Potato Bread

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Potato Bread

Postby steelchef » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:14 pm

Here's a recipe that we frequently enjoy.

Baked Potato Bread

Makes 2 small (one pound) loaves or one large loaf

1/2 cup mashed potatoes
3 to 4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cooked bacon
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives

Chop up two or three slices of bacon and fry them up. Remove them from the heat.
Mix the mashed potatoes, yeast, salt, and 2 cups of the flour together in a large mixing bowl. Add the sour cream, water, chives, and bacon and mix together until all ingredients are combined. I also mixed in the bacon fat, which there was about a tablespoon of in the pan, because it improves the flavour of the loaf.
At this point you'll have a very wet, sticky mess, probably more of a batter than a dough. Add additional flour a handful (1/8 cup) at a time and mix or knead it in.
(I lost track of exactly how much extra flour I added, but it seems like it was around 9 or 10 hands full. I added 4 or 5 hands full and mixed them in while the dough was still in the bowl, then I poured the dough out onto a well-floured cutting board and added more, kneading it with my hands which I repeatedly dipped in flour to keep the dough from sticking to them. After 5 or 10 minutes of this I ended up with something that was still quite sticky, but was definitely in the realm of a dough and not a batter: it could be formed into a ball and generally held its shape.)
Once you have combined the ingredients well and gotten the balance of flour and water to a level that seems acceptable, return the dough to a well-oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 90 minutes at room temperature or until it has doubled in size.
Remove the dough from the bowl and shape the loaf or loaves. One probably could add more flour and make an acceptable loaf of bread with a dryer dough, but I've been finding that I get better results the wetter I am able to leave it. But this really is an art, not a science, so use your own best judgement.
At this point you need to shape the loaves, cover them loosely and let them rise until they double in size again, about 45 minutes.
While the loaves are rising again, preheat the oven to 425. If you have a baking stone, be sure to put it in early to heat.
When they have doubled in size, put the loaves in the oven to bake. I bake them at 425 for 5 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350 and baked them another half an hour. The loaves are done when the internal temperature reaches the 185 to 195 degree range (as read with an instant-read thermometer) or when they are nice and brown on the outside and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. For me this took about 35 minutes.
And there we have it. The bread is wonderful while still warm, with a pot of soup but I actually think it’s better the next day, cold. With the bacon fat and sour cream, there’s plenty of fat in the bread so it doesn't need to be buttered; just plain it’s rich and moist enough.
Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.
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steelchef
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Postby wheels » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:49 pm

Oh Boy, that looks great, any bread with bacon in it gets my vote.

Phil
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