Remember that leftover mashed potato sitting in the fridge from the other day? The cold, sad lump of mush?
Use it to make this amazing Potato Bread. It’s a firm, crusty loaf that slices easily and keeps beautifully. Slather some butter on a slice and grill it for amazing sandwiches. Add a bit of garlic and basil to make a heavenly addition with any pasta or Italian dish.
Here I’ve used a bit of smoked turkey slices, black pepper pastrami, and white cheddar cheese.
Potato Bread for Toast
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 ounces mashed potato
4 1/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
Measure the water into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir in the dry milk, salt, yeast and oil. Blend in the potato and the flour. When it’s mixed together well enough so the dough begins to come away from the side of the bowl, turn it out onto a lightly floured kneading surface and knead for 3 to 4 minutes. Don’t add more flour to make it more manageable; it’s the slackness that creates the texture in the finished bread that allows it to ‘imbibe the butter with more freedom.
Let the dough relax while you wash out and grease the mixing bowl. Knead for a further 3 or 4 minutes, put the dough into the bowl and then turn it over so the top of the dough has a thin film of grease on it. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Knock the dough down and turn it out onto a floured surface. If you’re going to use two bread pans, cut it in half and pat each half into a pan; the dough is wet enough to resist shaping. If you’re using a pain de mie pan, place the dough in the bottom and press it into each end. Cover the dough and let it rise for 45 minutes to an hour.
About 15 minutes before you want to bake your bread, preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake the two separate loaves for 35 minutes, the pain de mie for 45 minutes, removing the cover of the pan for the final 10 minutes of baking. Turn the loaf (or loaves) out and let them cool on a rack.
Yield: About 30 servings.