Rosemary Potato Bread

Panmarino - Italian Rosemary Potato Bread

Having good bread and olive oil is always a comforting way to start a meal. This Italian loaf baked with rosemary and mashed potatoes is my idea of the perfect dipping bread. Each of the three elements, the bread itself, the rosemary, and the potatoes, have a natural affinity with olive oil. Combining everything in one bite makes the little extra effort in preparing it worthwhile.

Weekend Herb Blogging
Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Sounding My Barbaric Gulp

recipe adapted from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

Rosemary Potato Bread

makes two 1-pound loaves


  • The dough will be slack using the amount of water I used (8 ounces) in the final dough but will give it a more open crumb, which means more nooks and crannies for the olive oil to creep into. It will be sticky and may be a bit difficult to handle and shape, so feel free to reduce the water by 1 to 1 1/2 ounces. It may not seem like a lot but it makes a huge difference in the stiffness of the dough.
  • I sliced and boiled yukon gold potatoes for this recipe. Use the water for boiling the potatoes instead of the plain water in the final dough to further tenderize the bread. Leftover mashed potatoes will also work nicely.
  • Add some coarsely ground black pepper and roasted garlic in the final dough for extra flavor. If using roasted garlic, add it towards the end of kneading.

For the Biga:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
bread flour                                       4.2          119
instant yeast                   1/4 tsp
water                           1/3 cup           2.8           80

Mix the biga ingredients until a shaggy ball of dough is formed. Knead the biga for about 4 to 6 minutes or until the dough is soft, pliable, and forms a smooth ball.

Place the biga in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let rise at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours or until doubled in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl and knead lightly to degas. Return to the bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. Let the biga sit at room temperature for 1 hour before using in the final dough.

Final Dough Formula:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
all of the biga, cut into small pieces
bread flour                                      14            397
salt                              1.5 tsp
instant yeast                     1.25 tsp
mashed potatoes                   1 cup           6            170
olive oil                         1 tbsp
fresh rosemary                    2 tbsp
water                             1 cup           8            227

olive oil, for glazing (optional)

Final Dough Instructions:

Mix             Mix all of the ingredients until evenly incorporated

Knead           8 to 10 minutes

Rest            5 minutes

Knead           1 minute

Bulk Ferment    2 hours in a lightly oiled bowl, or until doubled

Divide          2 pieces

Shape           boule or batard

Final Proof     approximately 1 to 2 hours at room temperature

Preheat Oven    400ºF

Proofed Italian Rosemary Potato Bread
proofed rosemary potato bread

Score           (optional)

Bake            Bake for 20 minutes at 400ºF. Rotate the loaf
                if necessary and bake for another 15 to 25

Glaze           Brush with olive oil after removing from the
                oven (optional)

Cool            At least 1 hour

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46 Responses to “Rosemary Potato Bread”

  1. bhags says:

    Never made any bread with Biga as a starter…..have experimented with Poolish though….the bread looks yummy. I have ample of potatoes, and dried rosemary…..will the dried one work as well

    last blog post: Pink is my favorite color…

  2. Dee says:

    This is going to sound tired, but I love the photos. I’m always on the lookout for new breads, and yours looks fabulous. But first, I’m going to give your brioche a go this weekend. Wish me luck!

    last blog post: And so it goes on

  3. arundathi says:

    You probably get this all the time – but that looks amazing. Never made biga before and like Bhags, I’ve only used poolish. Btw, what kind of cloth do you use to shape the bread – I saw this at a professional bakery kitchen but didn’t have an opportunity to ask where I could get some. It seems perfect.

  4. Claire says:

    Wow! That looks delicious. I’ve always wanted to experiment with potato in bread. This looks like the recipe to try it with.

    last blog post: Spelt Sourdough

  5. bee says:

    potato breads always have a tender crumb and delicious flavour. we also mash potatoes and add them to flatbreads like naans. your loaf looks fantastic. must’ve smelt great too.

  6. Sophie says:

    We’d like to invite you to participate in our July berry recipe contest. All competitors will be placed on our blogroll, and the winner will receive a fun prize! Please email me,, if you’re interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details:

    Thanks :) ,
    KI Chief Blogger

    last blog post: Cherry Macaroon Tart

  7. Madam Chow says:

    This looks wonderful – I really need to pull out that book and use it more!

    last blog post: David Lebovitz’s No-Recipe Cherry Jam. Yowza!

  8. Graeme says:

    Forget the meal, this will do just fine!

    last blog post: The old, the new, and an apology.

  9. Susan/Wild Yeast says:

    I love love love the crumb on that bread. OK, the crust too.

    last blog post: YeastSpotting 7.25.08

  10. Nate says:

    Nice! I’ve not made potato bread before. Are the Yukon Golds absolutely necessary, or can you use regular Russets?

    Oh, BTW watch out for that Sophie from KI character. She appears to be spamming a lot of blogs (probably finding us through Tastespotting). I like Spam but despise spammers.

    last blog post: What Would You Serve with This Rioja?

  11. [eatingclub] vancouver || js says:

    I’m going to have to prioritize all of your wonderful bread recipes to see which ones I make first. As it stands now, I have about 4 on the list and this one makes 5. Hm, where to start, where to start. . .

    last blog post: Tarragon-Carrot Deviled Eggs

  12. Smita says:

    Looks PERFECT!!! Great job :-)

    last blog post: Whole grain potato bread

  13. Sandie says:

    Wonderful recipe & directions. I’m a big fan of homemade bread, so this is definitely worth discovering!

  14. Rosa says:

    Wow, wonderful! Such kinds of breads are addictive!



    last blog post: WEEKEND CAT BLOGGING #164

  15. Natashya says:

    Absolutely beautiful. I love herbs in my bread. I could eat just that and be happy.

    last blog post: Welcome – kalōs orisate!

  16. Dragon says:

    This looks so beautiful. I bet it tastes wonderful. Great job!

    last blog post: Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

  17. katie says:

    My mother always used potato water in her bread… I’d forgotten that. As to the rosemary… and nooks and crannies for the olive oil… Heaven!

  18. bhags – Hope you try it! Dried should work fine — use maybe half as much?

    dee – Thanks. Hope you have enough butter for the brioche!

    arundathi – I use a couche from They have pretty good prices for other baking equipment, too.

    claire – Makes it really tender.

    bee – I’ll try adding potatoes to naans. Mine usually comes out a bit tough.

    sophie – Thanks for dropping by.

    madam chow – Haven’t baked from BBA in a while, either.

    graeme – I hear you. 1 whole loaf should be enough.

    susan – Thanks! I’m glad it opened up.

    nate – I’m sure russets will work just fine. Duly noted re Sophie.

    js – I have a long list as well. I’m hoping there’s some kind of software for that.

    smita – Thanks!

    sandie – Hope you try it out soon!

    rosa – It is kind of addictive. I need to make more right now.

    natashya – I really should consider growing my own rosemary.

    dragon – Thanks!

    katie – It soaks up the olive oil so nicely.

  19. Kalyn says:

    I think rosemary is so great with bread; looks delicious! I really love the flavor of rosemary.

    last blog post: Georgette’s Greek Zucchini

  20. wacadoo says:

    The bread looks beautiful but it is not anywhere near as flavorful as the Italian breads I am accustomed to.

  21. potato bread recipes says:

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