Whole Grain Rosemary Potato Bread

Whole Grain Panmarino Italian Rosemary Potato Bread

This is the 100% whole grain version of Italian panmarino, or rosemary potato loaf, my favorite bread for dipping in olive oil. Both formulas are adapted from Peter Reinhart, the person responsible for tearing this Asian away from his daily rice-and-noodles-as-staple habit. In my kitchen, one can find flour-crusted bannetons, linen couches, and enough flour varieties to make a European blush but there is no Zojirushi or rice dispenser in sight. I am somewhat ashamed.

I find it hard to explain to relatives why counter surfaces are caked with flour instead of desiccated rice grains. They just don’t get it. Sadly, I get a much stronger reaction when serving them brown rice instead of the customary steamed white, as if insulted by way of moist palm face slap. Well, excuse me for thinking about trivial things such as health and nutrition.

Anyway, we have two bread formulas from Peter Reinhart, one using 100% whole wheat and the other made with regular white flour. Both call for similar ingredients but have a completely different development technique. The most notable difference is the use of a soaker in this whole grain version, consisting of whole wheat flour, water, and salt, which basically helps with both flavor and gluten development.

For those so inclined, these two formulas can serve as a template for converting any bread formula to its 100% whole grain version. Those who don’t mind more strongly flavored and dense loaves can benefit from the extra nutritional value in whole grain breads.

recipe adapted from Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads
Yeastspotting at Wild Yeast Blog

Whole Grain Rosemary Potato Bread

makes two 1-pound loaves


  • 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 the final dough.
  • This formula makes a slack dough. Feel free to make adjustments by adding more flour while kneading the final dough.

For the Mashed Potatoes:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
potatoes                                          6            170
water                    at least 2 cups

Slice the potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Boil the potatoes in the water until soft.  Store the potatoes in the refrigerator for the final dough and reserve the potato boiling water for the biga and soaker.

For the Soaker:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
whole wheat flour                 1 3/4 cups      8            227
salt                                1/2 tsp
potato water, room temperature      3/4 cup       6            170

Mix the soaker ingredients until evenly hydrated. Cover and leave at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.

For the Biga:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
whole wheat flour                 1 3/4 cups      8            227
instant yeast                       1/4 tsp
potato water, room temperature 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp   7            198

Mix the biga ingredients until a shaggy ball of dough is formed. Knead the biga for about 2 minutes or until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Place the biga in a bowl and cover. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. Let the biga sit at room temperature for about 2 hours before using in the final dough.

Final Dough Formula:

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
all of the potatoes, mashed
all of the soaker, cut into small pieces
all of the biga, cut into small pieces
whole wheat flour                                 2             56
salt                              1 1/8 tsp                      9
instant yeast                     2 1/4 tsp                      7
olive oil                         1 tbsp           .5           14
fresh rosemary                    2 tbsp

Final Dough Instructions:

Mix             Mix all of the ingredients until evenly incorporated

Whole Grain Panmarino Italian Rosemary Potato Dough
Will it come together? Yes. Yes it will.

Knead           3 to 4 minutes

Rest            5 minutes

Knead           1 minute to further strengthen the gluten

Bulk Ferment    45 to 60 minutes at room temperature in a lightly
                oiled bowl, or until 1 1/2 times its size

Divide          2 pieces

Shape           boule or batard

Final Proof     approximately 45 to 60 minutes at room temperature

Whole Grain Panmarino Italian Rosemary Potato Proofed Boule
Whole Grain Panmarino Italian Rosemary Potato Proofed Batard
proofed rosemary potato boule and batards

Preheat Oven    425ºF/218ºC

Score           (optional)

Whole Grain Panmarino Italian Rosemary Potato Scored Batard
scored batards

Steam           1 cup of boiling water poured in a heavy steam
                pan (preferably cast iron)

Bake            Lower the temperature immediately to 350ºF/177ºC.
                Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the loaf if necessary
                and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the
                loaf registers 195ºF/91ºC in the center.

Cool            At least 1 hour
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24 Responses to “Whole Grain Rosemary Potato Bread”

  1. daphne says:

    hey, these look great. I will have a piece anytime.

    last blog post: Chorizo Potato Salad

  2. andreea says:

    i love the look of this bread. plus it has one of my favortie ingredients :)

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I still haven’t tried making potato bread but keep hearing about it. Being lazy, I’m not sure that I’d actually boil potatoes for it. Instead, I might be inclined to use left over potatoes.

    That soaking of whole grains really helps, doesn’t it? I like to use boiling water when pre-soaking the whole grains – especially for things like coarsely ground corn meal (we have some that is the size of tiny peas), oat groats, rolled oats, wheat berries, etc. But I’ve never let them soak for such a long period. Does the flavour change? Does it start to ferment just a little?

  4. Susan/Wild Yeast says:

    You know you’re not a real bread baker until you have relatives looking at you askance for having a flour-caked kitchen. Another excellent and healthy bread from you!

    last blog post: It’s Like Watching Mud Dry

  5. Divya Vikram says:

    I like the touch of rosemary in the potato bread..Haven’t tried my hand in making potato bread..thanks for sending this in..

  6. rainbowbrown says:

    Well I’ll take your brown rice and bread any day. It’s a great way to go in this rice and bread maker’s opinion. Very nice looking loaves. I agree that potato bread is fantastic for dipping.

    last blog post: TWD Black and White Banana Loaf

  7. cookinpanda says:

    This is such an interesting bread. I love that you made it with whole wheat flour. The amateur bread baker in me probably couldn’t handle making this, but it’s certainly nice to look at.

    last blog post: A semi-homemade lunch (or “meal-snack”)

  8. Madam Chow says:

    I hear you! We hardly eat rice any more, and when we do, it’s brown rice!

    last blog post: The Bread I Had to Make – Pane di Altamura

  9. Nate says:

    Fantastic post. Your photos and descriptions are top knotch!

    I can think of putting some poached garlic or maybe coarse ground black pepper in the bread for added interest. Do you think that extra garlic cloves would change the baking time too much?

    last blog post: Five Quick Asian Dishes: Two Tofus, Two Ways

  10. Pinoy Blog of the Week: Apple Pie, Patis & Pate says:

    [...] is no reason not to write about Whole Grain Rosemary Potato Bread on a Filipino blog. While Filipinos are not big bread eaters, we’re adaptable and will [...]

  11. Paula says:

    I love that this has potatoes in it. I bet it is outstanding as a dipping bread in olive oil. YUM!

    last blog post: Roll Me Up Shrimp Spring Rolls

  12. daphne – just ran out! time for another batch of this.

    andreea – is it the potato?

    elizabeth – leftover mashed potatoes would be great. Even better if garlicky and creamy.
    It does ferment a little and rises a bit, but then there’s yeast all over my kitchen. Haven’t tried the boiling water technique before. Will try it out some day for sure.

    susan – I’m just glad no one has slipped yet.

    divya – it smells great while baking.

    rainbow – I’m glad we’re on the same wavelength

    panda – I’m sure you can pull it off after a try or two.

    chow – Mmm pane di altamura — been wanting to try that formula

    nate – thanks! shouldn’t affect it too much. I’d try replacing some of the potato with garlic by weight if you’re adding a lot.

    paula – best use of leftover mashed potatoes in my kitchen.

  13. Rosa says:

    That bread looks beautiful! Potato really adds a gorgeous smoothness to the dough…




  14. Ben says:

    That bread is gorgeous. I have to try it now that I am over my fear of yeast. Great stuff!

    last blog post: Zucchini Bruschettas

  15. Meera says:

    I just got my copy of Peter Reinhart’s book yesterday!!! :-D
    I love your addition of rosemary to the potato bread. I have not yet tried making potato bread..looking at your’s I am going to give it a try.

    last blog post: Twisted Dum Aloo – Maybe?

  16. Dragon says:

    I love the colour of your bead. So healthy!

    last blog post: Herbed Roasted Potatoes

  17. WasabiBratwurst says:

    Today is my first time visiting your site. As I read your comment about being tore away from rice-and-noodles-as-staple diet hit me home as I am Japanese and grew up on the same diet.

    If I was given a choice for my last meal on this planet, it’s a toss up between a bowl of rice/plate of fresh sashimi or good bread and a bottle of wine to go with it.

    I plan to spend more time on your site another day as I do look forward to baking more bread! Keep up the good work!

    last blog post: Basil Parsley Pesto

  18. YeastSpotting August 8, 2008 | Wild Yeast says:

    [...] Whole Grain Rosemary Potato Bread ~ Apple Pie, Patis, and Pâté [...]

  19. Aparna says:

    That’s one beautiful bread, Jude. Guess the potatoes contribute to the texture and take away from the denseness of the bread. I’ll wait to see the BBD roundup and bookmark that. Easier to check them all out in one place! :)

    last blog post: Chocolate Éclairs With Eggless Orange Cardamom and Mocha Pastry Creams: Daring Bakers Challenge August 2008

  20. Przepisy kulinarne says:

    Very nice. So many passion in Your cooking. This photos are really profesional. I like that. 10 stars for You.

  21. wacadoo says:

    The bread looks beautiful but it lacks taste compared to the Italian breads I eat, even with all the roasted garlic.

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