Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Whole Wheat Potato Bread

Potatoes are known to have a softening affect on bread. Replacing the water in a bread recipe with water that potatoes have cooked in, promotes the growth of the yeast and results in a lighter bread. I don't know the science of why potatoes help bread, just know that they do.

I haven't made potato bread for years. I didn't like the hassle of cooking and mashing potatoes before baking bread. Some bakers add potato flakes to bread - but you know how I am about processed ingredients.

But recently I was talking to an elderly lady who mentioned that her mother made the best potato yeast bread. I was seized by an overwhelming desire to make potato yeast bread, too!

The recipes I've used in the past were with white flour. I searched for a whole wheat potato bread online. But then I remembered something I read somewhere of how it is better to bake one bread ten times than to bake ten different breads. Could I add potato to my basic whole wheat bread recipe? I tried it - and WOW I now have a new favorite! If this wasn't the best whole wheat bread I've ever eaten, then it sure came close! The bread rose high and beautiful with a wonderful texture and flavor. I don't know that I'll always go to the work of adding potatoes but now I know how to push this bread over the top! This would probably make wonderful dinner rolls.

I used two potatoes, but they were on the large side so I may have actually had three cups of mashed potatoes. I didn't measure. When cooking the potatoes, be sure to cover with generously with water so that you can use that water in the place of the water in your bread. You can also use leftover mashed potatoes.

Whole Wheat Potato Bread
Makes 4 loaves

2 medium potatoes
2 1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 T soy lecithin (optional)
1/8 tsp vitamin C (optional)
2 T vital gluten (optional)
1 egg (optional)

1 1/2 T instant  yeast
7 cups whole wheat flour, approximate measure

Cover potatoes with water and cook until soft. Drain water and save. Mash potatoes adding a little of the potato water if needed. You should have at least two cups of potatoes. Allow to cool to warm.
Measure potato water, adding more water if needed to make 2 1/2 cups.

Combine mashed potatoes, water, oil, honey, salt, soy lecithin, vitamin C, gluten flour, and eggs. Mix well.
Add three cups of flour and mix. Add yeast and mix. Add flour until dough doesn't stick to sides of bowl.
Stop mixer and allow to rest for ten minutes.
Knead for five minutes with kneading hook on medium speed or by hand.

Form into loaves. Place in greased bread pans. Allow dough to rise until double.
Bake bread at 350 degrees for  about 30 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool.


Have you added potatoes to bread?


  1. I have had good results with using leftover mashed potato that I have frozen in 1 cup portions.
    I use the thawed mashed potato in potato bread and the old Betty Crocker recipe of refrigerator dough. The refrigerator dough makes passable donuts at least in the opinion of starving teens. lol

    mama to 8

  2. Looks so good. I hope to have time today to try it. God Bless

  3. We usually have potatoes once a week and I plan for leftovers to use in bread. I also plan for leftover oatmeal for the same reason. I love how those two additions ligten whole wheat bread so beautifully!

    Gina, I just got a Nutrimill! Would you share how you grind your bread flour? Do you grind it fine or med. or coarse?

  4. Potato bread (or rolls) is the standard at our house. Whenever I make potatoes (which is usually about once every 2 weeks), I always make extra and save the water in a jar. I save the extra mashed potatoes as well and use both when I am making my bread.

    I have thought about freezing the potatoes, but worry it would cause extra moisture in the potatoes and how it would affect the bread.

  5. I love hearing how you are adding potatoes. I like Arden Lynn's idea of freezing leftover potatoes and Laura's idea of saving the potato water in a jar. Thanks so much for you input!

  6. Well I'm going to have to give this a try!

  7. Wow! Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to try this recipe. Bless you.

  8. Thank you so much for this. Last year we purchased several hundred pounds of wheat from an organic farmer in the Kootenays... plus a Nutrimill...and started making terrible bread! We quickly realized that commercially produced flours have lots of "improvers" added to make them "behave nicely" when making bread...and, of course, natural wheat doesn't have these things. I've made this recipe twice now (using lemon juice for Vit C and using a large duck egg for the lecithin effect) and have made the best bread ever!!! Thank you again!

  9. I just realized reading this recipe that you only rise your bread once, this is correct, right? I just got almost the same basic recipe from a friend but it included two risings, so I am excited to try it with only one and save time!

    I just found your blog the other day in searching for some information on the kind of wheat berries to buy and I am greatly enjoying it. Loving the Titus 2 mentoring! And I should be getting my 50 lbs of Prairie Gold on Saturday, can't wait! I have wanted to grind our own grain and make our own bread for awhile but had yet to find a good whole wheat recipe - and needed to wait for it to be the right time with homeschooling and babies. With summer right around the corner and in my 2nd trimester with #4 it is a good time and I am excited! :)

    Anyway, thanks again for the help!

    1. Ginnie-
      I do allow the bread to raise only once. It works well for me and does save time! Have fun with your wheat!

  10. Love this recipe too! Made the best hotdog buns (we use them for meatball subs) ever. Tender and pillowy! And a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes.Thank you. Please post more whole wheat bread recipes. I promise to try them all!

  11. Hi Gina, new to your site but I'm loving it! What are the importance of the optional ingredients and where would I get them? Also where do you get the whole wheat to grind?

    1. You can read more about various dough enhancers here.
      I buy my wheat at my local bulk food store.
      Happy Baking,

  12. Could sweet potatoes be used?


    1. Absolutely. They make a nice soft dough like white potatoes.


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