Friday, March 9, 2012

Irish Potato Bread

St. Patrick's day is approaching so I'm working on my Irish recipes.   Irish beer bread is my favorite, but I already did a post on it so I decided to try another popular Irish bread - potato bread!  I found this recipe at one of my favorite sites, The Fresh Loaf.  It was originally a "baked potato bread" because it included traditional baked potato ingredients - chives, bacon, sour cream.   I was lacking all three of those ingredients (classic) so I left out the chives and bacon, and used yogurt with a little bit of baking soda as a substitute for the sour cream.   I used non-fat yogurt and it came out just fine (and even made it a bit healthier..)

Instead of using potato flakes or starch, this recipe calls for mashed potatoes.  It is a great use for leftovers, even if they have milk and butter in them.   Next time I make this recipe I am going to save the water I boiled the potatoes in for use in the bread batter.  Oh yeah, and I'm going to put bacon in.  

Ingredients (makes 2 1lb loaves, or 1 large loaf):
  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes
  • 3 to 4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour 
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • optional: 1/4 cup cooked bacon, 1/2 cup chopped chives, or any other add-ins you can think of
  • Mix the potatoes, yeast, salt, and two cups of flour in a large mixing bowl.  If you are using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast you will need to proof it before adding.  Use the 3/4 cups water from the recipe to proof your yeast.  Check out my old post on yeast for details on how to properly proof your active dry yeast. 
  • Add the water, sour cream and any add-ins you want to include.  If you add bacon feel free to include the grease for added flavor.   Mix this all together well.
  • At this point your dough will be soupy, add flour by the handful until it starts to come together, turn out onto a well floured surface and continue to knead in handfuls of flour until your dough is solid enough to form into a ball, but still very damp.  A wetter dough is harder to work with but will ultimately have a better end result.  
  • Let your dough rise until doubled (about 90 minutes) in a oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap.  
  • Once risen, shape your loaves (or loaf if you are going for one big one) and let rise until doubled again (about 45 minutes).  I chose to make mine a bit oblong, but the shape of your loaf is up to you.  
  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.  Once my loaves were fully risen, I dusted them with flour and slashed the top.   Bake for 5 minutes at 425, then turn your oven down to 350 and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until they are brown on the outside and sound hollow when tapped. 

Beautiful! Even though there was no bacon, and I had to make some substitutions (yogurt instead of sour cream, and active dry yeast instead of instant) this recipe still came out great!

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