Floury russet potatoes were a staple of my childhood. Baked, mashed, or boiled, they were on the table several times a week, until they were supplanted by Yukon golds. These days, they’re mostly forgotten in our houses, with so many varieties of potatoes grown locally. Sieglinde is my favourite variety lately and I’m looking forward to seeing them in the market again this summer.
When it comes to potato bread, though, russets win. This week’s recipe used mashed dry potatoes in place of half the flour to make a very spongy, light bread with a tender-crisp crust. We left the skins on the potatoes and they gave the bread a lovely flecked look, which my photos unfortunately don’t show. They also added some much-needed fibre. Next time, I think I’ll switch out some of the white flour for something with a little more substance.
I’ll also experiment with flavourings, even though this bread is quite tasty plain. I can imagine a garlic-rosemary version, another with a little oat flour, or even one with a swirl of shredded cheese running through it.
J did most of the prep work for this recipe, boiling, drying, and mashing the potatoes, then measuring out the ingredients and mixing them up in the stand mixer. I took over after this, as we were doing both of this month’s recipes at once. She carried on with the Madeleines and I stood watch over the stand mixer as it kneaded the dough. We didn’t raise the mixer speed over 2 (as recommended in the Kitchen Aid manual) and the dough didn’t suffer at all.
We made two shapes, one longer and thinner than the other, but neither achieved the torpedo shape called for in the recipe. We also substituted inverted baking sheets for the bread stone and had to hand-sprinkle the water into the oven. Next time, I think we’ll just throw a few ice cubes onto the oven floor, as someone suggested in the P&Q section. I also think it’s time to invest in a baking stone and peel. We’re enjoying bread-baking too much to keep improvising.
It’s been a while since we’ve joined in on Tuesdays with Dorie – we’re glad to be back and I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s posts.