Yes. This is a potato loaf. A lot of potatoes are in there. When I came across this recipe, I was puzzled how 50:50 potato and flour makes a loaf. But, here it is. It's soft, moist and more-ish. Although it's a bit of a fiddle to make this humble looking loaf, it's worth the effort. It has very distinctive texture different from any bread I have ever baked. The bouncy texture remains even a day after it is baked.
Great with a bowl of soup.
- about 375g/13oz potatoes, peeled and cut into even chunks (Exactly 300g/101⁄2oz peeled weight. Check the weight once they are peeled.)
- 1 tsp dried fast-action yeast
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 300g/101⁄2oz strong white flour, plus extra for kneading (or 100g/31⁄2oz strong wholemeal flour and 200g/7oz strong white flour)
- Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly and cook for 15–20 minutes until they are tender but not falling apart.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander over a bowl and reserve the cooking liquid. Return the potatoes to the pan and toss over a very low heat for 2-3 minutes until any excess liquid has evaporated.
- Pour 75ml/5 tbsp of the warm cooking liquid into a large bowl and leave to cool for a few minutes. When it’s lukewarm, sprinkle in the yeast. Stir in the sugar and leave in a warm place for about 10 minutes until a light foam appears on the surface. (Add an extra tablespoon of the cooking liquor for a mixture of wholemeal and white flour.)
- Mash the potatoes with the oil in the saucepan until they’re as smooth as possible, then stir in the yeast mixture.
- Mix well with a wooden spoon and gradually add the flour and salt, a few tablespoons at a time, stirring well before adding more. Turn it out on to the work surface and knead the remaining flour into the dough. At this stage, the dough looks dry, do NOT be tempted to add more water otherwise the dough WILL become too sticky to work with.
- Knead the dough for 10 minutes until soft and pliable. Place it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover loosely with lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes, or until well-risen and spongy to touch.
- Knock back the dough with your knuckles and shape it into a rough ball. Flatten the ball on a floured surface, then bring the sides up to the middle to give a rustic surface to the bread. Sprinkle on some flour. Place it on a lightly oiled and floured baking sheet and leave to prove in a warm place for a further 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C Score the dough with a knife along the pinched join and sprinkle the top with the onion seeds. Bake the loaf in the centre of the oven for 35 minutes until well risen and crusty on top. Cool on a wire rack.