One of the pleasures of winter is baking bread. The aroma it produces in the house is worth the effort alone. If you have a bit of time on your hands, that’s a good time to settle into the process of mixing, letting the dough rise, the fun of punching it down (kids love this part), letting it rise again in the pan, and baking the loaf or rolls in the oven.
If you happen to have some mashed potatoes left over from your holiday feasting, a good way to use them up is to make a delicious loaf of bread. The potatoes help make the bread nice and moist, and they give it a good crumb. You can use all-purpose flour entirely for making this bread, but in the interests of healthy eating, we subbed a half cup of white whole wheat flour in this loaf with great results.
Mashed Potato Bread
1 package active dry yeast, OR 2-1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup mashed potatoes
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup white whole wheat flour
¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
Add water to bowl of electric mixer, then sprinkle yeast over, stirring to dissolve. Mix in sugar and salt. Add mashed potatoes, about 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, and ¼ cup white whole wheat flour. Beat on medium speed about 2 minutes or until mixture is smooth. Gradually add remaining flours, beating in on low speed until dough is smooth. Using dough hook, knead bread with mixer for 8 to 10 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease surface. Cover with damp towel. Let rise in warm place until it is doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Shape into loaf and place in greased or cooking-sprayed 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Brush top of loaf with melted butter. Let dough rise again in a warm place until it is rounded, about 45 minutes. Toward end of rising time, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan; set on wire rack to cool before slicing. Makes 1 loaf.
(Note: recipe can be doubled to make 2 loaves.)