Okay, so I’m back. Well, okay, so I was back last week but I just needed to sleep many hours and then my little girl got sick and has had a fever the past 3 days so I was not really doing much of anything, other than lying around with her. Being in NY for 7 weeks seemed to take a lot out of us.Hopefully today is our last day of staying in the house and since she is content watching The Little Mermaid, I thought I would make some fresh bread to go with some vegetable soup for dinner. While most recipes for potato bread call for a Biga , this one doesn’t, so it’s a fast (as far as bread making goes) and simple way to have a loaf on the table in time for dinner. It make a flavorful, moist bread and I usually make it as a special treat for my dear friend Kathy (and now a favorite of her son, Damian). So bake on, my friends, bake on…
POTATO ROSEMARY BREAD
2 medium potatoes, boiled until tender and then lightly mashed
1 tsp minced dried rosemary or 1 tbsp fresh
1/2 tsp honey
3-4 cups flour
1 package, or 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/4 cups hot potato water
Oven temp: 350 degrees F Bake time: 45-50 minutes
Boil the potatoes for approx. 15 minutes or until tender. Strain, saving 1 1/4 cups of the hot potato water. Add the minced rosemary to this to infuse it and let the water cool to about 100 degrees (a warm lukewarm)
Add the yeast and 1/2 tsp honey to the lukewarm potato/rosemary water and let bloom for 10 minutes.
Add the salt, pepper and flour. With your standing mixer on low,and using the dough hook, start with 2 cups of flour and work your way from there, adding more flour 1/4 c at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides and is not sticky anymore. Let the mixer knead the dough for 10 minutes. Then flour your countertop, put the lightly mashed (I just use my hands) potato in the center then top with the dough and knead until the potato is thoroughly mixed through.Alternately, you can do this by hand, stirring in the flour with a big wooden spoon and then kneading it on a counter for 10 minutes until the dough is soft and springy.
Then knead in the potato. There should still be small chunks of potato throughout the dough.
Lightly grease a bowl, place the dough inside and cover with plastic wrap and a towel to rise for 1 hour.
Turn the dough out, lightly knead for 1 minute and then shape it into a ball. Place it on to a piece of parchment paper that has been lightly floured. Cover again with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F 15 minutes before you put the bread in the oven.
Immediately before placing the loaf into the oven dust it with about 2 tsp of flour and slash the top with a sharp knife.
Now… You can just bake this on a baking sheet, or if you have a clay baking sheet, put the clay sheet in the oven when you preheat it and then just slide the bread on to it (right with the parchment paper). This makes for a super crusty bottom 🙂