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!
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