Mashed Potato Loaf
- 1 2lb loaf tin (Non-stick)
- 350 G Potatoes
- 350 G Strong white bread flour
- 10 G Salt
- 60 G Butter
- 200 G Milk
- 4 G Yeast
- First things first - mashed potato loaf needs mashed potato! Peel the potatoes and cut into large chunks. Place them in a pan and cover with cold, salted water. Bring to the boil and cook until tender. A butter knife should slip easily into the cooked potato. Drain and allow the potatoes to steam in a colander for a few minutes and then mash. Then mashing must be done when the potatoes are still hot or at least warm. Allow the mash to cool completely.
- Put the milk into a pan and bring to a scalding point (just below boiling point). You will know that scalding point has been reached when small bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan and a skin starts to form on the top of the milk. Remove from the heat and add the butter. This will help cool down the milk and will also melt the butter in the residual heat. Allow to cool to room temperature
- Measure the flours, yeast and salt into a large mixing bowl, ensuring that the yeast and salt are on opposite sides of the bowl. Scatter 280g of the mashed potato into the bowl and loosely mix it through the rest of the dry ingredients.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Once the milk/butter mixture has cooled to room temperature, pour it into the well.
- Using a dough scraper or butter knife, start to bring the dough together by stirring the dry ingredients into the well of wet ingredients. When the ingredients are loosely mixed and a shaggy dough is starting to form, tip the contents of the bowl onto a clean work surface and begin to knead.
- Knead the dough for about 7-10 minutes, or until it forms a soft, springy dough that passes the windowpane test (i.e. when you pull a piece of dough it should be able to stretch thin enough to start to see light through it without tearing - if it tears easily, keep kneading). This will mean that the gluten has developed sufficiently.
- Put the dough back into the bowl, cover and leave to prove for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size. The length of the prove will largely depend upon the temperature of your kitchen, but you may find that this dough rises more quickly than a regular wheat-flour dough. This is because the potassium in the potato speeds up the action of the yeast.
- Once sufficiently proved, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently pat into a rectangle about 1cm thick. Fold the right hand side into the middle, covering two thirds of the dough and press down to seal the join. Bring the left hand side over the top and seal the join again. Tightly roll up into a sausage shape, as demonstrated in class. Move carefully into your loaf tin, seam side down, cover, and leave to prove for a second time. At this point, preheat your oven to 220 degrees celsius, with an empty baking tray in the bottom of the oven.
- After about 30 minutes, check whether the dough has sufficiently proved. It should be starting to rise up above or close to the top of the tin. You can test it by gently pushing your fingertip into the side of the dough. If the dough doesn’t completely spring back into shape and a small indentation remains, then it is ready to bake.
- Sprinkle a little flour over the top of the loaf tin and gently smooth it across the surface. Using your sharpest knife, make 3 diagonal slashes (no more than 1cm deep) across the top of the loaf.
- Open the oven door and place your loaf onto a shelf in the top half of the oven. Pour a little water into the empty baking tray at the bottom of the oven - this will help to create a better rise and a crispier crust. Close the oven door.
- After 40 minutes, take the loaf out of the oven. It should be golden brown in colour and, if you take it carefully out of the tin, it should make a hollow sound when tapping the bottom of the loaf. If you wish to be more precise you can use a temperature probe / thermometer. The bread is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 93 degrees celsius.
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.