Saturday, June 4, 2011

Leftover Potato Bread

My mother was an expert at turning leftovers into another meal.  Leftover ham, not enough to feed a family of eight, became Ham & Egg Pie; leftover spaghetti, with a few eggs and some cheese, became spaghetti pie; leftover vegetables became soup for the next night; leftover corned beef became hash for dinner or breakfast with poached eggs: and mashed or boiled potatoes would be made into yeast bread or rolls, which is what I decided to make this morning.

Potato bread has been a favorite in our family for years and most of the time, I use leftover potatoes, but occasionally, I will go to the trouble of boiling some potatoes, mashing them, and then, make up a loaf.  Potatoes are used to replace some of the wheat flour used in bread recipes, proportions dependent upon what texture you want. For the most part, real potatoes are used, but you can also use a product called "potato flakes," which are dehydrated potatoes, found in the supermarket if you're sans potatoes. However, never having that problem, I can't guarantee how potato flakes affect the final product.

Since the leftover mashed potatoes, I used this morning, had milk and butter (plus salt and some pepper) in them, I decreased the measurement of those ingredients in the recipe.  However, I will give in "( )" the amount of liquid (milk) and melted butter, and salt needed if you just boil potatoes and smashed them.  One last note--I usually like to use Yukon Gold potatoes for my mashed potatoes, but the store I shopped at, were out of them.  This variety of potato will produce a lovely "golden" color to the bread, which I prefer.

Leftover Potato Bread

Proof Yeast: In a 2 cup glass measure, mix together 2 packages of dry yeast in 1/2 cup very warm water [about 105F-degrees] with 1/2 tsp. honey.  Let stand until foamy, about 5-7 minutes.  This insures you have active yeast for your recipe!

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment mix:
3/4 cup leftover mashed potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes, cooked and mashed)
1 large egg
3 T honey
1 tsp. Kosher salt (2 tsp.)
Add the Proofed Yeast
Mix in 1 cup King Arthur Bread Flour

1/4 cup 2% milk (1/2 cup + 4 T unsalted butter)

Add: 1/4 cup water to the milk mixture and slowly add it the liquid to the ingredients in the bowl, while on low.

Add:  1 cup more of Bread flour and as the mixture starts to come together, change to the dough hook.  Knead in another 1 to 1 1/2 cups of flour (or more, as needed) for dough to come away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn dough out onto a board, lightly dusted with flour and knead until smooth.  Heat about 2 T unsalted butter and brush the bowl [or container] used to allow the dough to rest and rise.  Let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the temperature of your kitchen!
When the dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes, turn out onto the board and pat it to a rectangle to fit a 9"x5" loaf pan.
Brush the loaf pan with melted butter.  Roll up the dough, lengthwise, pinching ends together, then, place in the prepared pan (pinched ends down).

Brush the top of the dough with additional melted butter and place a piece of plastic wrap on top.
Cover with a clean dish towel to create the "heat" needed for a second rise.
Preheat oven to 375F-degrees while the bread is rising.  Once the dough has again doubled, remove the towel and plastic wrap and using a serrated knife, make a slit down the center of the dough.
Bake for approximately 35 to 40 minutes, turning the loaf pan once during baking. To check if the bread is done, insert a thermometer into the center of the bread, it should read 190F-degrees internally.
Remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a board.
The final touch for Potato Bread is to dust the top with flour--(If you do this prior to baking the flour will brown and not be attractive.)
COOL COMPLETELY before slicing.  I know it's hard to resist not digging into warm bread, but trust me, it's for the best!

I recently saw a commercial on television that said, "Americans throw out half of the food they buy, ..."  I think it was an advertisement for a storage bag, but it made me think back on the fact, I never saw my mother waste food, especially leftovers!   I'd love to hear if you have any family recipes that incorporates leftovers--I think it's one of the traditions we really need to pass on to the next generations. Enjoy!


  1. Oh honey, that potato bread looks FABULOUS!!!! I will print out that recipe and do it.

    Yes, the soup turned out great. Now I am collapsing into my comfy bed.

    Thinking of you and sending a big hug.


  2. Susan this breads sounds good and bet it even tastes better. I've never made bread from scratch but I can use a bread machine to make bread.....does that count?
    stamping sue

  3. Homemade bread is homemade bread...even in a bread machine!

  4. I love potato bread! My mom used to make it when I was a kid so I have fond memories of it.