Me + Potato Bread = True love forever

Coming to you again, from my yeast filled kitchen, is yet another bread recipe. And why not!? I am a fan of the Pioneer Woman, follow her blog and recipes, and also enjoy a few of her ‘food & friends’ as well. Here’s a great one!

This recipe is from a lady named Bridget (Hi Bridget, you have one of my all time favorite names! Although that’s not related to this post in any way, just thought I’d mention that.) and she had a lovely recipe for potato bread that I decided to try. Boy oh boy, did it turn out well. I was very happy with the results so I thought I’d share her recipe and show you how mine turned out for a first go at making it.

Here’s the recipe on the Pioneer Woman website:

Ingredients (copied from website):

2 Russet Potatoes
6-1/2 cups Unbleached All-purpose Flour
3 Tablespoons Sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons Instant Yeast
2 teaspoons Fine Sea Salt
1-1/4 cup To 1 1/2 Cups Potato Water
1/2 cup Milk, At Room Temperature
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature

Instructions (copied from website):

Peel and cube the potatoes. Place in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook on a low boil for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a paring knife.

Drain potatoes, reserving the water. Mash potatoes well. Let potatoes and potato water cool for at least 30 minutes. Potato water should be lukewarm before using.

In a large bowl, stir flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the lesser amount of potato water, milk, butter, and 1 cup mashed potatoes (you’ll have extra). Mix using the paddle attachment until thoroughly combined. The mixture should be tacky and sticky. If too dry, mix in remaining 1/4 cup potato water.

Switch to a dough hook and knead on medium speed for about 8 minutes, pausing a few times to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, as well as the dough hook.

The dough should be smooth, but soft and still a bit tacky feeling. Remove to an oiled bowl. Cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour to 90 minutes.

Punch down the dough. Divide in half and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead each piece a few times, form into a log, and place in two greased (8×4 or 9×5) loaf pans.

Cover the pans lightly with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise until the dough has crowned 1 inch over the tops of the pans, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Bake bread for 35 minutes or until top is golden and internal temperature reaches 190ºF. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove from the pans to cool on a wire rack.

Slice with a serrated knife. Bread may be wrapped well and frozen.

 

Here’s how mine turned out:

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I peeled and cubed the 2 potatoes and let them boil until very tender.

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Then I drained them and reserved the potato water and let them cool on the counter.

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I also went ahead and mashed the potatoes right away to cool along with the potato water.

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During the time the potatoes and water were cooling, I of course forced my child into slave labor and made him help with the dry ingredients. I’m so cruel. But he keeps coming back for more. 

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My kitchen was busy that day and I actually opted to not use my kitchenaid mixer as instructed, as it was preoccupied, so I did the mixing by hand. I got all my ingredients together and ready and went ahead and started mixing. I just used a wooden spoon at first and then went in with my hands and kneaded it as I went for the same amount of time the mixer would have been on.

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The dough did come out nice and soft and a bit tacky and I found I did not have to add any extra potato water. I dropped it into an oiled bowl, covered it and let it rise. The instructions say 60-90 minutes but I actually went a full two hours as I felt it may not have risen quite enough, just from looking at it.

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After two hours it doubled in size. 

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So I punched it down and divided it in half on my floured counter.

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(Look at those wrinkles on my wrist when it’s bent back. I tried to use a filter to hide those, but it just made it worse, so I went ‘au naturale’ and embraced it. I’m 38. I have wrist wrinkles. But I make good bread. You win some, you lose some.)

I kneaded each piece for about a minute each and formed each into a log.

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I got my greased loaf pans ready.

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Dropped the dough into each pan and covered them both with oiled plastic wrap, and then let them sit on the counter to rise again. 

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The instructions said to let rise for 30-60 minutes, but I again let mine rise longer until it was just starting to crown over the loaf pan. For me, it was 90 minutes, maybe a little longer.

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I baked them as instructed for 35 minutes and they came out great.

When I first saw them, I had a feeling that maybe they wouldn’t be soft or maybe too dense based on the size and feel, but nope! I cut into that baby after it cooled and it was so soft and moist and very lovely.

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If you’re looking for a white, spongy sandwich bread, this is not it. It doesn’t have that “wonder bread” texture. But it’s beautiful. It’s still fluffy and soft and doesn’t disappoint in any way. It toasts wonderfully as well. I kept one out to eat right away and the other I wrapped very well and froze for about a week. When I thawed it out and used it, it was just as wonderful as the first, fresh one.

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This is another winner, and an addition to my arsenal of bread recipes. Because I don’t have enough. Never will. 

– The Homesteaders Wife

 

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