When potatoes first reached the European shores from Peru, where it was a staple, the Europeans did not care for its bland taste and used it as an ornamental plant instead. It wasn’t until the Irish famine (1700s), which saw the population drastically declining due to a shortage of grain, that the humble potato was adopted as a new staple.
In this context it is easy to see why it became common to add mashed potatoes to traditional bread recipes. Fadge, an Irish flatbread made mostly from potatoes, became a traditional favourite. It can be enjoyed with sweet and savoury dishes and is often served with a breakfast fry-up. Here are two potato bread recipes for you to try.
200g cooked potatoes, mashed
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup softened butter
½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 pack of active dry yeast
½ cup warm water
5 cups bread flour
Mix mashed potatoes, eggs and butter together. Stir in sugar, salt, yeast and warm water. Mix in enough flour to make a dough that can be kneaded by hand. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a bowl, cover, and let the dough rise for 1-2 hours until double in size.
Punch down the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface to knead out the bubbles. Divide dough and shape it into two loaves. Place loaves in two greased bread pans. Cover and let the dough rise a second time for 40 minutes or until double in size. Bake at 190°C for 40 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans allow to cool.
Potato flatbread (fadge)
450g warm cooked potatoes
Using warm potatoes makes the mixture easier to mix and shape, but cold mash can be used if you want to put leftover potatoes to good use. Mash potatoes very finely. Mix well until the flour and potatoes form a soft dough. Divide into two and shape into balls. Flatten each ball on a floured surface and keep patting down until it is roughly 1cm thick. Cut into quarters. Poke holes in the dough with a knife to help air escape while cooking.
Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until puffed up, in a hot pan over the stove or fire. Remove from the pan and poke holes in the bread to release any trapped air. Place on a tea towel and cover to keep the bread soft. Serve with lots of butter. –Ursula Human, Farm fare