Baked Potato Bread

by A.J. Coltrane

I thought it would be fun to try combining instant mashed potato into a bread, inspired by this Onion-Potato Focaccia.  The catch was, I had two hours from the initial mixing until the bread needed to be out of the oven. Two hours isn’t remotely enough time to naturally develop flavors in the bread, so I loaded the dough with a couple of flavors that go great with a baked potato — sour cream and onion soup mix. The time limit wasn’t going to allow for a focaccia either, so I went with a baguette shape to reduce the process time.

The ingredients:

Ingredient Weight in Grams
Bread Flour 320
Instant Garlic Mashed Potato 80
Water 220
Sour Cream 80
Lipton Onion Soup Mix 1 package
Active Dry Yeast 2 tsp

The sour cream is about 75% water; the total hydration works out to about 70%.  After some staring at the box of onion mix and trying to figure out what a “serving” was and multiplying that by the sodium information I decided the total sodium looked close enough to skip actual “salt” and I’d just see what happened. I did a little “research”, some popular recipes online were using similar ratios of flour to onion soup mix, so I figured it wouldn’t be a total disaster.

I kneaded the dough at low speed for 6 minutes, then covered it and allowed it to rest for 40 minutes. I then shaped it into a baguette and allowed a final proof of 45 minutes. Looking at the surface, I may have vaguely undermixed it.

The baguette then went into a 450F oven for 30 minutes. (In a related note, the silpat is supposed to be rated to 482F, so it was cutting it close.) I removed it from the oven when an instant read thermometer read 200 degrees.

Below is a picture of what happens when you don’t seal the seam very well. It was a fairly wet dough, and once it got on the silpat I didn’t want to degas it too much, so I decided the bit of seam that I saw running down the side of the dough was “good enough”. I shoulda coulda done a better job of tucking the seam on the underside. Oh well.

Three people besides myself ate the bread. I didn’t tell them what was in it. Two correctly guessed the onion, the other correctly guessed the garlic and potato. Nobody got the sour cream, which was hiding behind and the onion and the other stuff. Eating the bread with butter brought out some of the dairy elements of the sour cream; the bread tasted much better with butter — the butter was kind of like the rug that ties the room together.

Note the poor expansion on the top. That’s because the side blew out instead.

That makes sense though, doesn’t it? Butter goes great on baked potatoes too. We were just missing the bacon bits.

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