During the winter, especially on bitterly cold days, there is nothing more comforting than the wafting scent of fresh, yeasty bread permeating the air. Today was one such day. We woke to temperatures of roughly 10° and then dipped to a low of 8°. With the wood cookstove cheerily bubbling along, I put some Old-Fashioned Potato Bread on to rise while the children worked on school in the living room.
|Master Calvin playing with Lego's while the older children do school|
|Miss Serenity writing a Christmas Thank-You|
|Maid Elizabeth teaching Princess Dragon Snack to read|
Although I peeled fresh potatoes for this bread, it is a wonderful use of leftover mashed potatoes if you happen to have them. Potatoes add such a nice flavor and texture to yeast breads - it is well worth the effort to peel a few and add them.
Old-Fashioned Potato Bread
1 1/2 C water
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
1 C buttermilk or sour milk (or add a splash of lemon juice to sweet milk)
3 T sugar
2 T butter
2 tsp. salt
2 T yeast
6 to 6 1/2 C flour
In a saucepan combine the water and potato. Bring to boiling. Cook, covered, about 12 minutes or till very tender. Do not drain. Mash potato in the water. Measure the potato-water mixture. If necessary, add additional water to make 1 3/4 cups total. Return mixture to saucepan. Add buttermilk, sugar, butter and salt. Heat to 120°. Add yeast and allow to sponge until light and bubbly.
|Cubed potatoes ready to boil|
|Potatoes, milk, sugar, butter and salt heating to correct temperature|
|In bowl and ready to rise|
|Ready to punch down a final time|
|Rising in pans|
|Ready to go into the oven|
Bake in a 375° oven for 35 to 40 minutes or till done. Remove bread from pans and cool on a wire rack.
|The bread is done!|
|Warm and ready for butter!!|
Days like this are the perfect days of our life. Simple, quiet, wholesome. These are the days to remember.