Potato Bread Perfect For Toast

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Potato Bread Perfect For Toast

star rating (22) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

The first loaf we've chosen is a potato bread based on a recipe of Elizabeth David's. As Elizabeth says, 'Usually associated with times of grain shortage, or with a need for strict economy in the kitchen, potato bread is also advocated by some nineteenth-century writers as being the best bread for toast.' She notes that a Doctor A. Hunter, writing in a book called Receipts in Modern Cookery; with a Medical Commentary, first published in 1805, provided both a recipe and, in case it were needed, yet more evidence of the English addiction to toast: '...lovers of toast and butter will be much pleased with this kind of bread. The potato is not here added with a view to economy, but to increase the lightness of the bread, in which state it will imbibe the butter with more freedom...'

This recipe makes enough dough for two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaves, or one 4 x 13-inch pain de mie loaf (or Pain d'Anglais, as the French actually developed this recipe to make the kind of bread that the English make their tea sandwiches with.)

1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 ounces mashed potato*
4 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

*You can certainly used mashed potato flakes, but it's very easy to put a large, thoroughly pricked baking potato (such as an Idaho) in your microwave oven, microwave for 3 minutes, then turn over and microwave for a further 3 minutes. Let the potato cool, peel it, and mash it. This is pretty simple, and the flavor is significantly better.

This amount of dough is easily prepared in a 1 1/2-pound bread machine set on the dough cycle. In the absence of this most able assistant, or using a mixer of another sort, measure the water into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir in the dry milk, salt, yeast and oil. Blend in the potato and the flour. When it's mixed together well enough so the dough begins to come away from the side of the bowl, turn it out onto a lightly floured kneading surface and knead for 3 to 4 minutes. (If you don't have a mixer to help with this slack dough, a bench knife helps to lift and turn the dough.) Don't add more flour to make it more manageable; it's the slackness that creates the texture in the finished bread that allows it to imbibe the butter with more freedom.

Let the dough relax while you wash out and grease the mixing bowl. Knead for a further 3 or 4 minutes, put the dough into the bowl and then turn it over so the top of the dough has a thin film of grease on it. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Knock the dough down and turn it out onto a floured surface. If you're going to use two bread pans, cut it in half and pat each half into a pan; the dough is wet enough to resist shaping. If you're using a pain de mie pan, place the dough in the bottom and press it into each end. Cover the dough and let it rise for 45 minutes to an hour.

About 15 minutes before you want to bake your bread, preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake the two separate loaves for 35 minutes, the pain de mie for 45 minutes, removing the cover of the pan for the final 10 minutes of baking. Turn the loaf (or loaves) out and let them cool on a rack. Yield: About 30 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (1 slice, 36g): 69 cal, 1g fat, 2g protein, 13g complex carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 160mg sodium, 62mg potassium, 5RE vitamin A, 1mg vitamin C, 1mg iron, 40mg calcium, 28mg phosphorus.


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  • star rating 04/14/2015
  • Emily from Massachusetts
  • This is fabulous. The crust is super flaky and crunchy and the interior is like silk. I didn't use any salt because I was trying to use up leftover mashed potatoes (so there's a little cheese, cream and butter in there, too). I had a problem getting the potatoes smooth, though. I have little lumps of potato in my bread. My potato masher is awful, so it's good that we don't care about lumpy mashed potatoes, but I'd like to get them smoother for bread. I used my KitchenAid mixer and I used the paddle attachment to start to whip the potatoes into the water and the first cup or so of flour. Should I have run the potatoes through the food processor, first? Also, it took a whole lot of extra flour. I lost count (and I'm really careless about it because I use a half-cup scoop and have a toddler, so I'm not the only one dumping flour into the bowl!) I know it took more than 4.5C. I ended up with 2.5lbs of bread dough, which is too much for one pan, so I threw some little rolls in ramekins to serve with soup tonight. I used about a cup and a half of white whole wheat flour and the rest was AP flour. Because of the toddler, the mixer ran a lot longer and I added flour a lot more slowly than I would have otherwise, and when I finally turned out a very sticky mass to knead by hand I ended up squeezing a lot of lumps of potato as I kneaded. It was very silky, just slightly lumpy, by the time I was done. 50 minutes was plenty for the rise... 90 would've left no rising power for the second round, I think!
  • star rating 04/03/2015
  • AnaCruz5 from Salem
  • WOW!! I have been looking for a great sandwich-style potato bread recipe for a while and I was excited to find this one which is designed to fit nicely in my pain de mie pan. I wanted to combine a potato bread with my sourdough starter, so I made a few changes to my ingredients list which ended up looking like this: 1 cup "fed" sourdough starter at room temp. 3/4 cup potato water (I boiled my peeled potato rather than nuking it) 1/4 cup whole milk (it's what I had, I imagine 2% or skim would work) 2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. instant yeast 2 TBSP vegetable oil 6 ounces mashed potato 3 1/2 cups KA AP flour I spent a few days feeding up my starter to make sure it was very active and ready to raise bread, then today I peeled and rough-chopped enough potato to make sure I would have at least 6 ounces when it was mashed. I cooked in boiling water, then drained the potato, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking water. I added the starter, milk and potato water to the bowl then followed the recipe as written. I mixed and kneaded in my Kitchen Aid mixer using the dough hook, but I did add a little extra flour to the dough during the mixing phase, just enough to ensure that it was actually a dough and not a batter. It took a little extra time for the second rise, but still came out beautiful. Brown and crispy on the outside with a nice, compact crumb which was slightly chewy on the inside. LOTS of flavor, but not too sour. My daughter pronounced this bread, "delicious" and after my son used some for the chicken sandwich he made for his dinner, he said I HAVE to keep making this bread. I don't recall who said that this isn't a sandwich bread recipe, but I must politely disagree with them. Chicken sandwiches made with this bread were better than they have ever been before, and I can hardly wait to try making grilled cheese. I think this recipe is what I've been nurturing my sourdough starter for!
  • star rating 03/30/2015
  • Chefmao from KAF Community
  • Prepared as per the recipe. Split the dough to make to standard loaves. They turned out great. The bread has a great texture and is truly terrific as toast. I agree with others that as written it's not quite enough for two loaves, but would have been too much dough in a single loaf pan. Would love to see a modified version to make enough dough for two loaves. Of course, this could be a great excuse to purchase a pain de mie pan.
    I am glad you enjoyed this recipe! Increase this recipe by 1/2 and you will have some healthy sized loaves for next time. Happy baking! Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 02/22/2015
  • Sally from MN
  • This is now our favorite sandwich loaf. Easy to make, delicious taste. I used fresh milk rather than dry.
  • star rating 11/03/2014
  • RSales from Flagstaff - AZ
  • I used to bake either sourdough, white or 100% whole wheat bread for my family. Every week I would alternate recipes so we could experience some variety. Not anymore. Since I tried this potato bread recipe there's no other bread accepted in my family's table. It's so good that when I tried changing a bit and made the pumpkin yeast bread i was faced with a riot. I've done it with many kinds of potato, including yams and potato flakes and it's always a winner. Best. Bread. Ever. PS: I live above 7000feet and this recipe works perfectly without any adjustment besides a bit of water IF the dough gets a bit dry (which doesn't always happen)
  • star rating 03/16/2014
  • Andrea from Seattle, WA
  • This bread is perfect. I use more than any other. I used to make the Walter Sands loaf but found that this potato bread stays fresh longer and, when subbing bread flour for the AP, its even better at keeping that fresh taste.
  • 10/29/2013
  • Morgan from Virginia
  • Could you use sweet potatoes in place of regular potatoes?
    Yes, I think sweet potatoes would work great. The texture and color (!) will be altered a bit. Worth a try! Elisabeth
  • star rating 01/11/2013
  • theresa from vermont
  • made it once so far and loved it! from now on the last of dinner's mashed potato gets set aside or frozen for this recipe! used little less water and real milk instead of dry. interested in how sweet potato would work...
  • star rating 01/01/2013
  • Bella from London, UK
  • I'm not new to this loaf. I've made E.David's, and though I'm no health fanatic or salt-watcher, even I could not match her taste for salt. She advises a minimum of 20g salt, and by our standards today is a heart attack in a loaf. I had to bin the bread, it was not to be rescued in any way imaginable. But it may be the fact salt in those days were less salty? Anyway, this bread for me, is her saving grace. It tastes like creamy mashed potatoes. The crust is light, crispy, like roast 'spuds' (i.e potaotes). I could not recommend it enough. Thank you for convincing me to give it another try. I have a funny feeling this one is a keeper: a daily bread. I'm not sure about the dough resisting shaping, but I managed to roll it up as a swiss roll before it went into its tins. The rise, though I retarded it in the fridge was far too quick, but I managed to cut, shape and bake it in time. Next time, I'd cut the yeast in half and will leave it rise more slowly in the fridge. And though KAF do not recommend slashing the loaf, I do recommend it just before it goes into the oven. It yielded a lovely, tall, airy crumb. Oddly, even though I only used 2 tsp table salt as the recipe, I still found it too salty (TP 1.2%). Usually this would be 'under-salted' for me: strange. Alone, fresh, it's fine, but with a salty filling like bacon would be far too much. Overall, though, a delicious bread. For amateurs: don't fear the mixing/kneading. I've no machine to help me (next Xma please, Santa!), but it's possible to mix the dough by hand. Give dough time to hydrate at 10 mins intervals over a period of 30-45 after mixing a sloppy, wet mass, resisting the flour. Quickly knead - with a spatula or spoon - to ensure everything is nicely hydrated. Then leave to rise as recipe.
  • star rating 11/23/2012
  • Gayle from Columbus, Ohio
  • Oh, how wonderful and soft and light this bread is. What a GREAT recipe! Haven't made toast or french toast from it yet (it's still warm out the oven), but our first couple of slices were enough to make our eyes roll back in our heads. If you don't have a bread maker or a stand mixer, don't let this intimidate you or discourage you from trying this recipe. It's quite easy if you just follow the directions. I found that the dough was easier to handle after I greased my hands lightly with canola oil. Enjoy!
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