This yeasted mashed potato bread is a great simple recipe for those of you looking for something a little different. Made with mashed russet potatoes and buttermilk, it’s tender and fluffy with just the right amount of tang and the most wonderful moisture. You’re sure to love this homemade bread for sandwiches, toast and french toast.
Potatoes in bread isn’t nearly as odd or uncommon as you might think. Starting somewhere around the middle of the 1700’s potatoes were used to stretch wheat flour when it was too expensive or too hard to get.
And it turns out that they are a fabulous way to make an ultra-moist, extra soft loaf of bread that lasts on the counter longer than loves without added spuds.
What do potatoes do in mashed potato bread?
The starch in potatoes increases the dough’s ability to hold more moisture. You can use both mashed potatoes or even the starchy potato water that they were cooked in (or both) for maximum softness. This cinnamon roll recipe uses both and I have to say they are amazing!!
What kind of potatoes work best in bread or dough recipes?
Russet potatoes are my favorite but any very starchy potato works. Yellow fingerlings are super starchy and would work here. You may want to avoid red potatoes though–they have a stronger flavor that you might be able to taste later.
Can I use leftover mashed potatoes?
You can as long as they aren’t salty or seasoned with cheese and chives or something crazy like that. Even if your mashed potatoes have sour cream or butter in them, they will work in this recipe. You just don’t want overly seasoned (salted) mashed potatoes because it could alter the final flavor of your bread. This recipe was originally intended to be used with plain, unseasoned mashed russet potatoes.
Instant mashed potatoes would also work. I just never think to use those. If that’s your choice, reconstitute, then measure 3/4 cup for this recipe.
Tip: Use plain potatoes
Use plain mashed russet potatoes if possible. Leftover mashed potatoes can be used if they aren’t overly seasoned. If your potatoes have been refrigerated, warm them to room temperature before adding them to the dough.
Is mashed potato bread healthy?
It’s certainly more healthy than factory made bread when you consider your ability to control the ingredients. Removing inflammatory vegetable oil, preservatives, dough conditioners and stabilizers is always great to do.
That said, anything made with white flour should be consumed in moderation. There’s little nutritional value in bread and it does a number on your blood sugar.
Can I swap the flour in this bread recipe for whole wheat?
You can swap half of the white flour in this recipe for whole wheat. If you do more than that, you’ll need a recipe specifically written for whole wheat flour because it requires different amounts of liquid that cannot be swapped 1:1 in recipes written for all white flour.
I can’t find buttermilk. Can I use a swap?
The buttermilk in this recipe lends a perfect tang and tenderness that I feel like is irreplaceable. If you can’t get buttermilk where you live, you can make it if you know how to make butter and then culture your own buttermilk–oh? No Laura Ingalls Wilder’s out there? Okay. Try these ideas:
–Dilute plain full fat yogurt or sour cream with water (this is my preferred choice)
-Make a swap with full fat milk and one tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice (this is my least favorite option)
–Dried buttermilk powder can be found in the baking aisle near the powdered milk.
How to make mashed potatoes for bread
This recipe uses room temperature mashed potatoes. If you don’t know how to do that, here’s a quick tutorial:
- Wash, scrub and peel 2 medium Russet potatoes.
- Place in a pot of cool water to cover potatoes by 1 inch and bring to a boil. Boil until fork tender–about 15 to 18 minutes depending on size.
- Drain, then use a hand mixer a potato ricer or stand mixer to mash potatoes while hot. Get out as many lumps as possible. The whole process might take about a minute and a half. Set them aside to cool.
- Measure 3/4 cup for using in this recipe.
Potatoes can be made up to two days in advance but make sure they are room temperature when you add them to your bread.
How to mix the mashed potato bread dough
This part is so easy! Warm the buttermilk to 110 degrees or just warmer than lukewarm. Add the yeast and let the mixture sit until it gets foamy and thicker–about 5 minutes.
From there you add everything to the bowl except the flour, give it a quick mix, then put the flour in.
Note: You can use instant yeast here. Make sure all ingredients are warm. That includes the flour for those of you who keep it in a freezer. Add all of the ingredients and then sprinkle the yeast in with the flour and mix as directed.
You’ll end up with a shaggy dough. Let this dough rest for 30 minutes before continuing.
After the rest time, take the dough out and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Don’t add more than 1/4 cup of flour to your dough here–that means on the counter or on your hands while you knead.
Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. About 15 minutes by hand and maybe 8 to 10 minutes on medium low in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place until doubled (my dough got huge during this rise!).
Transfer the dough back to the counter and shape it for the pan. Stretch it to the 9″ width of your loaf pan and then use your hands to manipulate it until it’s about 12 to 14 inches long. You can use a rolling pin if you want to.
Roll the dough up like a sausage from the short end and pinch the seam closed. Transfer it to a greased loaf pan seam side down or you can use parchment paper to ensure your bread doesn’t stick.
Let the dough rise until it’s about 1 1/2 to 2 inches above the rim of the pan. I don’t cover my dough during this process because it could stick to a towel or plastic wrap and ruin your bread.
If you do want to cover it, make sure whatever you use is well greased.
Bake the bread on the center rack at 375 for 40-45 minutes. Tent your bread lightly with foil once it reaches your preferred level of golden brown beauty!
Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack to cool completely.
How do I know if my bread is baked?
You can take your bread’s temperature with a thermometer if you are unsure. Your loaf should reach an internal temperature of about 205 in the center.
How long does mashed potato bread stay fresh?
Regular wheat recipes start drying out within a day. It’s amazing when you think about the loaves on grocery store shelves that often sit for months…those ingredients are pretty scary!
Potato bread however, has the unique ability to ward off crystallization. The starch also keeps negatively charged phosphates from recombining (which if that makes no sense to you, trust that it’s what makes your bread stale).
A loaf of potato bread will stay fresh for 7-10 days easily when well wrapped.
Make sure you never, ever put your mashed potato bread in the refrigerator. It will dehydrate your loaf really fast.
Adjustments for a bread machine
You really need a recipe written for a bread machine. Sometimes you can just toss things in according to your machine’s instructions and it will work, but I’ve never tested this recipe in one. Try a bread machine potato bread recipe like this one instead.
Other loaf bread recipes to try
Mashed potato bread is just one version of white bread you’ll love. Try these other options too:
Mashed Potato Bread
- 2 cups buttermilk warmed to 110 degrees
- 2 packages active dry yeast 14 grams or 4 1/2 teaspoons; See note for instant yeast
- 3/4 cup mashed russet potatoes room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 6 1/4 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour 820 to 855 grams approximately
- Add the yeast to the buttermilk mixture and allow to sit until starting to foam; about 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the yeast and buttermilk mixture, the potatoes, butter, beaten eggs, sugar and salt. Mix until just starting to combine; about 1 minute on medium.
- Add 6 1/4 cups flour, change to the dough hook and mix until moistened and no dry pockets of flour remain. About 2 minutes on medium. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest 30 minutes.
- Knead on a lightly floured counter 15 minutes, or in the machine on medium low 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Transfer to an oiled bowl turning to coat, or leave the dough in the mixer and lightly oil the top of the dough. Cover and rise 1 -1 1/2 hours
- Grease two 9×5 loaf pans. Line with parchment paper for easier removal. Divide the dough in half, pressing out into a rectangle approximately 9 inches wide and 12 inches tall. Roll up the dough like sausage from the 9 inch side, and pinch the seam closed. Place the dough in the pan seam side down and let the dough rise until doubled–about 1 hour but just watch the dough.
- When the dough is about 20 minutes away from being risen, preheat the oven to 375.
- Beat one egg and brush over the dough. Bake 40-45 minutes until the internal temperature is 205. Tent with foil halfway through baking or when the bread reaches your preferred level of color.
- To use instant yeast: Ensure that all liquid ingredients are warm and that the other ingredients are room temperature including your flour if you keep it in the freezer. Sprinkle the yeast over the dry flour and mix as directed.
- All purpose flour can be used. Your bread won’t be as light but it will still work.
- You can swap half the white flour for whole wheat.
- This recipe has not been tested in a bread machine.
- Instant mashed potatoes or leftover mashed potatoes can be used.