Sunday Morning: Potato Bread
It feels like autumn here, so I made pumpkin muffins for coffee time. I’ll post that recipe another time, but since it was communion Sunday for our little church, I thought I’d share the recipe I use for a lovely, hearty white bread.
Old NEW- FASHIONED POTATO BREAD
Instead of little cubes or wafers for communion, Bridges at LaRosa uses a loaf of bread that is broken in half by the pastor [ that’s me!] and then shared by the congregation as each person tears off a piece. My favourite artisan bread won’t work for communion Sunday: the lovely chewy texture makes the loaf too difficult to break in half, and very awkward for my older friends’ arthritic fingers to tear. So, I have gone back to my favourite from a Doubleday Cookbook from 35 years ago when I was first married.
Here it is, updated to take advantage of new techniques and “cheats” to make a lovely, light loaf that stays fresh longer and slices beautifully for toast or sandwiches [and is easily broken in half and shared!] This Saturday night, I made two 1 1/2 lb. loaves and three miniature loaves: one of the mini loaves is perfect for communion, and the other two are a treat for Sunday dinner while the larger loaves will be sandwiches and toast this week. You could choose to make 2 larger loaves [2 lbs. each] instead. A step-by-step photo tutorial follows.
- Instant potato flakes to make 1 1/2 cups- I use commercial quality from Costco, but any unflavoured type will do.
- Hot water as necessary to make potatoes
- 1 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes: if you have seasoned and added margarine/butter and milk, you will want to reduce salt and margarine as noted below and use water in place of the milk.
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup margarine
- 2 T instant yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 T sugar
- 5-6 1/2 cups white flour
- In the mixer bowl, make potatoes using hot water only and potato flakes [do not use milk, margarine or seasonings even if package directions call for them]. If you have leftover mashed potatoes, you can use them instead and adjust salt and margarine as necessary.
- Put milk, salt, sugar and margarine in a microwave-proof bowl and microwave on high for about 1 1/2 minutes just until margarine is melted. Cool to lukewarm.
- Stir about 2 T of the potatoes into the lukewarm water [this should look like the water you drain off cooked potatoes] then sprinkle yeast over and stir to dissolve. Let stand for 5-10 minutes: yeast will bubble.
- Add milk mixture and yeast mixture to potatoes in bowl. Stir in 2 cups of flour and beat with paddle beater until smooth.
- Continue adding flour a little at a time until dough is stiff and starts to pull away from side of bowl. Switch to dough hook and continue to mix in flour until dough forms a smooth ball. You can do all of the mixing by hand if you don’t have a mixer [and do have strong arms!]
- Turn dough out onto a well-floured counter and knead by hand: the dough will be a bit sticky, but should be smooth and elastic and will hold its shape when left for a few seconds. If the dough spreads, continue to knead in extra flour until it holds.
- Put dough into a greased bowl, turn to grease [I spray the bowl with cooking spray then spray the top of the dough]. Cover loosely with a damp towel or with plastic film. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour or until double.
- Sprinkle the top with flour and punch down. For a fine crumb, you can let the dough rise again for about 45 minutes until double again. I skip the second rise and just shape the loaves now.
- Shape into loaves: two medium [8″x4″] loaves plus 3 mini loaves OR two large [9″x5″] loaves OR two round balls and place in greased pans or [for round balls] on parchment sheets.
- Let rise about 40 minutes until almost double in bulk. Set oven to 400°. When oven has reached temperature, and loaves are doubled, put loaves on middle rack. Bake for about 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° and continue baking until golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom– approximately 35 minutes for large loaves, 20 minutes for small.
- TRY to wait until loaves have cooled before cutting – they will slice better and last longer. [You can go ahead and eat the little loaves hot slathered with butter if you like, though!]
PHOTO TUTORIAL FOR POTATO BREAD is on the next page!
Hope you had fun joining me in my kitchen while I made bread this Saturday, and I pray you too will enjoy the true communion of fellow believers sharing the symbols of our Saviour’s blood and body – whether it’s cubes, wafers or even fresh Potato Bread!
God bless you.