We find that although kneading this dough also works here, using a stand mixer is easiest to thoroughly incorporate the mashed potato into the flour, and to avoid being too generous with extra whole wheat flour, making for an incredibly soft and light loaf of bread. For a larger loaf, don’t divide the dough in half after the first rise shape it into one single loaf. Let it rise for 45 minutes, until puffed. Bake it for 30 minutes, until browned and hollow sounding when the bottom is tapped.
- Yield: 2 (8-inch) 20 cm loaves
- 3⁄4 cup (180 ml) lukewarm water, divided
- 22 g (1 tablespoon) molasses
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2½ cups (300 g) white whole wheat flour, more as needed
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 ounces (170 g) mashed potato
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) neutral-flavored oil
- 75 g (heaping 1⁄2 cup) coarsely chopped walnuts
- In a medium-size bowl, combine 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) of the water, molasses, and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes for the yeast to activate.
- Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Combine the mashed potato, remaining 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) water, and oil in a medium-size bowl, and pour on top of the flour mixture, along with the yeast mixture. Start mixing until a dough forms, about 8 minutes. Start incorporating the walnuts after 4 minutes of kneading time. Add extra flour if needed, 1 tablespoon (8 g) at a time, until the dough is smooth and pliable. Shape into a ball.
- Alternatively, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes, adding extra flour if needed, until the dough is smooth and pliable. Start incorporating the walnuts after 4 minutes of kneading time. Shape into a ball.
- Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 90 minutes.
- Punch down the dough. Divide it into 2 equal portions. Flour your hands, and shape each into an approximately 8-inch (20 cm) loaf. Place the loaves on a baking sheet, making sure the bottom of the bread is well floured so that the bread won’t stick as it rises and then bakes. Be careful not to leave too much flour on the sheet itself, because it might burn as the breads bake.
- Sprinkle the top of the loaves with some flour. Loosely cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for another 30 minutes, until puffed.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6).
- Remove the plastic wrap from the loaves. Bake for 24 minutes, or until the loaves are deep brown in color and sound hollow when the bottoms are tapped. Let cool on a wire rack.