Rustic potato loaves

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Yes. Potato. And it is one of the best breads ever! The flavour is unique, almost nutty and if you didn’t know there was potato in it, it would be hard to identify.
I. Love. It.
I adapted it from a recipe I found in a book  called, “Baking with Julia”. I am so grateful I found it!

Makes 2 loaves 

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 3)*I used regular Spanish boiling potatoes
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup tepid reserved potato water (80 to 90 degrees F)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Step 1. Scrub the potatoes and quarter them. Leave the skins on. Place them in a pot and cover them with water. Add 2 teaspoons of the salt. Boil until they are soft. When they are ready, reserve 1/2 cup of the potato water. Drain well and let them cool down and air dry.

Step 2  When the potatoes are cool, stir the yeast into the warm reserved potato water.  The water should be warm to the touch, not hot.Leave it to rest for 5 minutes;  it will turn creamy.

Step 3
Mash the potatoes well. Add the dissolved yeast and olive oil and mix well.

Step 4
Add the flour and rest of the salt. Begin kneading. As it takes shape, lightly oil a work surface and knead it into a ball. It will take some time but be patient. You will get it.

Step 4

Lightly oil a bowl and place your ball in it. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 20 to 30 minutes. It won’t be a dramatic rise but there will be some activity.

Before

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Step 5

Preheat your oven to 375.
Spread a linen towel on a baking sheet and rub generously with flour. Set aside.
Sprinkle a parchment covered baking sheet with flour. Have a spray bottle of water ready.

Step 6
Put the ball of bread on a lightly floured surface and cut it in half.

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Make torpedo shapes. Seal the ends with flour. And roll your little torpedoes in flour. They are easier to handle that way.
Place them on the floured towel,  seam side down. Cover them with the e ds or with another towel.

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Let them rise for 20 minutes.

Step 7
Spray the walls and bottom of the oven with water and quickly close the door. If your oven is big enough, turn both breads onto the baking sheet. ( I had to bake each loaf separately). Place in the oven and quickly spray the sides again. Bake for 45 minutes. Keep an eye on it so that when the top begins to turn quite brown, you can cover it with foil. Place on a wire rack to cool.

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This is stored at room temperature.
Can be frozen up to a month.

Enjoy! Xxxx Natascha