It’s 30x30 time again and this time it’s Potato Bread!
I’ve heard potato bread praised for many reasons. The potatoes in the bread are supposed to keep you fuller longer. They are also supposed to keep the bread soft and moist on the inside and crusty on the outside. It is also supposed to keep longer than other homemade breads.
Now, I can tell you that this bread is delicious, but I don’t necessarily know that is does all of the above. If I were to make this bread again I would do a few things.
1. I would add more whole wheat flour, but that’s just me.
2. I would add either more onion or some onion powder since I thought the onion was a bit too understated.
3. I would split this in to two braided loaves since the one loaf was absolutely massive.
Despite those few changes, I thought this bread was delicious and the perfect accompaniment to a hearty beef stew. We also used the leftover half to make pizza bread which was also divine!
*The amount of flour needed will vary greatly depending upon the size of the potatoes and onion. As always, if the dough to too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water, if it’s too sticky (transfers wet dough to your fingers when lightly touched) add flour, two tablespoons at time, kneading in between.
Braided Onion-Potato Bread
Adapted from Taste of Home, April/May 2012 issue
2 small-medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup warm 2% milk (105-110 degrees F)
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
2-3 cups bread flour
1 egg + 1 tsp water, beaten together
1-2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Place the potato and onion in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender. Drain, mash until very smooth, and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the milk. I heated mine in the microwave and set it aside to cool until it was the right temperature.
Place the warm milk, yeast, and honey into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk together and let it sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Then add the egg, butter, cheese, salt, pepper, parsley, and mashed potato mixture. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth and combined, 1-2 minutes.
Switch to the dough hook and add the vital wheat gluten, whole wheat flour, and two cups of bread flour and knead on low until combined. If the dough is still sticky, slowly add more flour and knead (with the mixer) until the dough is smooth and tacky, but not sticky, kneading for a total time of about 10 minutes.
Spray a large bowl lightly with non-stick spray. Place the dough into the bowl and flip to coat. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap or a damp, lint free kitchen towel. Place in a warm draft-free area (I used the proof function on my oven) and allow to rise for 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and split into three equal pieces (for one loaf, or 6 equal pieces for two). Shape each piece into an 18-inch log. Pinch one end of three logs together and braid the bread, pinching the ends together after the braid is complete (repeat with the second loaf).
Place the dough braids onto a baking sheet that has been dusted with cornmeal. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Brush the loaves with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 1 very large or two medium loaves