Leftover mashed potato and a couple of tablespoons of pesto turned into two very tasty loaves of bread...
Using mashed potato in bread keeps the dough soft and light, and it makes the best toast, other than sourdough, in my opinion.
Adding in the last 2 tablespoons of my basil, spinach and arugula pesto gave hints of garlic, basil and peppery arugula, but the bread was not overpowered by the pesto. It was perfect for sandwhiches.
In a small pan, heat until just warmer than body temperature:
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pour the warm milk over:
1 1/2 cups mashed potato
Whisk to combine.
2 tablespoons pesto
Set aside until needed.
In the bowl of a stand mixer dissolve the yeast in warm water:
1 tablespoon dried yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
When the yeast has started to bubble, add the potato and milk mixture, along with:
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Mix to combine.
With the mixer running on low, add the flour 1 cup at a time, until you have a soft dough.
Continue to add flour until the dough is slightly sticky, and forms a ball around the dough hook.
I used between 5 - 6 cups of flour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead by hand until smooth and elastic.
Form the dough into a ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl to rise. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place.
When the dough has doubled in size, knead lightly and cut into two equal pieces. Form into loaves and place into 2 lightly greased bread pans.
Leave to rise until the dough is even with the top of the pans.
Heat the oven to 350F.
Brush the tops of the loaves with water and bake for 45 minutes.
The loaves with be crisp and golden on top, and sound hollow when tapped.
Immediately tip the loaves out of the pans and leave to cool to room temperature before slicing.
- If you do not have leftover mashed potato, boil potatoes in lightly salted water and then drain, reserving the boiling water. Mash the potatoes, measure out 1 1/2 cups and use the reserved water instead of milk.
- You can use all water instead of part milk.
- Consider using wholewheat or oat flour for the first 1 or 2 cups of flour.
- If you have more pesto, you could roll the dough halves into 12" X 18" rectangles, spread the pesto over the dough, sprinkle some cheese over the pesto and roll it up to create a spiral. Bake these as loaves in the pans, or cut into 2" lengths, place cut side down in an ovenproof dish and bake (cinnamon roll style).
- No pesto...add chopped fresh herbs; grated cheese; fresh or roasted garlic; olive tapenade or caramelized onions.
- The loaves can be frozen once they are baked and cooled.