if its bread tastes like Kleenex? ~Julia Child
Bread is a staple of our life. Flour can be stored and used later to create it. It's cheap and simple to make, and if done correctly, filling and decadent.
If you find yourself without power, bread can be made in a fire pit or in a wood stove. Today I will share with you a simple rustic bread that does take 24 hours to make, but making it this way ensures you have time to make it every other day or every day depending on your families needs.
Potato Bread. (makes 4 loaves)
Starting at noon, make your potato ball;
4-5 medium potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 packages of dry yeast
Boil the potatoes until tender, then drain very well and mash. Allow them to cool to a luke warm, add the sugar, salt and yeast. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface a knead just enough to form a ball. Place into a medium sized bowl, cover with a clean towel, and let rise in a warm place until after dinner. The ball will be light a spongy feeling.
After dinner, start the sponge;
1 quart milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 rounded tablespoon salt
4 cups all purpose flour
Heat the milk to a scald, add sugar, butter, and the salt. Remove from the heat and allow the butter to melt and allow the entire mixture to cool lukewarm. In a large bowl combine the milk mix with only half the potato ball and the flour. Stir until blended well. Cover with a dry towel and set aside over night.
Make bread before breakfast:
6 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup melted butter to brush tops after baking.
The sponge should be a pancake batter constancy, and bubbly. Preheat your oven to 435F, and stir in enough flour into your sponge to make a soft dough, not sticky and yields easily when kneaded. Turn out onto a floured surface (only enough flour so it doesn't stick) knead until firm and elastic not stiff (the biggest problem that people have when it comes to homemade bread, is that they add too much flour or knead it to long) Divide the dough into two, and place into 2 9x5 bread pans that have been greased. cover with a dry towel and allow to double in bulk, about 2 hours. Bake at the 435F for 15-20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and bake for another 40 minutes at most. The crust should be brown and went you rap on it with your knuckles there should be a hollow sound. Cool twenty minutes on the pans side, remove and cool on a rack. While bread is still warm, brush the tops with butter.
The other half of you potato ball should be stored away until a later baking, in a cool dry place. When ready to use it, allow it to set out to reactivate the yeast. This ball will still be active up to one month. Start the recipe with the sponge instructions.
“Give me yesterday's Bread, this Day's Flesh, and last Year's Cyder.” ~Benjamin Franklin