Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Irish Potato Bread

 I bought my first bread machine in 1992. I've always been into carby things, but I soon discovered that bread was more than flour and yeast. It appeals to our senses and evokes comfort. The scent of sourdough always pulled my guests into the kitchen. 

I adored that old bread machine. I even took it with me on a vacation to Perdido Key, Florida. Then I developed high blood pressure and went on a diet. I gave my beloved machine to an elderly friend who could no longer knead bread, then I embraced a breadless life (well, almost).

Twenty years later, my friend, author Shirley Hailstock, renewed my interest in breadmaking. She told me how she wakes up to the aroma of freshly baked cinnamon bread--she assembles the ingredients the night before and sets the timer function on her machine. 

With Shirley's lush descriptions firmly in my mind, I bought another machine. Now, after two decades of denying my olfactory cravings, I am "making" bread every day. I'm especially fond of potato bread. It has that just-right flavor. It's dense enough to stand up to a juicy BLT, yet it's soft enough to melt on the tongue. I use the leftovers for croutons and bread crumbs.

Bread Machine Potato Bread

                                                   Yield: 1 loaf

3 1/2 c. bread flour

1 c. mashed potatoes

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to 80 degrees

1/4 c. whole milk, room temperature

1/3 c. warm water (80 degrees)

2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

. . .

Use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature of the water and butter. Place ingredients in the bread machine pan. The order will depend on your machine's instructions. I start with wet ingredients, then I add the dry. The yeast goes on top (the very last ingredient). Start the machine.

When the baking cycle ends, remove the bread from the pan and cool on a rack. Brush rosemary butter over the top and sides of the bread. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Rosemary Butter:

1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

fresh rosemary

sea salt

Into a bowl add chopped rosemary and a pinch of sea salt to butter. Blend. Slather on warm potato bread.

 If you're an olfactory-oriented person like myself, then you know the smell of browning bread sends a message to anyone who enters your kitchen.
"You're home," the aroma says. "Come on inside and get cozy."

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  1. Perhaps it's time for me to unearth the bread machine from the depths of the pantry.
    I'm affected by the smell of the house - freshly brewed coffee early in the morning is a wonderful thing! I can only imagine that home made bread would put me right into orbit!

  2. Looks like a great loaf of bread! Love that it calls for whole milk instead of powdered:@)

  3. LOVE fresh baked bread....even better than hot Krispy Kreme donuts!

  4. I don't have a bread machine, but I'm still going to make looks heavenly!

  5. Hi Michael Lee, This bread sounds fabulous! It's good to see you blogging more again. You have a beautiful blog and are such a creative person. I have enjoyed your Ireland series recently! It's been fun reading about your new farm too.
    God bless, Beth

  6. I adore my bread machine. Her name is Zoe and she has treated me well.

  7. Sounds yummy! Can't wait to try it.

    Mary l

  8. I gave away my bread machine when I discovered no-knead breads. Now, I wouldn't mind it back - just to wake up to this in the morning.

  9. You are going to make me want to buy a new bread machine! I really am a bread-a-holic! I can eat half a loaf without thinking! I think there is nothing I love more than fresh hot homemade bread (so I try to not make it very often) because I can stop with one or two bites of chocolate but not one or two bites of bread!

  10. I get so envious whenever I see a recipe for bread made with a bread machine! I have to move one up in my Wish List.

    This sounds like a delicious recipe and I'm drooooooling looking at the rosemary butter over it.

  11. Mmmmmm...I'll have to make this in my mixer because I gave my bread machine away!! The bread looks divine & I can almost smell it through my computer screen. I can use some of the salt you sent me in my give-away!!

  12. A bread machine recipe! Wonderful! I'll be making it this weekend. I adore my bread machine and make the most wonderful breads.

  13. Oh, I can smell the aroma just looking at the pictures! Yummmm....
    I, too, am going to dig my bread machine out of my pantry and start using it again. The thought of waking up to fresh bread in the mornings.....Ahhhhh...and especially cinnamon! I'm like Jacqueline above...I LOVE homemade bread and could eat half a loaf, with just a little butter spread on it....Oh, Michael Lee, I think a lot of us are going to be putting a loaf or two onto our behinds! :o

  14. I can't wait to try this bread, ML! Thanks so much for the recipe...I'm always looking for new ones for my machine & this sounds very yummy.
    Thank you!


  15. Fresh baked bread.........YUM!