatoes
- Prepared ready-to-heat mashed potatoes from the store
- Other types of potatoes besides russet, such as Yukon Golds; since other potatoes are waxier than russets, you may need to add a bit more flour to the dough
Can This Recipe Be Kneaded by Hand?
Yes! If you don't have a stand mixer or bread machine, you can certainly knead the dough by hand. But remember, the dough should still be a bit tacky but not too sticky. So, be careful not to add too much flour.
How to Store and Freeze Potato Bread
To store baked bread, double wrap the cooled loaves in plastic film or aluminum foil. Then, place in freezer-safe, zip-top bags. Frozen bread will keep for about 6 months. Remove from the freezer and let thaw to room temperature while still wrapped.
It's best to not store bread in the refrigerator, since the fridge tends to dry out bread loaves.
More Easy Homemade Bread Recipes
Homemade Potato Bread
You can save the water the potato was cooked in and use it for part or all of the milk in the recipe.
This recipe calls for 8 x 4-inch baking pans. If you bake the loaves in standard 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch pans, your loaves will likely take less time to bake.
1 large russet potato (about 12 ounces)
2 cups (475ml) milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the pans
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
5 cups (680g) all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for flouring the counter
Cook, peel, and mash the potato:
You will need 6 to 8 ounces of mashed potato for this potato bread recipe. That's between 3/4 cup and one cup of mashed potatoes.
The easiest way to cook the potato is to poke it all over with the tines of a fork and microwave it on high, 4 minutes on one side, and 4 minutes on the other side. Let it cool. Then, peel and mash it with a fork.
Or, you can boil the potato. Peel the potato, cut it into large chunks, cover it with water in a pot, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes or so until a fork easily goes through the potato, drain, cool, and mash. (You can save the water the potato was cooked in and use it for part or all of the liquid in the recipe.)
Heat the milk, whisk in mashed potato:
Pour two cups of milk into a medium saucepan with the salt and sugar. Heat on medium heat until the milk starts to bubble at the edges. Then, remove from heat. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Whisk in the olive oil and the mashed potato.
Pour into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer (or just a large bowl if you don't have a mixer), and let cool until it is still warm, but not too hot to touch. (If the mixture is too hot—over 130°F—it will kill the yeast in the next step.)
Add yeast and 2 cups of flour:
Stir in the yeast. Stir in 2 cups (272g) of the flour. Use a stand mixer, such as a KitchenAid (recommended). Attach the mixing paddle, and mix on medium-high speed for 4 minutes. This will help break up any potato lumps and incorporate the mashed potatoes into the dough.
(If you are using a bread machine, put the milk potato mixture, the yeast, and all of the flour into the bread machine and knead for 8 minutes. Skip the next step and proceed to Step 5.)
Add the remaining flour and knead:
Swap out the mixing paddle for the dough hook on your mixer. Add enough of the the remaining 3 cups (408g) of flour to make a loose dough and mix on medium-low speed for 8 minutes. The dough should be tacky, but not sticky.
Let the dough rise:
Rub the inside of a large bowl with some olive oil. Transfer the dough from the mixing bowl and put it into this large bowl (You can use your mixing bowl if you clean it, and coat the inside with oil.). Gently coat the top of the dough with a little olive oil.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a dampened towel (to prevent the dough from drying out). Place in a warm spot for 2 hours or in the refrigerator overnight.
The dough should at least double in size. You'll know when it has risen sufficiently when you press into the top with your fingertip and the indentation remains for awhile.
Divide the dough and place in loaf pans:
Press down on the dough with your hand to deflate it. Turn it out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead a couple of times. Cut the dough into two halves (a pastry scraper comes in handy for this).
Rub a little olive oil inside of two 8x4-inch loaf pans. Place a dough half in each and press the dough into the bottom of the pans.
Let the dough rise again:
Coat the top of the loaves with a little olive oil. Cover the loaf pans with plastic wrap and put in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour or longer, until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven:
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and set a rack in the middle.
Bake the loaves:
Remove the plastic wrap from the loaf pans and gently place the loaf pans in the oven in the middle rack. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the internal temperature is between 190° and 200°F. Start checking the bread after 35 minutes, note that your bread may take as long as 55 minutes.
Love a crispy crust? Our tester, Bryce, likes to remove the warm, just-baked loaves from the pans and put them back in the hot oven for 5 minutes to firm up the sides with direct heat.
Cool the loaves:
While the bread is still warm in the pan, use a dull dinner knife and run along the edges of the pan, between the pan and the bread to loosen the loaves from the pan. Turn out the loaf pans onto a rack. Let cool completely before slicing.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 4g||5%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||5%|
|Total Carbohydrate 52g||19%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||9%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 2mg||12%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|