Friday, February 13, 2009

Another Use for Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Last night while I was burning up my scale on my stove, I was baking four loaves of bread. Two were sourdough, two were mashed potato bread. All four loaves came out great. I'll freeze the sourdough to get me through the next two weeks.

According to my cookbook, you are supposed to use "freshly mashed potatoes" which seems to indicate using boiled potatoes fresh out of the water. I had left over mashed potatoes from dinner the other night when I made polenta crusted chicken. When I make mashed potatoes I add in milk and butter and sometimes salt while I whip them in my stand mixer. This was not quite what the recipe called for but I decided to use my leftovers anyway. I wonder if the content should be upped just a smidgen to 2/3 of a cup since part of that 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes is milk and butter. But then again, it probably wouldn't be a significant change anyway.

The recipe called for scalded milk. I really see no reason to scald milk but I couldn't remember why. I was pretty sure scalding milk hearkens back to days of unpasteurized milk. In her book Cookwise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealed, Shirley O. Corriher basically states the same thing. However she does reference a study at Michigan State in 1975 that identified a protein in milk that inhibits rising in bread. This protein I guess is destroyed in the scalding of milk. Ms. Corriher then hypothesizes that it is the quantity of the protein in the milk used for cooking that makes a difference and that maybe a 1/2 cup of milk is the threshold level, depending on how you read her paragraph. So to be safe, I thought I would scald my milk but I hate scalding milk on the stove. Scalding milk means to take it just below a full boil which I believe is around 190°F. Pasteurization of milk is around 163°F. This seems like a perfect application for a microwave. I chose to split the difference in temperature. Two minutes in the microwave heated the milk to 175°F. Of course I have nothing to compare to, so who knows if all that effort made a difference.

I used my stand mixer to make this bread because part of the directions call for beating the batter for 10 minutes by hand! Not! I think an electric mixer would have been fine for this stage as it is more of a batter than a dough.

The mashed potato bread was wonderfully soft and flavorful. The sugar addition made it just a tad sweeter than a regular bread but nothing like say Hawaiian bread rolls. Just something a little bit different.


Brook said...

I guess if I want to make the potato bread I should take the skins off before I mash them. My mom only buys loaves of potato bread. And I am going to have to start over with the sourdough-it is rank and I would rather throw it out than take the time to fix it.

Huff Daddy said...

Bah! I'd try it with the skins on and see what happens. If it's tasty you just say it's rustic. :)