This potato bread is light and fluffy and worth every minute it takes to bake it. There's nothing wrong with using leftover mashed potatoes for this and substituting plain water for the potato water. Whichever way you make it, don't expect it to last long!
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Yield: 2 loaves
1 packet dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1 large Russet potato
1/2 cup potato cooking water
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 large egg
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
sesame salt or any seeds of your choice (See Ingredient Note below)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray two 9 x 5 loaf pans with cooking spray or brush with melted butter.
- Peel potato and cube. Cover with water and boil until soft. Drain water, reserving 1/2 cup and mash potato well with a fork, you will need 1 cup. Set aside.
- Combine yeast and 1/4 cup water and stir until yeast is dissolved. Wait 5 minutes or so to be sure yeast is bubbling and live.
- Pour yeast and water into a large mixing bowl. Melt butter in the potato cooking water and add to yeast with milk, egg, sugar and salt. Mix well with a hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth.
- Add 2 cups of flour and mix until combined. Add remaining 3 to 4 cups of flour until a soft douigh forms. Knead with a dough hook or by hand on a floured surface until dough is smooth and elastic. The dough will still be somewhat sticky and you will want to add extra flour if kneading by hand, but do so only in very small amounts so that there is not too much flour added.
- Cover dough with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Once dough has risen, punch down and cut in half. Roll each half into a 9 x 9 square and roll up like a jelly roll.
- Place each roll into a greased 9 x 5 bread pan and let rise until doubled in bulk again - about 1 hour.
- Brush top of loaves with butter and sprinkle with salt or seeds. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pans.
Ingredient Note: I used sesame salt in making this loaf, which is a wonderful Japanese seasoning -- "gomashio" -- consisting of toasted sesame seeds (in this case black) and salt. Look for it in the Asian food section of your supermarket or make your own. You can also experiment with other seeds, like poppy, sunflower or ground flax seeds.