Thursday, January 3, 2013

Winter Baking

During the winter, especially on bitterly cold days, there is nothing more comforting than the wafting scent of fresh, yeasty bread permeating the air.  Today was one such day.  We woke to temperatures of roughly 10° and then dipped to a low of 8°.  With the wood cookstove cheerily bubbling along, I put some Old-Fashioned Potato Bread on to rise while the children worked on school in the living room.

Master Calvin playing with Lego's while the older children do school

Miss Serenity writing a Christmas Thank-You

Maid Elizabeth teaching Princess Dragon Snack to read

Although I peeled fresh potatoes for this bread, it is a wonderful use of leftover mashed potatoes if you happen to have them.  Potatoes add such a nice flavor and texture to yeast breads - it is well worth the effort to peel a few and add them.


Old-Fashioned Potato Bread
1 1/2 C water
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
1 C buttermilk or sour milk (or add a splash of lemon juice to sweet milk)
3 T sugar
2 T butter
2 tsp. salt
2 T yeast
6 to 6 1/2 C flour

In a saucepan combine the water and potato.  Bring to boiling.  Cook, covered, about 12 minutes or till very tender.  Do not drain.  Mash potato in the water.  Measure the potato-water mixture.  If necessary, add additional water to make 1 3/4 cups total.  Return mixture to saucepan.  Add buttermilk, sugar, butter and salt.  Heat to 120°.  Add yeast and allow to sponge until light and bubbly.

Cubed potatoes ready to boil

Potatoes, milk, sugar, butter and salt heating to correct temperature
Add flour and knead to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic.  Put dough into a lightly greased bowl.  Cover with towel and let rise until double.  Punch down.  Allow to rise until almost double.  Punch down.  Form into two loaves and put into greased loaf pans.  Sprinkle with flour.  Allow to rise until almost double.

In bowl and ready to rise

Ready to punch down a final time

Rising in pans

Ready to go into the oven

Bake in a 375° oven for 35 to 40 minutes or till done.  Remove bread from pans and cool on a wire rack.

The bread is done!

Warm and ready for butter!!
This is a wonderful all-around bread.  It is great for toast, sandwiches or just eating.


Days like this are the perfect days of our life.  Simple, quiet, wholesome.  These are the days to remember.


  1. I am looking forward to your cookbook. I hope you will still be publishing it.

    1. Yes, I am still working on it! This spring (I hope)!


  2. Enola,

    Your bread looks so delicious, it made my mouth water just looking at the loaves.
    I can see homemade jam and homemade peanut butter on a piece right now with a warm cup of tea.

    I just read Sharon's post above, are you really publishing a cookbook? If so, I would love to buy it. Please let us know, thank you.

    1. Yes, I have almost completed a cook book. I'll keep you posted!!!

  3. Enola,


    I bought a loaf of bread at walmart once. I tried to heat it up in the microwave thinkin it would be like one of them fresh loaves of homemade bread.

    It got all soggy and wierd.

    I will never do that again:(

  4. Enola, I've been making your whole wheat bread every since you posted that recipe. Hubby, Family and I are all in love with it. But now I'm thinking I'll have to switch now and then and make this one as well. I'm looking forward to your cookbook. Thanks for always posting these lovelys!

  5. I found your blog after purchasing a pioneer princess and looking for some guidance on how to cook on it. I would like to say thank you for so much more than the recipies. Of which I have tried very many and all have been wonderful. Thanks again Scott from Canada.

  6. That bread looks wonderful! My husband love potato bread and your recipe is the next one I try. Thank you.

  7. What size are your bread pans? I am looking forward to trying this recipe today :)

    1. Erika;

      The recipe calls for two 8x4 loaf pans. I doubled the recipe and made two huge loaves (bakery size) and one mini loaf. I hope your bread turns out wonderfully!


      Ps. I wrote the original recipe, not the doubled one.

  8. How do you use mashed potatoes in the recipe? Your bread looks wonderful! I have mashed potatoes leftover mashed potatoes fairly often. Thank you.

    1. When I boiled my potatoes, I ended up with about 1 1/3 cups potato and water. If I was using leftovers I would measure 1 cup mashed potatoes and 3/4 C water and mix them together. That will give you the consistency you are looking for. Hope this helps.


  9. I too can not wait for your book, all your lovely recipes in one book! Awesome.... Hurry, hurry!!!!!! ;)

  10. I do not have a thermometer to measure the temp of the mixture. My husband has been hankering for potato bread a while though, so is there any other way I can judge it?

  11. Could you put a link to your whole wheat bread? Recently diagnosed with diabetes so trying to lay off the white stuff. Would the potato still be good in the wheat bread?

  12. Do you use white, wheat, home ground wheat, combination of flours? Looks delicious.

    1. Just made this bread. Sure is tender crumb. Used 50-50 mix of white and whole wheat. Works well.

      City Dude