Monday, April 1, 2013

TWD-Potato bread made the hard way

Rustic Potato Bread ready to slice
The Rustic Potato Bread assignment came at a perfect time for me. I had just made my usual potato rolls for an Easter dinner using King Arthur's potato flour. These rolls are a standard, as is a white sandwich bread made with potato flour that I make when grandchildren are coming. Would Rustic Potato Bread made with actual potatoes be better and give off more of a potato flavor? I was curious to find out.

I decided to make my bread using two-thirds whole wheat flour and one-third white all-purpose flour. The mixing process was interesting to say the least. The dough appeared so dry at the beginning I was sorely tempted to add a lot of water to keep my Kitchen Aid mixer from having a heart attack. I resisted in adding a lot of water but did dribble in a few extra drops to help things along. I reasoned whole wheat flour might absorb more water than white flour. The dough seemed to come together and was cleaning the sides of the bowl, but after about eight minutes, it began to come apart, leaving small globules of dough on the side of the bowl. I decided to call the kneading process to a halt and gently hand-kneaded the dough until it felt right.

Rising in the baskets
I was a bit put off by the shaping technique of putting the seam of the bread right-side up. I had read in the comment section that one baker experienced an unraveling of sorts when the bread was baked, so I opted to let my loaves rise in baskets (obtained from my local drug store where I buy just about everything including most of our food because our town has no local supermarket).
Ready to go into the oven
The baskets allowed the loaves to rise with some support and when I turned them out on a cornmeal-dusted pizza paddle, they looked pretty good. Should I score them? There was nothing in the instructions that indicated scoring, so I didn't. I wish now that I had. The loaves burst open in places, which definitely gave them the rustic look.

Now, for the taste test. Were these loaves better than the bread and rolls I traditionally make with the addition of potato flour? Not really. Are loaves using potato flour easier and quicker to make? Yes, yes, yes. There is no cooking of the potato, no allowing the potatoes to cool and most of all, no anxious moments standing over the Kitchen Aid worrying that it might die. And did I mention that my husband had to hit the bowl with a mallet to get it to loosen from its base?

So, I will probably go back to my traditional method of making potato bread but I'm thankful for the experience of trying the real deal.


  1. Lovely job! Your bread looks so nice and plump. I formed mine a bit thin and I forgot to bake it seam side up. This is the first bread that gave my mixer a real workout. I really enjoyed this recipe.

  2. Those loaves look terrific. I like the nuances that the basket-rise gave to the crust.

  3. Your bread looks great. I like the marks the basket made. That is a great idea to use the baskets. (like a French baker)

  4. I think a few of us had bowls fused to the base of the stand mixer.

    Intersesting comparison & lovely loaf

  5. I was a little concerned about my KitchenAid too. Love the look of your loaves!

  6. Great idea to use proofing baskets, your loaves look lovely.

  7. Beautiful job. Love your bread baskets.

  8. You got some great height on your loaves. The proofing baskets are so decorative, as well as useful.

  9. I liked the way the seam came out on top. Really Rustic! but doing it in the basket is also a good idea. I need to try the KAF recipe.