Potato Bread

A combination of recipes

1/3 cup milk
1 1/3 cups water
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 1/2 cups instant mashed potato flakes
2 ice cubes with enough milk to make 1/2 cup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/8 teaspoon sugar
2 packages (4 to 5 teaspoons) yeast
1/2 cup molasses
1 tablespoon salt
Flour (about 5 or 6 cups)

Heat 1/3 cup milk with 1 1/3 cups water and 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter until milk is hot and butter melts. Stir in 1 1/2 cups instant mashed potato flakes. Add enough milk to 2 ice cubes to make 1/2 cup, stir into the mashed potatoes and allow the mixture to cool.

Stir 1/8 teaspoon sugar and 2 packages or 4 to 5 teaspoons yeast into 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes until it doubles in bulk.

In the bowl of an electric mixer equipped with a dough hook, lightly beat two eggs. Add 1/2 cup molasses, 1 tablespoon salt, the potato mixture, and stir in the yeast mixture. Add two cups of flour and work it in with the dough hook. Gradually add more flour, working it in with the dough hook, until the dough is rather stiff and holds on the hook. The process will take 10-15 minutes.

Turn the dough into a large buttered bowl. With buttered hands, turn the dough in the bowl until it is covered with a film of butter. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let the dough rise for an hour or so until it doubles in bulk. With buttered hands, push your fist into the dough and knead it a little. Let it rise again. Punch it down a second time. Then divide the dough in two pieces and put them into buttered bread pans. Let the loaves rise again until the pans are nearly full. Bake about 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Makes 2 loaves.

Comments: It takes most of the day to make bread. I usually flavor the bread. One variation is to add about 1 tablespoon dill seeds and 1 tablespoon caraway seeds to the egg and molasses mixture, and then use about 1 1/2 cups of rye flour. Another is to add about 2 teaspoons anise seeds and 1/2 teaspoon dried lemon peel to the egg and molasses mixture, and then use about 1/2 cup buckwheat flour and 1/2 to 1 cup of whole wheat flour.

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