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.
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 rosemary potato bread
Score (optional) Bake Bake for 20 minutes at 400ºF. Rotate the loaf if necessary and bake for another 15 to 25 minutes. Glaze Brush with olive oil after removing from the oven (optional) Cool At least 1 hour