When I was little, I had this wonderful baby sitter. She is a family friend and baby sat myself and my brother along with several other pairs of children. Her name is Marge and she lives on a cow farm with an amazing garden. I have countless memories of that place and the cooking that she would do for all of us. One of my favorite things that she used to make was potato bread. Just the smell alone takes me back to standing in her kitchen watching her knead the bread and form it into loaves. Sometimes I wonder if watching her in the kitchen so often had anything to do with my current love for being in the kitchen. While this recipe is not Marge's, it is pretty darn good. I got it from the Joy of Cooking (the best cookbook in the world). I had some buttermilk that I've been trying to use up, and this was just the recipe for such a situation. I did however, cut the recipe in half, I figured that one loaf of bread would be enough. I will give you the full the recipe to avoid confusion.
Buttermilk Potato Bread
courtesy of the Joy of Cooking
3/4 cup cooked potatoes riced or mashed with a fork
8 tablespoons (1 stick) very soft butter
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups buttermilk, at room temp.
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 1/4-6 1/2 cups bread flour (I used all-purpose and it turned out fine)
1 egg beaten with a little bit of milk and salt for an eggwash
In a large mixing bowl, stir the butter into the still hot potatoes.
Add the yeast, buttermilk, eggs, sugar and salt and mix well.
Gradually stir in the flour until the dough is moist but not sticky.
When the dough comes together, knead for 10-12 minutes by hand or with the dough hook until the dough is smooth, soft, and elastic.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl. Coat the dough with the oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Grease two 9 x 5-inch (8 cup) loaf pans. Punch down the dough, divide it in half and form it into 2 loaves.
Place seam side down in the pans. Cove with oiled plastic wrap and let rise until nearly doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat the over to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Brush the tops loaves with an eggwash.
Bake until the crust is golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped, about 40-45 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans to a rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
This was a very wonderful bread to make, while it took the entire afternoon to rise and such, it was so rewarding to smell the whole process. I love the smell of yeast bread rising and baking, it is such a comforting smell. The dough was easy to work with and came together very quickly with no fuss. And the taste...subtly sweet with a slight hint of potato. The interior is so fluffy and seemingly delicate, but it is surprisingly hearty and I would imagine it would be a wonderful sandwich bread.