Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Potato Rosemary Bread

This is a beautiful bread to have with a bowl of hot soup or stew. Believe me...the roasted garlic and herbs makes a lot of difference to the bread. Aromatic and the texture is soft inside with a crispy crust. Rustic in look and the taste is wonderful. Let alone making them ....it was a joy to make this great bread and without a bread maker. I tell you , this is the reason why I heart Peter Reinhart 's BBA so much. No regrets buying this book and for bread lovers , this is a must have book :)  Will be getting another of his bread book soon :)  This Potato Rosemary Bread is full of bold flavor from the roasted garlics , biga and rosemary infusion.

The Italians call this bread panmarino.  Peter Reinhart gave the idea to use leftovers mashed potatoes as it is one of the ingredients for this bread . The potato starch will softens the dough and gives the bread a pleasing tenderness as you can see from my bread photos :p  and the roasted garlic and fresh rosemary gave the bread a burst of flavor. Do try making this bread and you will know what I meant by it is a wonderful bread.  This bread goes well with mushroom soup or any of your favorite stew dishes.  I made Venison Stew to go with this bread. I will be sharing the recipe on the Venison Stew on my other blog .  You can imagine how tasty it is.....delicious .  Or you can apply a layer of your favorite jam on the slices if you  do not have the time to make your mushroom soup or stew.  It taste just as good. And it remains soft till the next day :)

love the crispy crust...and the flavorful soft interior

Potato Rosemary Bread -  ( adapted from Peter Reinhart BBA )

Biga   - makes about 18 ozs

2 1/2 cups ( 11.25 ozs)  unbleached bread flour
1/2 tsp  ( .055 ) instant yeast
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsps to 1 cup ( 7 - 8 ozs ) water at room temperature

Method for making biga

Stir together the flour and yeast in a 4-quart bowl ( or in the bowl of an electric mixer ) Add 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp of the water, stirring until everything comes together and makes a coarse ball ( or mix on low speed for 1 minute with the paddle attachment ) Adjust the flour or water according to need, sot that the dough is neither too sticky nor too stiff  ( It is better to err on the sticky side , as you can adjust easier during kneading. It is harder to add water once the dough firms up )

Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for 4 to  6 minutes  ( or mix on medium speed with the dough hook for 4 minutes ) or until the dough is soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. The internal temperature should be 77° to 81° F.

Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours, or until it nearly doubles in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl, knead it lightly to degas, and return it to the bowl, covering the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. You can keep this in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze it in an airtight plastic bag for up to 3 months.

Making the bread


1 1/4  ( 7 ozs)  cups biga
3 cups plus 2 tbsp  ( 14 ozs )  unbleached high gluten or bread flour
1 1/2 tsps  (  .38 oz ) salt
1/4 tsp ( .03 oz) black pepper, coarsely ground ( optional)
1 1/4 tsp ( .14 oz) instant yeast
1 cup ( 6 ozs) mashed potatoes
1 tbsp  ( .5 oz) olive oil
2 tbsps ( .25 oz) coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp to 1 cup water at room temp ( or warm if the potatoes are cold)
4 tbsps ( 1 oz ) coarsely chopped roasted garlic ( optional)

Olive oil for brushing on top


Remove the biga from the refrigerator 1 hour before you plan to make the bread. Cut it into bout 10 small pieces with a pastry scraper or serrated knife. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour to take off the chill.

Stir together the flour, salt , black pepper, and yeast into a 4 quart mixing bowl ( or in the bowl of an electric mixer ) Add the biga pieces, mashed potatoes, oil , rosemary, and 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsps water. Stir with a large spoon ( or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment ) for 1 minute, or until the ingredients form a ball. Add more water if necessary or mor flour, if the dough is too sticky.

Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin to knead ( or mix on medium speed with the dough hook ) Knead for approximately 10 minutes ( or 6 minutes by machine ) adding more flour if needed, until the dough is soft and supple, tacky but not sticky. It should pass the windowpane test and register 77° to 81° F. Flatten the dough and spread the raosted garlic over the top. Gather the dough into a ball and knead it by hand for 1 minute ( you will probably have to dust it with flour first to absorb the moisture from the garlic) lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 2 equal pieces for loaves , or 18 equal pieces ( about 2 ozs each ) for dinner rolls. Shape each of the larger pieces into a boule or shape the smaller pieces into rolls. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment ( use 2 pans for rolls ) and dust lightly with semolina flur or cornmeal. Place the dough on the parchment, separating the pieces so that they will not touch, even after they rise. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Proof at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours ( depending on the size of the pieces ) or until the dough doubles in size.

Preheat the over to  400° F with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Remove the pastic from the dough and lightly brush the breads or rolls with olive oil. You do not need to score these breads, but you can if you prefer.

Place the pan (s) in the oven. Bake the loaves for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking. The loaves will take 35 to 45 minutes total to bake. Bake the rolls for 10 minutes, rotate the pans, and then bake for 10 minutes longer. The loaves and rolls will be a rich golden brown all around, and the internal termperature should register at least 195° F. The loaves should make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. If the loaves or rolls are fully colored but seem too soft, turn off the oven and let them bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes to firm up.

Remove the finished loaves or rolls from the oven and cool on a rack for a t least 1 hour for loaves and 20 minutes for rolls before serving.

Enjoy !


  1. I know this will become my favorite bread, I like Western style of savory bread. Bookmarked !

  2. yum! I just got some starter from a baker and have been looking for some great bread recipes to try. This looks perfect. Saved!

  3. you bake really good breads :) i don't think i can bake such bread like you !

  4. Wow what a gorgeous loaf of bread! It looks so flavorful!

  5. I love all the savory components of this bread! You can't go wrong with Reinhart!

  6. another great rustic looking bread and i can see that the texture is very soft..love this, hope to try this too someday!

  7. I haven't tried this recipe from the BBA, I'm still playing around in the early part of the alphabet :) Your bread looks so light and airy, now I want to skip to the end of the book and make this!

  8. I love baking bread too although I can't really bake one a day because I simply can't finish a loaf in a day! This looks like a great bread to bake!