Have you ever enjoyed a warm piece of sliced potato bread fresh out of the oven, slathered in melting honey-butter? Seriously, a little slice of heaven. Because who doesn’t want a little slice of heaven now and again? Right? You’ll feel like you’re being wrapped in a fuzzy warm blanket on a cold winter’s morning when you enjoy a fresh slice of this homemade bread with your breakfast and hot chocolate!
I am super excited to share THE Best Potato Bread recipe out there with you guys. I’ve worked to make this the best there is. So light and fluffy~ and easy! There really is nothing that can beat the delicious taste and aroma of fresh, homemade bread. You’ll love baking this recipe and sharing it with friends and family. And get some practice in the fine art of baking bread too. So tie on your apron and let’s get started!
I used to be scared to death to even attempt to make bread. I had no idea how yeast worked, and kneading for 10 minutes strait by hand just sounded like so much fun. Not! Even being scared to death, that little ‘self-reliant’ part of me always had the desire to learn. I always thought to myself, “how cool would it be if I could actually make bread at home from scratch? Then I wouldn’t have to buy it at the store anymore…’ When I finally received a heavy duty kitchen aid stand mixer for Christmas a couple years ago, it gave me the courage to finally start my bread baking journey. (No more drudgery kneading by hand! Ha ha ha!)
Potato bread is great because the potato itself adds moisture to the bread, giving it an extra softness. In this recipe, you can use left over mashed potato, or even instant mashed potato. (Just don’t use any mashed potato with crazy flavors in it, like bacon or garlic!) In this post, I’ll go over a few important tips I’ve learned when making basic bread recipes.
The first thing I would recommend is purchasing an instant read food thermometer if you don’t already have one. This tool is the number one tool I always recommend to anyone who has a desire to become a good cook. It will seriously save your life! (Plus countless recipes too.)
Yeast breads can be tricky because of, well, yeast. When making bread with rapid rise yeast (like this recipe does), you want the temperature of your liquid ingredients to be high, about 120 to 130 degrees F. These temps are higher than for normal yeast, which likes 110 degrees best. The higher temps makes the specially treated yeast very happy (the perfect temperature to activate it quick!) and it will do what it’s supposed to do; create bubbles (OK it’s gas…but who want’s to think of their bread being full of gas? :0) that will ‘leaven’ or raise your dough. In the past I always burned my yeast to death by using milk/water that was too hot, and I’d have an epic fail on my hands. Plus yeast is sensitive to salt~ too much will inhibit yeast growth!
I also like to use a product called “Dough Enhancer”. It’s in a brown canister/container and you can usually find it in the baking isle of your local grocery store. I’ll add a tablespoon to my dry ingredients and I find that it helps the dough to rise, making my loaves a bit more soft and fluffy. I have to thank my super awesome friend and fellow blogger Shatzi for making me aware of this product!
If you’ve never baked home made bread in a loaf pan (in the oven) before, there’s a technique to properly placing the dough in the pan. Divide the dough in half equally. Take one half of the dough and roughly shape it into a rectangle that’s about as wide as your loaf pan. Roll the dough out so it’s about 1/2 to 1/4 inch thick, doing your best to maintain the width of the rectangle.
Then gently roll it from one short end to the other. Turn the dough up and pinch shut the seams on the bottom and sides. Place the rolled dough seam side down in the loaf pan, pressing it gently so the dough touches all sides. Repeat with the remaining portion. I put the loaf pans in a warm oven to rise, loosely covering them with greased plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. Don’t use a towel. I know that’s the way grandma used to do it, but that’s because grandma didn’t have plastic wrap!
So you’ve made it to the baking stage! Yay! Your house should smell like heaven, or grandma’s, or a fairly tale cottage. This particular bread loaf is done when the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F. Once again our handy instant read thermometer is a life saver. Insert it just above the rim of the loaf pan down towards the center of the bread. Once done, pull from the oven and cool on a cooling rack. I like to get out my pastry brush and glaze the loafs with melted salted butter while they’re still warm. This makes the crust soft and will prevent it from drying out. Plus it adds additional flavor to your bread.
Baking really is an art form that has a million different techniques and variants that can have a significant impact on how your loaves turn out. The bread can be affected by the type of flour you use to the humidity in your home. Even the altitude can influence the way your bread bakes. Don’t let these factors intimidate you! Just keep trying, and you’ll learn something new each time you bake. I think that baking bread is an excellent skill that everyone should learn :0) Enjoy the journey!
The Best Potato Bread
Yield 2 Loaves
The Best Potato Bread is soft, moist, and 100% delicious! This recipe will not only teach you how easy it is to make bread with rapid-rise yeast, it also teaches you the correct way to use it! (99% of people are using it wrong!)
- 6 1/2 cups bread flour divided; more for dusting work surface
- 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 and 1/2 Tbsp Rapid Rise/Quick rise active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon dough enhancer (optional)
- 1 and 1/2 cups prepared instant mashed potatoes
- 3/4 cup softened butter
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
1. Begin by turning your oven to the warm setting (or as low as it will go) and move an oven rack to the center position. Whisk 4 cups of flour with the salt, yeast and dough enhancer (if using) in a mixing bowl.
2. In a microwave safe container, loosely stir toether the mashed potatoes, butter, sugar and milk. Microwave the mixture until the butter is melted and the mixture reaches 125-130 degrees farenheit on a food thermometer, usually taking about one minute thirty seconds cooking time. If the mixture becomes too hot, it must be cooled to withing the temperatures stated above to continue with the recipe.
3. Pour the heated potato-milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment on medium-low speed, add the flour yeast mixture until fully incorporated. Scrape down the paddle and switch it for the dough hook. Slowly add the remaining flour about 1/4 cup at a time while the machine is running on medium-low, stopping to scrape down the dough hook half way through. The dough should not knead more than eight minutes total. With the machine off and unplugged, gently press your finger into the dough. If it 'bounces back' a bit and doesn't stick to your finger, it's done. If it sticks to your finger, add another tablespoon or two of flour and knead until the dough pulls away from the bowl.
4. Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and pull the dough hook out. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it for 10 minutes on the counter. This would be a good time to lightly grease/spray your loaf pans. Turn OFF the oven. (You just want residual heat in there for raising the dough.)
5. Dump out the dough onto a clean flourless surface. Knead by hand for a few seconds until it comes together into a nice sort of 'ball'. With a sharp knife or a bench scraper, divide the dough into two even halves. Cover one piece with plastic wrap. Roll the other piece of dough into a long rectangle about 1/2 inch thick and 8 inches wide. (It should be about as wide as the loaf pan you plan to bake it in.) Carefully roll the dough from one short end to the other and pinch the seams and ends together. Place the dough, seam side down, in a lightly greased bread pan. Gently press the dough down enough that it touches the sides of the pan. Cover very lightly with plastic wrap. Repeat the process for the other loaf and place pans in the warm oven to rise 35-45 minutes.
6. Gently remove the loaf pans from the oven when they have risen about 1 inch above the rim and place them somewhere draft free. Heat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheight. SLOWLY remove the plastic wrap and bake the loaves on the middle rack for 35 to 40 minutes, or until internal temp reaches 190 degrees. Remove and gently dump out onto a wire rack. *Glaze the crust with melted butter* (optional). Cool on their sides for approximately 1 hour. Slice and serve, or wrap tightly with plastic wrap and additionally in tin foil to store in the freezer.
For The Best Potato Bread rolls: (Makes approximately 45 rolls)
Follow the recipe through step 5, only divide the dough into four equal parts instead of two. Shape each section into a ball and cover three sections with plastic wrap. Roll the fourth section into a large "pizza" round about 1/8 inch thick.
Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough like a pizza, creating about eight to ten wedge shapes. Roll each wedge from the outside to the center and place individual rolls on a baking sheet lined with non-stick parchment or silicone. Leave at least two inches between rolls for expansion. Repeat with other three dough balls until baking sheet(s) are full of rolls.
Loosely cover with plastic wrap and place in warmed oven to double in size, about 30 minutes. Remove rolls from oven and set heat to 350 degrees F. Bake rolls for approximately 15 minutes, or until they become slightly golden brown on top. Remove and brush with melted salted butter.
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