Makes an excellent sandwich bread. Slices nicely - not crumbly.
- 1 medium potato
- 2 ½ c boiling water (2 cups used in the dough)
- ¼ c warm milk
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter or shortening, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4-5 cups freshly ground wheat flour
- 2 tsp salt
Wash and thoroughly scrub the potato, then cook in the boiling water until soft
Drain, reserving 2 cups potato water. Peel the potato, mash, and set aside to cool. Extra potato water can be refrigerated and used in any yeast recipe for added nutritive value and tenderizing power.
In a large bowl sprinkle the yeast over the ¼ cup warm milk; stir to dissolve.
Stir together the cooled mashed potato and butter and add to the bowl together with the 2 cups reserved potato water.
Add the sugar, 5 cups flour, and salt. Stir until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl, adding more flour ¼ cup at a time if necessary. Potato dough will remain a little sticky.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead, adding more flour if necessary, until the dough feels smooth and elastic (8 to 10 minutes).
Transfer the dough to a clean, oiled mixing bowl and turn to coat. Cover and set aside until the dough doubles in volume.
Punch down, cut in half, shape into two balls, and allow to rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
Press down each ball and shape into a pan loaf.
Place into 2 greased 8- or 9-inch loaf pans, cover, and set aside to proof until the breads come up above the tops of the pans. Dust with flour and cut a deep slash down the length of each loaf.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven until the bread has a hollow sound when the bottom is tapped with your fingertips (about 50 minutes). The sides should feel firm. If necessary return the bread to the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. If using tiles or an oven stone, finish the bread on them for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pans and let cool on a wire rack.