Many of our recipes end with the sentence: “Enjoy with a good rustic bread”. Bread is the staple food of Central Europe. We eat bread with everything. One of the challenges of moving was to find an everyday bread – frankly, supermarket “sandwich” bread here is pretty bad. Sorry my friends, it is the truth. It is full of preservatives, different crazy sounding items and of course, sugar (that is true about everything. Everything tastes sweet here. It is like non-stop candy time). On other hand there are artisan breads. Well, those are amazing! The only problem is they are not priced for everyday eating. A good bread, which our family polishes off in 30 seconds, is $4. If you eat it once in a while, yes, it is the right price for something “special/artisan”. But if you eat it as Europeans do, yikes!
So we make our own. Katy is a great baker and she has been making all kinds of amazing breads. The only thing I missed was the rustic Hungarian potato bread. So in order to surprise her one night I made the “no knead bread“, added a potato and adjusted it accordingly. I was amazed with the results – exactly what I was hoping for! Now I’ll share this Hungarian recipe with you.
Hungarian Potato Bread
Use bread flour. I used King Arthur bread flour. Russet potatoes are ideal for this recipe, because they are nice and floury. The potato has a few roles in the bread making: it will keep the bread moist, adds a gentle potato flavor to the crumb and a light bitterness to the crust.
Makes 2 small loaves or 1 big one.
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 large russet potato
- 1½ cups water
- Peel and dice the potato, then rinse off the starch in a colander. Cook it until soft enough to pierce with a fork. Once soft strain the water and let it cool.
- In a large bowl mix flour yeast and salt. Mash the potato (or put it through a ricer) and add it to the flour mixture.
- Add 1 cup of water and then more if necessary. The dough should be on the sticky side. Put it in a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Let it rise at room temperature for 12 hours. After 12 hours you should have a sticky goo, basically.
- Prepare a baking dish ( I used a small square stoneware baking dish) put it into the oven and preheat the oven to 500 F.
- Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and divide it in half; each blob will be a small loaf. Try to fold the dough over onto itself few times. Shape them and sprinkle with flour. Let the first one rest for 30 minutes.
- Dust the baking dish with flour and carefully put in the first loaf. Cover it with tinfoil and bake it for 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, uncover and bake another 35 minutes or until the bread gets dark and crusty. That is what we want!
- When the first loaf is ready you can bake the second one as above.
- Let it cool before you eat it.