Friday, 19 May 2017

Overnight sourdough mashed potato bread

Quite some years ago I went through a love affair with Nigella's potato bread.  I remembered it when I made Tim's Lemon Trickle Mash Cake recently.  Because I had some leftover mashed potato.  I could have just eaten it on toast with vegemite or stirred it into a stew.  But the yen for mashed potato in bread still hits me occasionally.  It was time to do it.

Nigella's potato bread is a yeasted bread.  I have wanted to make my regular Overnight Sourdough Bread with mashed potato.  Just because I have a sourdough starter to keep alive.  And because our foremothers knew that mashed potato and potato water make mighty fine bread.  I had a quick look online and found some advice about replacing a little water and a little more flour with the mashed potato.  But I am not sure I got the quantities as intended.  My dough was very sticky.

Fortunately the lovely Celia, who first shared the overnight sourdough bread recipe, has updated this recipe with a high hydration sourdough bread version.  I have tried reducing the flour for a stickier dough a few times and her advice on handling it is really useful.  She bakes hers on baking paper because the really sticky dough does stick to the tins (I have tried it) unlike the firmer dough.

I sort of follow Celia's shaping advice but in a slapdash way.  I don't rest the dough or have a great method for oblong loaves but I do try to roll the loaf so it is upside down, pull the dough together tightly under the loaf, seal it and roll it upright (just watch the video in Celia's post).  Ideally I would not have small child make patterns with her finger in rising loaves.

I made the mistake of trying to bake this bread while making pancakes for Mothers day breakfast last weekend, prior to going to my parents house for lunch.  It was a pretty crazy morning and not quite as relaxed as I had hoped it might be.  Thank goodness that the bread looked and smelled wonderful coming out of the oven before we headed off.  A bit of a miracle considering how it seemed to crumble a bit going into the oven, what with being so flippy floppy moist.

The loaves were delicious.  Great to come home to after our Mother Day lunch.  I brought home some leftover salads to eat with bread and cheese.  When it came out the oven I had a chance to taste it and it seemed slightly sticky.  However by evening it was soft and wonderful.  By Day 3 it was still soft enough to eat without having to toast it.  Which made for lots of happy breakfasts, sandwiches and snacks.  I will surely be braver with experimenting with mashed potato in my loaves in future.

More mashed potato baking recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Mashed potato chocolate cake
Potato boston bun
Potato scones (v)
Tim's lemon trickle mash cake (gf) 
Wholemeal mashed potato pizza bases (v)

Overnight sourdough potato bread
Adapted from Green Gourmet Giraffe and Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
Makes 2 loaves

300g starter
200g mashed potato*
225g potato cooking water*
345g water*
16g salt*
900g flour

A few hours before making the loaf, take sourdough starter out of the fridge and feed it so it gets nice and bubbly. 

About an hour before going to bed (or first thing in the morning) mix everything together to make a sticky dough.  It is easiest to mix everything except flour first and then add flour.  Use hands to mix if required.  Set aside covered with a tea towel for half an hour.  Knead in the bowl for about 1 minute (sprinkle with a little flour if necessary).  Cover with greased clingwrap and leave at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.

Scrape dough out onto a well floured board.  Very gently without punching the air out, fold the dough in three.  Shape into a loaves (see Celia's post for advice on shaping).  Place on a sheet of baking paper and cover with lightly greased clingwrap.  (Maize flour is great here.)  Set aside to rise for 30 minutes.  While the loaves rise, preheat oven to 240 C, with casserole dishes heating* if you are using them.

Slash the loaves and (still on the baking paper) put in the heated casserole dishes with lids on (or on a tray or in a tin).  Bake for 20 minutes with lid on.  Remove lid and bake another 20 minutes.  Then reduce oven heat to 180 C and return to oven for another 10 minutes to make sure the crust is crispy and golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.

* NOTES: For more extensive notes on this method, go to my post on overnight sourdough bread.  Celia does not preheat her casserole dishes before putting the bread in them as she finds that they heat up quickly enough.  My mashed potatoes were just cooked in some slightly salted water and then mashed without adding any milk, butter or seasonings.  I would quite like to try a potato and mustard seed version as I love to add mustard to mashed potato. 
I just used the potato water that I drained off the potatoes and then used tap water to make up the rest of my usual 570g water.  I reduced the salt a little because of the salted water that I cooked the potatoes in.  I think I could reduce the salt a little more. 

On the Stereo:
The Rough Guide to Paris Lounge: Various Artists


  1. This looks delicious Johanna! I'd love some of that right now. So great that it's gluten free too. I am not the best baker so could you ship your lovely bread over to the US for me? Haha!

    1. Hi Mary-Ellen - sadly it is not gf (that is another challenge) - but I wish I could send you a loaf - wouldn't it be great if it could stay fresh on the trip across the world

  2. That looks great. The wetter the better is my philosophy.

    1. Thanks Marie - wetter is harder to handle but it produces lovely bread

  3. I love the thought of this. I really like potato cakes and am generally taken with the idea of potato in baked goods, so this looks like a delicious take o sourdough. Well done on your creative twist on the yeasted version!

    1. Thanks Kari - I love mashed potato in all sorts of baking - it does seem to help the texture

  4. Oh yummy! I love potato breads of all kinds, and making it as a sourdough bread must only improve it.

    1. Thanks VegHog - yes I really loved making Nigella's potato bread for a while so was glad to resurrect the idea in sourdough bread (normally my mashed potato leftovers just go into potato scones)

  5. Is there nothing that mashed potato can't do? I love potato bread too! :D

  6. I love the idea of mashed potato bread!!

  7. Wow, just wow. What a beautiful loaf. I have never had the knack of making beautiful sourdough, and I salute those that do with much envy!

    1. one day Joey it could be yours - you just need a bit of time to experiment, which sounds like you don't have now

  8. I experimented with sour dough for a couple of years and was never totally happy with the results. Earlier this year I tossed my starter out. Then I came across this on Facebook and thought I would give it one last try. My starter worked beautifully, sitting it on top of the coffee machine helped the process. I followed the instructions and baked my first loaf this morning. I couldn't shape it all that well but cooked it in a casserole dish so it looked ok. WOW what an amazing loaf, it is everything a sour dough should be. Love it- thank you so much for sharing this. I will be making this again and again and it's so easy!

    1. Thanks Derylee - so pleased it has resurrected your starter dreams - it is pretty amazing and not much work - I am still not great at shaping bread but I've got better (and ditto for slashing) - this overnight technique is the reason I still use my starter - good luck and wishing you many happy loaves of bread


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)