Rosemary-Potato Bread

Preparation info

  • Yield:

    5

    loaves, 1 pound 10 ounces each
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

The Professional Pastry Chef

By Bo Friberg

Published 1989

  • About

Potatoes are not high on the list of culinary ingredients associated with Italy; however, they are plentiful all over the southern region (Puglia and Basilica in particular), and while it is certainly more common to find a baker in Northern or Eastern Europe adding this popular vegetable to bread, you will find it in Italy as well. This tuber, which is a member of the same family as tomatoes and eggplants, is added to the bread not for flavoring, but to retain moisture. The starch released by the potato helps trap liquid, producing, in turn, a soft, moist, long-lasting bread. One caution, however: Because of its high starch content, the bread will brown quickly, so it requires close attention during baking. For a traditional potato bread, omit the rosemary or try the Potato Bread recipe.

When the uncovered loaves are allowed a long, slow rising in the refrigerator overnight, the outside forms a crust. Once the loaves have proofed to their maximum potential, the interior creates irregular air pockets that give this bread its characteristic rustic appearance. The air pockets will be lost if the dough is too firm when it is shaped into loaves. If you cannot wait until the following day to bake—and taste—this absolutely delicious bread, you can let it rise as you would any other bread dough in a proof box, but the bread will not have the desired unusual-looking cross section when sliced.