2 large russet potatoes, with the skin on
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 tsp dried instant yeast
3 cups bread flour
all purpose flour for dusting
spray bottle of water
• Scrub the potatoes and cut them into 1 inch chunks. Do not peel, you will loose a lot of the flavour that way.
• Place the chopped potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with water.
• Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tender.
• Meanwhile, measure out 3 cups of bread flour and set it aside.
• Drain the potatoes, but save 1/2 cup of potato water for use later. Set the half cup of potato water aside to cool, the rest can be discarded.
• Let the potatoes and the potato water cool down completely before proceeding with the recipe.
• After they cooled down, mash the potatoes and add to the mixing bowl.
• Add the salt, the oil, the yeast, the reserved potato water and 1 cup of bread flour.
• With the paddle attachment beat for five minutes on medium speed.
• After five minutes the dough will be very elastic.
• Change to a dough hook and begin to add the remaining flour, but only half a cup at the time.
• Beat the dough again until very elastic. Add half a cup of flour. Keep beating and adding half a cup until all the flour is gone.
• Beat the dough for 5 minutes longer. Dough should be very elastic and sticky.
• Pull the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface and form into a ball. Place ball in an oiled, medium bowl and cover with a tea towel.
• Let dough proof in a warm room until doubled in size.
Place the dough on a floured surface and flatten it with your hands.
• Form dough into a rectangle and, starting with a short end, roll dough away from you into a tight log. This is the part that will give you the nice big holes.
• Stop rolling just before the log is sealed, and then flatten the remaining inch of dough with your fingers.
• Dust it with flour. This will prevent the loaf from fully sealing and will cause the seam to open slightly while baking. It didn’t do it for me the second time I tried it, because I allowed the dough to rise longer.
• Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle it with flour.
• Place the loaf, with seam side down, on the prepared pan.
• Sprinkle the top with a little flour and let the loaf rise until doubled.
• Dough will rise slightly and feel spongy to the touch.
• Preheat the oven to 400F.
• Just before moving loaf into the oven, mist the inside of oven with a spray bottle of water.
• Carefully flip over the loaf with seam side up, on the baking sheet. Since the dough didn’t open up for me, flipping the dough seemed redundant, however I really liked the funky shape I got from it so I will continue to use the same method of shaping. I was thinking it might look rather cool if I twisted the loaf mid section when I flipped it over… Maybe next time.
• Place the loaf in the oven and bake it for 45 minutes, misting the oven one more time after the first 5 minutes.
• The finished loaf will be dark brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
• My bread ended up a different shape, because I didn’t feel comfortable with the suggested raising time. In both instances I let the dough rise until doubled. The result was a larger and fluffier loaf. If you prefer a denser loaf, follow the original recipe.
• Let it cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes if you can.
• To store the bread, wrap it in a clean kitchen towel. Never put homey breads in plastic bags. Plastic changes the texture, makes everything soft and you don't want to loose the crusty, chewy wonder that this is. I wrapped mine in a tea towel last night. The end slice dried ever so little, still delicious though, but the rest of the bread retained it lovely texture.