Monday, November 26, 2012

Leftover Bread

You know when your car acts up and you take it in to the mechanic and say, "it makes this funny noise, then cuts out."  However, when it's in for service, do you think that (traitor) car will make the noise or cut out to prove you're not crazy?  Nope, not even a peep!  That's the same with my oven.  Today, I thought, let's see if it will turn on without flipping the breaker--yeah, you guess it, no problems.  I'm thinking it's a short and it will eventually cut out for good, but today, I baked.  I just couldn't bring myself to go to the grocery store and buy bread when I can make it.  After all, I have leftovers; mashed potatoes, that weren't enough for another dinner, but perfect for bread.

Bread is significant for us.  In the Lord's prayer we say, "Give us this day our daily bread," and it's one of the elements, along with wine, in the Eucharists--sacramental bread.  In other cultures, bread goes beyond just something to consume and is a metaphor for basic necessities.  Furthermore, the household person who works to pay bills is called the "bread-winner" and Beatniks were the first to associate the word bread for money.

Bread was a staple in Europe and those cultures who found their way to America, brought their recipes with them.  When I think of bread, I remember my mother getting out her large wooden bowl and mixing flour, salt, and yeast, in addition to honey or sugar, sometimes eggs and milk, and maybe dried fruit.  I don't think we ever had mashed potatoes leftover (hey, we're Irish!) but I remember once being with my mom at an Amish market in St. Mary's County and she bought a loaf of potato bread.  When she replicated the recipe, she would boil a couple of potatoes and then, mash them with a fork.  My leftovers are usually prepared mashed potatoes, complete with butter and cream, but it works.

Leftover Bread
1/2 very warm water (about 105F-degrees)
2 scant Tablespoons of dried yeast
1 tsp. honey

5 cups King Arthur Bread flour
1 cup whole wheat bread (I had ground my own)
2 tsp. kosher salt
2/3 cup whole milk
3 T unsalted butter
3/4 cup of prepared mashed potatoes
1/4 cup honey
1 cup water

4 T unsalted butter, melted, for pans and bread

Start by proofing the yeast.  Mix the dried yeast into the warm water and add the honey.  Whisk lightly and let sit about 7 minutes.
While that is resting, heat the milk, butter, mashed potatoes, and honey in a small sauce pan over a medium heat.
In a stand mixer, using the bread hook, add the flours and salt, mix briefly.  First, add the milk mixture and mix on Speed #2 to combine, then, add the proofed yeast.  While the mixer is running, slowly pour the water over the dough, adding all or enough to bring the dough together.  It should be away from the sides and not sticky to the touch.
Lightly flour a bread board and invert the bowl, allowing the dough to "drop" onto it.
Note--the bowl should look almost clean if it has mixed properly.
Knead dough a few times, adding any additional flour to create a smooth dough.  Butter a large bowl or use a dough tub to place the dough in, right-side down, then, turn right-side up.  Allow to rise about 40 minutes.

Again, sprinkle a bread board with some additional flour and invert the bowl with the dough onto it.
Divide dough in half, then in to half again, giving you 4 pieces.
Flatten each piece, to the size of the loaf pans (I used two 9" x 5").  Roll up the side, away from you, pushing down to seal as you roll until you get to the end.  Pinch to seal.
Repeat with the other quarter, then place the two pieces into the buttered loaf pan.

Repeat to fill the second loaf pan.  Brush melted butter on top and cover with plastic wrap.
Because it's chilly out, I also covered the pans, lightly, with a cotton dish towel.  Let rise about 30 minutes or until doubled.  Preheat oven to 375F-degrees.

Removed plastic wrap and brush with additional melted butter.  Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until a thermometer reads 190F-degrees from checking the center of the bread.
If desired, brush with some additional melted butter and allow to cool completely before slicing.
I love the smell of bread baking and I'm thankful the oven decided to cooperate.  Enjoy!


  1. Your bread looks gorgeous! Hope your oven continues to behave. I had a poltergeist in my microwave for over a year; finally had it repaired (it's a unit with my oven, so not easy to replace).

    1. LOL! That's probably it...maybe I need an exorcism!

  2. Oh Susan, I want to come to your house....I'll bring the mash potatoes to make bread!

    1. We have lots of guest rooms! Come and bake, XOXO

  3. It was my bread baking day yesterday too. Eight loaves in the freezer...OK, seven and a half loaves...becasue you HAVE to taste fresh bread don't you!!
    Jane x

    1. Wow! You were a busy baker yesterday...and you're right, of course you have to taste it for quality!! That slice I did for the blog photo got eaten right after the shot:-D

  4. Oh, my...I love potatoe bread...Love, love, love! It's my go-to when making tomato sandwiches in the summer. Right now I have vine tomatoes that are ripening in the garage (got the inspiration from your blog), so maybe potato bread is in my near future? :) Lv, me

    P.S. Sent you an email this AM on something that would be great for you! :)

    1. I'm so jealous you have vine tomatoes ripening; another thing we have in common...tomato sandwiches. There's nothing like 'em! Try adding about a tablespoon of herbs (your choice, but mine would be basil, dill, chives) to go with your tomato sandwiches:-D
      Thank you for the email...interesting!

  5. Oh man oh man, Susan. That bread looks fabulous. Bet it tasted great, too! Susan

    1. Oh yeah!! But I think what I love the most is the aroma of bread brings me right back to my mother's kitchen every time and I'm especially missing her with Christmas approaching.

  6. How brave of you to make bread when your oven isn't reliable. What could a person do with half-baked bread?

    1. Freeze it to bake later. I do that a lot of times with rolls so I can just take them out of the freezer, place in a pan and once they come to room temperature (about 40 minutes - 1 hour) finish baking and have hot rolls without all the time it took for making the dough:-D

  7. I do love fresh home baked bread! Potato bread is a favorite. I'm ready for some for breakfast with jam and tea!! hugs, Linda

  8. Susan, the potato bread is beautiful! I love how you shaped the loaves into two parts per loaf. My daughter's oven wouldn't work for her over the weekend--She had just made bread! Hopefully your oven is in fine working condition soon--So much baking ahead! Take care. xoxo ♥
    Martha Ellen

  9. I wore my new apron this Thanksgiving. Everyone was raving about how beautiful it was! thank you again!

  10. Awesome homemade bread loaves, Susan. Now I wish I had some potato leftover!

  11. Oh some excellent tips here today. I'm baking off what's left of the Refrigerator Potato Bread today. One thing I do know, I prefer my bread to be sweeter than most recipes call for. It's a mother thing...she did it that way and now I must, too. Thanks for the great tips and I truly can smell it from here. ☺

  12. When I was a kid my mom started making potato rolls and spudnuts. I thought she was nuts putting mashed potatoes in the dough. :) The bread looks delicious!

  13. Susan,
    Your bread looks delicious! I can smell the aroma ;) I could eat a piece with butter.

  14. That bread looks so good! I want to start making my own bread--it's so much better homemade!

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