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Whole Wheat Potato Bread

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You can thank The Secret Recipe Club for bringing me out of hiding this week! If it weren’t for being in the club, I’m sure I’d have gone to bed early last night (long day) instead of scheduling this to post.  So hopefully you’re more thankful about that than I am-LOL! ;)

This month I was assigned to The Vanderbilt Wife.  Yay, another blog that starts with “V” (you might not be aware, but we are an endangered blog species, though not as bad off as blogs beginning with  “X” and “Z”)!  Jessie is also a sister in Christ, so let’s give a little HOO-WAH for that too.  Or maybe you could just wait while I do it.  HOO-WAH!  So lovely to meet you, Jessie!

Anyway, my assignment came right after a failed attempt at 100% whole wheat bread.  It was supposed to be the best whole wheat bread ever…but it was not.  So when I saw Jessie’s beautiful Fluffy 100% Whole Wheat Bread, I freaked.

“Dennis, guess what she has on her blog?” I shrieked.

“Light and fluffy whole wheat bread?” he guessed without even glancing over at my computer screen.

(From that you can assume correctly that I had made it very obvious how deeply disappointed I was with the dense and yucky-tasting loaves I’d just made.)

“YES!” I screamed.

And I proceeded to make the recipe.  Three times.  It makes three loaves per recipe, so I made nine loaves of whole wheat bread within the span of two weeks.  Unfortunately, I never got the bread to stay risen once it started baking so those nine loaves weren’t as light and fluffy as I’d have liked.  Each batch started out so high and promising…

only to let me down half way through baking.

*sob*

Since I couldn’t consult Jessie to see if she had any suggestions (in the SRC, you don’t alert the blog you’re assigned to because it’s meant to be a surprise on reveal day, and I couldn’t ruin the surprise by asking her for help), I never got the recipe to turn out for me,  but it did work for her so please visit her blog to see how light and fluffy her loaves are.  I’m bound and determined to get the same result and will post the recipe on my own blog once I’ve got it figured out.

Since I started out with a yeast bread recipe from Jessie’s blog that I couldn’t get to turn out right, I went with another yeast bread recipe of hers that included some white flour (white flour helps because the gluten develops better and easier than with whole wheat).  I’ve been wanting to try making potato bread for years, interested in how the potato would affect the texture, so I was excited to see she had a whole wheat potato bread recipe on her blog.

Let me tell you, making those nine failed loaves was totally worth it since they eventually led me to this recipe.  (Also, those nine loaves, though deflated, were delicious and still fairly light, and all were eaten by my family who praised it highly.)  This is the lightest, softest bread I have ever made that has whole wheat in it!  It is so soft, in fact, that it’s hard to hold on to it while slicing without smashing it (I used an electric knife after the first slice, and highly suggest it if you have one–it makes the slices nice and even without crushing the bread.)

It is delicious and is perfect for making sandwiches, with a little more nutrition than plain white bread.  Jessie said it made killer grilled cheese sandwiches, so I put it to the test with some pepper jack cheese.  And I concur, KILLER!  I really hope you try this!

Whole Wheat Potato Bread

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 medium potato
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
2 ¼ teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
½ cup warm water
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ to 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Peel the potato, cut into cubes, and boil in a small saucepan until very soft. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Mash the potato in a small bowl and let cool slightly.

Cream butter, sugar, salt, and egg with an electric mixer. Add potato and mix well.

In a small bowl, put the ½ cup warm water and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let is sit for 10 minutes, then add to the potato mixture and beat until combined.

Change beaters to dough hooks and set mixer to 2. If you don’t have dough hooks, you will use your hands from this point forward. Add 2 cups whole wheat flour alternately with the 1 cup cooking liquid*, mixing/kneading well after each addition. Gradually add in the remaining flour until the dough starts to clean the side of the bowl. When that happens, let mixer go an additional 2 minutes. If kneading by hand, knead it in the bowl for about five minutes, or turn out onto a floured surface to knead. My dough was still a bit sticky when I stopped adding flour, but if I picked a ball off and rolled it in my hands, it did not stick to my hands. That is my test to know when I can stop adding flour, even though I really wanted to add more to keep it from sticking as I kneaded. I dealt with it and just scraped my hands off afterward. :)

Once your dough looks a little shiny, you’re done. If it doesn’t look shiny, just let it mix or knead it by hand until it does.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel and place somewhere warm. I like to preheat my oven to 350F for one minute, then turn it off and place my bowl in the oven. Let rise for an hour or until dough is doubled.

Punch dough down; divide in half. Shape into loaves by pushing each half into a rectangle, rolling it up, pinching the seam, and tucking the ends under. Place in two greased loaf pans (I slathered mine generously with softened butter). Cover with the towel again and let rise another 30-45 minutes or until doubled again.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans and rub the tops with a stick of cold butter. Set on a wire rack to cool

*Notes: Make sure your cooking liquid has cooled to about 115F before adding to the bread dough. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast.

Recipe source: The Vanderbilt Wife

If you’d like to check out the other Secret Recipe Club submissions, click the link below!


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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

65 responses »

  1. Ha–too funny. For my SRC today, I made potato rolls and cinnamon rolls. Had never put potato in a bread dough before. Great minds. Love the whole wheat aspect of your bread!–Katrina

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  2. That bread looks amazing. The grilled cheese amazinger…ha ha ha! ;) You really need to live closer, so you could teach me how to perfect bread. I can’t believe though that is this heat you still have that stove cranking…you crazy girl!

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  3. You are very determined Veronica! I’m glad you stayed with it and had such wonderful results! It looks fantastic and I can only imagine how amazing your house must have smelled as it baked!

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  4. looks delicious! good luck on getting whole wheat bread to work. it’s just for that reason that i prefer making white bread by hand, though i have had success with honey whole wheat before.

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  5. Your final bread does look like it is worth the effort. It is a beauty. I have wanted to make potato bread and you are helping inspiring me.

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  6. You are so funny :) Good luck!! I used to l.o.v.e making bread before I went gluten free, now it isn’t as fun :(

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  7. This bread looks amazing! I wonder what kept the other recipe’s breads from staying risen? I congratulate you for your great determination and finding this other bread recipe. I am sure it tasted as good as it looks.

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    • Well, I have a suspicion but that I’m the only one that has had the problem with this recipe makes me wonder. Apparently bread with too much liquid (this is a very soft, sticky dough) or not enough gluten to trap the air (weak gluten can let the gas escape once the baking begins) can cause it….so why didn’t this happen to anyone else? Arg!

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      • Your first loaves look very over-risen whenthey went into the oven, so they didn’t have enough structure left to support the final rise in the oven.
        You can tell it’s over-risen by the lumpy surface and the big gas bubbles.

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  8. cheapethniceatz

    Wow, talk about devotion! Well now you can consult her for help. I love your success too, the Whole Wheat Potato Bread, very nice src choice.

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  9. That is so weird – I am not sure why they would deflate like that?? I’ve never had that happen before. And yes, grilled cheese on homemade bread is definitely a killer! Hope you had a great 4th V! :D

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    • I’m pretty sure I know and that I’ll have to change the recipe to include gluten but I just don’t get why I’m the only one having the problem. Arg! I had a truly wonderful 4th–probably the best ever. Thanks Biz!

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  10. I just giggled hysterically at your loaf.. the shriveled up warped looking one.. love it. :) 9 loaves? I have heard that bread will deflate if there is too much liquid. I had a similar problem last week….

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    • It makes me laugh too. :) Yes, I read that too and this is a very very soft, sticky dough b/c of all the liquid. But it worked for Jessie and others. So why am I the only one with crazy deflated loaves? Boohoo.

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  11. It’s such a shame that the recipe failed for you my friend – after determination to make 9 loaves no less!!!
    Your bread though looks gorgeous and sounds like a delicious recipe :)

    Cheers
    CCU

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  12. I never have luck making bread so I’m impressed with your determination and desire to make gorgeous bread and the potato loaf looks amazing, congrats.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC entry Double Chocolate Mousse Cake

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

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  13. Just bless your heart. I hate it when recipes fail and I would probably have just given up or posted my failure only. You are a trooper. (I have used all whole wheat for bread but I either use a whole wheat pastry flour or a really finely ground whole wheat flour). Wasn’t there an old flour mill south of Wichita—used to have a restaurant in it too—had good bread flour—the mind is going. I can’t think of it, but my mom used to swear by their flour for bread.

    Anyhoo, great looking final bread!!!!! it looks perfect. Worth the effort! (?)

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    • One of my promises to myself with this blog is that I will only post GREAT recipes unless there is a good reason to post a bad/not great one (like for keeping history alive, as in the case of my 1957 Burnt Sugar Cake) so I was determined to make something wonderful if it killed me. HA! I don’t know about that mill but now I have some Googling to do to see if it’s still open. :) And yes, the bread was def worth the effort.

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  14. I have had that happen to my bread in the past also and have never figured out why! grrr. Your potato bread on the other hand looks awesome!

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  15. Seems that the original whole-wheat loaves were a bit overleavened so they deflated before the dough could cook up properly. This may occur if the yeast you get is particularly active by itself or the honey you are using particularly sweet. I would try again the recipe by reducing the yeast of 1/3rd or so :)

    The Potato-Whole Wheat loaf looks great though! Now I want a grilled cheese! :(( It has been waaaay too long…

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  16. I admire your persistence! I woulda quit after two loaves…

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  17. I made this today, soooo good!

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  18. Veronica, I am so very impressed with your determination! I’m bummed that the fluffy bread did not turn out for you. I’ve not heard of anyone else having that problem! But I am so glad you liked the potato bread – it’s definitely a winner, too! Thanks for your hilarious post and bringing me a smile on a hard day.

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    • Yeah, I’m bummed too but I know I will get it right b/c I will make 900 more loaves if I have too! I’m going to try adding gluten to the recipe. It may have something to do with my climate or something but I read that too much liquid can cause it and this is a very wet dough, and also since you don’t knead it there is not much chance to develop any gluten, which is what keeps the gas inside as the yeast grows. Weak gluten allows it to escape while baking. So I may just add some to the next batch and see if that helps. Hope so! Anyway, I’m so glad to bring you a smile and hope tomorrow is and easier day!

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      • Veronica, Did you use WHITE whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour? I think regular whole wheat would be too dense for this – that may be the issue?

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        • I used regular whole wheat flour. The last time I bought white whole wheat it was kinda rancid b/c I guess people don’t buy that as much, but the texture of it was even more grainy than regular whole wheat. Maybe it’s my flour–I’ll see if it works better with white whole wheat. Or do you think it would help to grind up my regular whole wheat finer?

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  19. Kudos Veronica! You have way more patience than I do. My Hubby has been on a bread making kick and has made tons of bread in his effort to perfect each type. Your potato bread makes me want to eat an egg salad sandwich. Now. I think I’ll pass the recipe to Hubby and see if he will make it for me. :)

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  20. Way to persevere! I would have given up after that first loaf. The bread looks delicious.

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  21. Those grilled cheese sandwiches have me salivating over here (not a figure of speech–actually salivating). MMMMMM!!!!
    And you are one determined baker. 9 loaves–wow. I can only stand back and admire you.

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  22. 9 loaves!?!? Holy moly! Good for you for sticking with it. And I just love potato bread. This looks amazing and your grilled cheese looks heavenly!!!

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  23. I have bought into the idea, there are no failures – only results. Some results are unwanted however.

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  24. You are pretty amazing for persevering like this! The potato bread looks killer — it’s my mom’s favorite so I’m forwarding this recipe to her!

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  25. That is some dedication! Stamp of a true foodie! Great job on your SRC – the bread looks great!

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  26. The bread looks perfect! I haven’t baked bed in forever ever. Need to get on this. Great pick!

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  27. That is sooo disconcerting when you make bread and it just goes wonky on you. Been there!! Unfortunately!1 Anyway, the second loaf looks like a huge success. YAY!! Good job!

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  28. I know I shouldn’t laugh, it’s unkind, but I couldn’t help it. I’m sorry. All of us are saying, “I’m not alone!!” in the kitchen mishap department. :)

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  34. My kids love this! It’s a hit. Our new favorite recipe! I even used dehydrated egg and it came out great!

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