Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mashed Potato Chive Bread

Chris and I did a much better job than usual planning our menu this week. The whole roasted chicken on Sunday turned into soup and then pot pies and the mashed potatoes that we had with the chicken turned into this loaf of bread which accompanied soup one night, and then turned into sandwiches last night.

I pulled this recipe from my Passion For Baking book and while it is a yeast bread, it was so soft and so reluctant to rise that it reminded me in many ways of a quick bread. The book called for two 9x5 pans to bake loaves, but I think the bread would have risen much more attractively if it had been made in 8x4 pans.

The bread was actually very good though with a soft crumb that still held up well for toast and sandwiches. It tasted great by itself with the garlicky mashed potatoes I used and the flavor of the chives and I loved the flecks of red potato skin which contrasted nicely with the bright green of the chives. For a yeast bread it was actually in the oven within a few hours which makes it possible to make it and enjoy it the same day. I know Chris wants to make a loaf of bread from the Reinhardt book that calls for mashed potatoes, but that loaf starts with an overnight Biga and then spends most of the second day rising as well. I'm sure the flavor is much more developed in that loaf than this loaf, but this loaf can be done in a day, and sometimes, that's all that matters.

1 1/4 cups water (110 to 115 degrees)
5 tsp rapid rise yeast
4 to 6 cups bread flour
1 cup warm mashed potatoes (leftovers are fine)
1/4 cup warm milk
2 tbsps unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup minced fresh chives or finely diced green scallions

Prepare two 9 x5 inch loafpans (mine didn't rise enough to fill these pans and if I made this recipe again I would use 8x4 inch pans) by spraying them with nonstick cooking spray and placing them on a baking sheet.

In a mixer bowl, whisk water and yeast together and let stand 2 to 3 minutes to dissolve the yeast. Add 1 cup flour; then whisk in potatoes, milk, butter, sugar, and salt and blend well. Fold in almost all the remaining flour (I used 4 cups of flour total). Mix ingredients and then knead the dough with dough hook on lowest speed of mixer for 8 to 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary to make a soft, bouncy dough. Dough should be slightly sticky but more or less cleaning sides of bowl. Midway through kneading add chives or scallions.

Remove the dough hook from machine, spray dough with nonstick cooking spray, and cover entire mixer and bowl with a large clear plastic bag (or move the dough to another bowl and put plastic wrap over top of it). Let dough rise about 30 to 40 minutes until puffy but not quite doubled. Turn out dough onto a well floured work surface and gently deflate. Divide it in half and shape into small loaves. Place the loaves into the pans and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place 30 to 50 minutes until almost doubled.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake until just golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely.

1 comment:

burkie said...

this was an excellent bread, and very veratile. i could eat just plain as a snack (which i did, actually; thank you!), but it would also be a good sandwich bread or a vehicle for sopping up saltimbocca juices (which may be the best ever use for bread). well done!