Dance with Dragons, became available at my digital library so I've been listening to the audio version like a mad woman before it was due back yesterday. That meant a lot of time on my treadmill. I don't have HBO (lament) but according to my friends who freaked out on my facebook news feed last Sunday night, apparently, it was the episode of The Red Wedding. Yeah, I didn't like that in book 3, Storm of Swords, either. And as for book 5, don't even get me started on how it ended. Bah.
Anyway, on to the baking.....
I'm a big fan of potato bread. My mom used to make it all the time when I was a kid and it was my favorite thing she ever made (and my mom is a really good cook so that tells you something). I couldn't even taste the potatoes but it was the dense chewiness of the bread that I really liked. Eating it warm from the oven with melting butter didn't suck either. Although I've made her recipe before, mine doesn't seem to turn out as well as hers as it wasn't as dense as I would've wanted. Which is funny as most people probably like a lighter texture in their bread. Not me. I want something substantial to chew, not Wonder-Bread air.
I tried out this recipe from Don't Waste the Crumbs as the picture on her blog looked to be exactly the kind of texture I wanted for my bread. I modified the recipe though by using instant mashed potatoes. I don't know if that's why my bread came out lighter than I wanted or if I just let it rise too much. It was good bread (my parents liked it when I brought a sample over to their house) but I'm still determined to re-create the denseness of the original potato bread I loved from my childhood and need to keep looking and/or try this one again with a shorter rise.
2 potatoes, peeled and quartered or 3/4 cup instant mashed potatoes
8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tsp active dry yeast
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
6 to 6 1/2 cups of bread flour
1 egg, slightly beaten
- Have all ingredients ready at room temperature. If using potatoes, bring a small to medium pot of water to a boil. Boil potatoes until done. Add hot potatoes and butter to a mixer and stir well. If using instant mashed potatoes, prepare according to package directions to make 3/4 cup. Add yeast, buttermilk, 2 beaten eggs, sugar and salt and mix well.
- Gradually stir in bread flour until the dough is moist but not sticky. Knead on low to medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl and turn it over to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature until it’s doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (If your kitchen is too cold, you can preheat the oven to the lowest setting, then turn it off and place the dough inside.)
- When the dough has doubled in size, grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Punch the dough down, divide in half and form into two loaves, placing them seam-side down in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise again at room temperature until almost doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (If you don’t have loaf pans, you can free-form an artisan loaf on a cookie sheet).
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush the top of the loaves with the single beaten egg and bake the loaves until they are golden brown and the bottoms sound hollow when thumped, about 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.