This past Saint Patrick’s Day, we enjoyed Corned Beef and Cabbage with Guinness! Guinness is good for you, don’t you know? 😉
But instead of making some delicious Irish Soda Bread
I decided, instead, inspired by my copy of The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook, to make a loaf of Oat and Potato Bread. The combo of mashed potatoes, a bit of oats, and bread flour makes a beautiful loaf that tastes yummy warmed, with a bit of butter, and also makes yummily divine toast. 🙂 It’s a perfect accompaniment to almost any meat and potato or vegetable meal.
Bread flour differs from other flours in that it is higher in protein than all-purpose flour. The protein produces more gluten, which gives breads baked with it different structure and more volume than all-purpose flour would do. If a recipe calls specifically for bread flour (or for a combo of bread flour and all-purpose flour), that’s what you’ll want to use to assure the ideal texture.
I used red potatoes because that’s what I had on hand, but you can use any potato you would like for the mashed potato portion. I leave the skin on because 1) it’s easier and 2) the potato skin provides added nutrition. 🙂
This smells so yummy as it bakes, you’ll be dancing an Irish jig!
Oat & Potato Bread (Makes 1 loaf)
- Approximately 9 – 10 ounces of potatoes, scrubbed and cut into even chunks
- 3 cups bread flour, plus more for kneading
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (NOTE: a packet of yeast contains 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons rolled oats (NOT instant!)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk (I used 1%) combined with 1/2 to 3/4 cup hot water (from tap)
- TOPPING: Water (suggest a sprayer) and 1 tablespoon oats
- Place potatoes in saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Simmer until tender (20 to 25 minutes). Drain, mash until smooth. Let cool.
- In a warmed medium to large bowl, stir salt and 3 cups of flour together. Rub in butter with your fingertips OR with a pastry cutter or the dull edge of two knives. Stir in the yeast, brown sugar, and oats. Stir in the mashed potatoes the milk/water combination: Start off with 1/2 cup milk combined with 1/2 cup hot water; add in more as needed. Stir until you have a soft dough.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface (start off with about 2/3 cup flour; adding more as needed) and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Put into a lightly oiled bowl (or spray bowl lightly with cooking spray), cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour (it should be about doubled in size).
- Lightly oil (or spray with cooking spray) a 9″X5″ loaf pan. Invert dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead and shape into a loaf shape, then place into prepared pan. Cover lightly with a lint-free (non-terry) towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425F.
- Lightly spritz top of loaf with water (or lightly brush with water), sprinkle with a tablespoon of oats.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly. Serve warm. Makes absolutely divine toast, also.
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