In search of healthy and fun meals to feed my family, with an eye toward sustainable living.

Here you'll find recipes & ramblings about keeping my family fed with what's available in Alaska between local produce, a little bit of wild harvest, and the modern grocery store.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sourdough Potato Bread

Potatoes are a great addition to bread-baking, and I happen to have some left-over mashed potatoes in my frig.

I want to make up my own recipe, preferably with a sourdough component.
So, let's see where the thought-process and experimentation leads!

I could start with the absolute basic bread recipe: 3 cups flour, 1 + a little cups of water, 2 teaspoons yeast, 2 teaspoons salt. Replacing between 10 and 30 percent of the flour with mashed potatoes should make a nice, moist loaf of potato bread.
One has to be careful, though: potatoes are considerably lower in gluten than wheat, so adding too much potato may result in a dense, moist loaf that resembles mashed potatoes more than actual bread! I've read that 1/2 cup potatoes to around 3 cups flour is about right.

What else could I add? Some fat is nice, and it makes the bread last longer too. Butter, oil or even sour cream is good. For flavor and an extra kick, I think I may add some roasted garlic and/or bacon bits too! And if my chives weren't under 2 ft of snow, I'd snip some and add them as well.

Last, I want to add my sourdough starter, Pedro. Probably should reduce the yeast , and allow for a slower rising process.

So here it is:
Potato Sourdough Bread
1 c sourdough starter, fed w/in last 12 hours
1 t active yeast, dissolved in
1/4 c warm water
optional: 1 t sugar
3 c flour, approx.
2 t salt
1/2 c mashed potatoes (skin, salt pepper, butter, etc are all fine)
1 T butter, oil or bacon fat
optional Flavors: bacon, chopped into bits
roasted garlic, mashed
chives or other fresh herbs, chopped

place sourdough starter in large bowl, add about 1/2 c flour and stir.
Meanwhile, dissolve yeast in warm water, add sugar, and when foaming, add to sourdough mix and stir. If mashed potatoes are cold, warm them up before adding to bowl. Stir in salt, optional flavors, fat and flour, 1/2 c at a time, until cannot stir anymore, then transfer to counter and knead dough until "feels right" -- this will be stickier than regular bread, so don't overdo it!
Note: I made a double batch and had a little less than 1 c flour left over.

Let dough rest and double (takes approx 1-2 hours).
Punch down and knead again (but gently) -- best to pull and fold rather than hard kneading.
Let rise again until double (at this point, could place in frig to "retard" and continue next day).

Punch, knead, and place in loafpan (or free-form) to rise.
Bake at 400F for approx 1/2 hr -- adding steam in first 10 minutes will make for crunchier crust!

Note from testing-round 1: this bread got rave reviews -- it rose quite well and fast (I did not retard dough in frig), and can probably be made with less or no yeast, and/or more potatoes...

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