Daylight Saving Time started on the weekend here and I’m so sleepy... I love this time of the year – the feeling of longer days, especially on the weekends, is fantastic – but the first week is a tough one. :S
A slice of this insanely tender bread – one of Nic’s wonderful recipes – is certainly a great way of starting one’s day, even if the sun hasn't come up yet.
The cheese flavor is very subtle, so spread some butter, jam, Nutella or whatever strikes you fancy. Next time I make this recipe I’ll sprinkle some parmesan over the bread before baking it. Yum!
Parmesan potato bread
224g/8oz baking/russet potatoes
2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (240ml) milk (low fat is fine), room temperature
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup (120ml) water
4-5 cups (560-700g) all purpose flour – I used 4 ¼ cups
1 cup (100g) Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg + 2 tablespoons water (for egg wash)
Peel potatoes and cut into even chunks. Boil potato pieces in a small saucepan until tender. Drain cooking liquid and completely mash potato (a ricer works well here) until smooth. Transfer potato to a large mixing bowl and stir in butter and milk, mixing until well combined.
Stir active dry yeast and sugar into the potato mixture. Let stand for 5-10 minutes, until mixture is slightly foamy. Add in salt, water and 3 cups (420g) of flour. Mix until smooth, either stirring with a wooden spoon or using the dough hook attachment on an electric stand mixer. Stir in parmesan cheese and gradually add in additional flour in ¼ cup (35g) increments until dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. If using an electric mixer, continue to knead at medium speed for about 5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. If mixing by hand, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45-60 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently deflate. Divide in half, shape into long, oval loaves and place on a baking sheet generously sprinkled with cornmeal or lined with non-stick baking paper (if using regular baking paper, brush it lightly with butter or oil) – you can made small slits on the surface of each loaf.
Cover with a clean dish towel, and let rise for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF.
Stir together egg and water with a fork and lightly brush mixture over the risen loaves.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until bread is a dark golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. An internal read thermometer inserted into the center of each loaf will read 90-93ºC/195-200ºF.
Transfer loaves to a wire rack to cool.
Cool completely before slicing.
Makes 2 large loaves