Potato Rosemary Bread
If you're craving an incredibly rewarding cooking project that will feel your home with the sweet fragrance of freshly baked bread, we recommend this simple, potato rosemary bread. This recipe is adapted from "Beard on Bread" and has become a staple in our household. It is comforting and delicious food, perfect for the stressful and upsetting times that we are in.
Potato Rosemary Bread
Makes one very large loaf, or two small loaves
3 medium sized potatoes, or enough to yield one cup of mashed potatoes
2 ½ cups warm water, separated
1 Tbsp dry active yeast
2 lbs all-purpose flour, separated
½ cup chopped rosemary
2 Tbsp salt
Olive oil, for finishing
Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with 1-2 inches of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are tender and easily punctured with a fork, allow to cool slightly. While the potatoes are cooking, combine ½ cup warm water with yeast and 3 Tbsp flour in a large bowl, mix well, and let sit until frothy and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes (a spoon works well for this) and process them with a food mill, potato ricer, or potato masher. Add the remaining warm water, potato, rosemary, salt, and flour to the activated yeast and mix well with your hands until it comes together into a dough. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead for 10-15 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic. Coat a large bowl with olive oil and turn the bread in the bowl so it is coated in oil, set in a warm, draft-free spot to rise until it doubles in size, 1-2 hours.
Punch the dough down and then knead on a floured work surface for another 5 minutes. Form into one or two loaves and place them in a cast iron (make sure it has a lid) or dutch oven, cover with a moist rag to rise for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
After the 30 minute rise, brush the top of the bread with olive oil and use a very sharp knife to cut an x-shape into the top of the loaf. Place the covered cast iron or dutch oven in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the lid of the cast iron or dutch oven, lower the oven temperature to 400°F, and bake for another 30 minutes. The loaf is done when it is dark golden brown and sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before you crack into it! This loaf is even better the next day and makes amazing toast, sandwich bread, or just a snack with lots of butter and sea salt! Enjoy!