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Potato Rosemary Bread | www.tasteandtellblog.com

I wasn’t going to post this recipe until Friday, but seeing that today is World Bread Day, I just couldn’t wait!! World Bread Day is being hosted by Zorra of Kochtopf. I didn’t realize what perfect timing I had when I chose this book as the Cookbook of the Month!!

When I first looked through The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, this was the first recipe I chose to make, mostly because of the memories it brought. My memories don’t necessarily involve this potato rosemary bread, but the memories came flooding back nonetheless!

It was almost 10 years ago. I had just moved back to Utah (after a brief stint in Arizona and then a semester in my home town in New Mexico.) I didn’t know anyone and I had moved into an apartment with complete strangers. Little did I know one of my roommates would end up becoming one of my best friends!! Her mom made the best potato bread EVER, and whenever she would go home (which was only about 20-30 miles away) she would come back with some of her mom’s potato bread. One of our rituals was to sit out on the balcony of our apartment, in the freezing cold, drinking hot chocolate and eating toast made from her mom’s potato bread. We would sit, gossiping and hoping to get a glance at any of the boys that lived in the apartment just down from us. Ahhh, Lee, Tyler and Scott…. Maybe we were a little immature back then, but those nights, sitting on the balcony covered in blankets in the dead of winter – those are some of my favorite memories from that time.

If you have never had potato bread before, you really don’t know what you are missing. And this recipe?? How could you go wrong by adding rosemary and roasted garlic? This bread was absolutely wonderful. The roasted garlic is optional, but I would recommend it. Even if you aren’t a garlic fan, once it is roasted it takes on such a wonderful, mellow flavor. I only roasted one head of garlic, which only gave me about half of the 4 tablespoons called for in the recipe. Next time I will make sure to roast 2 heads, because the garlic was a great addition to this bread. (If you don’t know how to roast garlic, go here. Elise gives a great step by step with photos!)

Of the 3 recipes I’ve made from this book so far, this is definitely my favorite. In fact, the day I made this, I made soup for dinner, and my husband and I almost finished a whole loaf of this bread with our soup!! I can’t imagine it’s good for my hips, but it sure was good for my taste buds!!

Potato Rosemary Bread
from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

Days to make: 2
Day 1: 2 1/2 to 4 hours biga.
Day 2: 1 hour to de-chill biga; 12 minutes mixing; 4 hours fermentation, shaping and proofing; 20 to 45 minutes baking.

For the biga:
1 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1/3 to 1/2 a cup of water at room temperature

**I cut this in half since it makes about 18 oz, and you only need 7 for the recipe.

For the bread:

1 1/4 cups Biga
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground (optional)
1 1/4 teaspoons Instant yeast
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons to 1 cup water, at room temperature (or warm if the potatoes are cold)
4 tablespoons coarsely chopped roasted garlic
Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting
Olive oil for brushing on top


1. Stir together the flour and yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the water, stirring until everything comes together and makes a coarse ball (or mix on low speed for 1 minute with the paddle attachment). Adjust the flour or water, according to need, so that the dough is neither too sticky nor too stiff. (It´s better to err on the sticky side, as you can adjust easier during kneading.)

2. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for 4 to 6 minutes (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook for 4 minutes), or until the dough is soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. The internal temperature should be 77° to 81°F.

3. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours, or until it nearly doubles in size.

4. Remove the dough from the bowl, knead it lightly to degas, and return it to the bowl, covering the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. You can keep this in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze it in an airtight plastic bag for up to 3 months.


1. Remove the biga from the refrigerator 1 hour before you plan to make the bread. Cut it in about 10 small pieces with a pastry scraper or serrated knife. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour to take off the chill.

2. Stir together the four, salt, black pepper, and yeast into a 4-quart mixing bowl (or the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the biga pieces, mashed potatoes, oil, rosemary and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water. Stir with a large spoon (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) for 1 minute, or until the ingredients form a ball. Add more water, if neccesary, or more flour, if the dough is too sticky.

3. Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin to knead (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook). Knead for about 10 minutes (or 6 minutes by machine), adding more flour if needed, until the dough is soft and supple, tacky but not sticky. It should register 77° to 81°F. Flatten the dough and spread the roasted garlic over the top. Gather the dough into a ball and knead it by hand for 1 minute (you will probably have to dust it with flour first to absorb the moisture from the garlic). Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

4. Ferment at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

5. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Shape each of the pieces into a boule. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment and dust lightly with semolina flour or cornmeal. Place the dough on the parchment, separating the pieces so that they will not touch, even after they rise. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

6. Proof at room temperature for about 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size.

7. Preheat the oven to 400°F with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Remove the plastic from the dough and lightly brush the bread with olive oil. You don´t need to score this bread, but you can if you prefer.

8. Place the pan in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking. The loaves will take 35 to 45 minutes total to bake. The loaves will be a rich golden brown all around, and the internal temperature should register at least 195°F and make a hollow sound when thumped at the bottom. If the loaves are fully colored but seem too soft, turn off the oven and let them bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes to firm up.

9. Remove the finished loaves from the oven and cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before serving.

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24 Responses to Cookbook of the Month Recipe – Potato Rosemary Bread

  1. Emilie says:

    Mmmm potatoes….God bless them.
    This sounds delicious; I love roasted garlic and rosemary.

    Have you ever you used instant flakes in potato bread?

  2. sher says:

    Drool!!! I love potatoes bread, and adding rosemary just makes it all the better. Marvelous!

    I’ve used potato buds in bread, not bad at all.

  3. Katie says:

    Wow, your loaf came out REALLY well…. jeeeeeeeeeealous…… lol!

  4. sunita says:

    The bread looks gorgeous…you’re tempting me to make it now.

  5. Anh says:

    I haven’t tried this. But I need to now. Yours look fabulous!

  6. glamah16 says:

    Yummy. I love potatoe bread, Haven’t had it in years. Why do the good things add the pounds? My Certain Someone will love this one.

  7. The Baker & The Curry Maker says:

    I’ve never had potato bread. I’m going to give it a go now though! Thanks

  8. The Baker & The Curry Maker says:

    I’ve never had potato bread. I’m going to give it a go now though! Thanks

  9. Abby says:

    That looks wonderful, and it’s a cute post to boot! I also printed Elise’s recipe for roasted garlic when she first posted it. She’s fab. And this bread looks fab, too!

  10. Peabody says:

    I love potato bread…always sooo soft!

  11. Kelly-Jane says:

    Potatoes and rosemary in bread sounds like a great combo :)

  12. veron says:

    I seem to be the only one with no posting for World Bread Day. I see all thes delicious looking bread everywjere. Great job , Deborah!

  13. Tartelette says:

    Love potato read and this recipe seems incredibly tasty! Great post for WBD!

  14. Mandy says:

    what a nice story. And I certainly need to try out this potato bread. I have never tried potato bread in my life. I am missing out something for the past 20 something years!

  15. Elle says:

    Lovely looking bread! Almost anything with rosemary appeals to me, especially if there is yeast in the picture. Beautiful photo, too.

  16. zorra says:

    Bread with potatoes are also my favorites! Yours looks extremly delicious. No wonder you almost finished the loaf.

    Thx for joining WBD.

  17. Rose says:

    Deborah–This looks great! I have never made a potato bread so this will be fun to try. I love this cookbook!

  18. Kristen says:

    I have never made a potato bread. This looks fantastic!

  19. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    This is totally awesome bread isn’t it? I really loved it. You’re so right about roasting the garlic, it changes everything.

  20. Migus says:

    Omg I had so much fun making this bread! I’ve never made bread before, and it turned out great. I only used one head of garlic, but I think that two would definitely be a great addition (although it’s not needed!). I also threw in *lots* of rosemary, and kept the skins on half of the red potatoes that I mashed, so it turned out really pretty. Mmmmmmmm so delicious…. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

    Btw, is there any huge difference between using instant or active yeast? I only had active, but it still turned out well… I don’t really know baking that well, so I don’t know 😛

  21. Deborah says:

    Migus –

    In the book, he says to use instant yeast, but I used active as well and it turned out great. I think that the time for rising and proofing is slower when you use active – I want to try it again with instant and see how different it turns out.

  22. Anonymous says:


    I noticed that the recipce call to put the boules on parchment paper before baking. Does the paper come right off when it is done? Mine seemed to become a permanent part of the bread. :-(

  23. Deborah says:

    Anon –

    Mine didn’t stick to the parchment at all, but I was very generous with the cornmeal. Maybe that’s why…

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