Leftover Mashed Potato Flatbread

By • February 4, 2010 • 19 Comments

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Author Notes: Potato has always been a magical, light as air ingredient in bread baking, especially when using leftover cooking water as the liquid in yeast breads. This flatbread recipe takes that idea one step further, with the addition of mashed potatoes into the yeast dough. We love this flatbread paired with soup or salad for lunch or a light supper. Feel free to change up the additions or herbs. - MrsWheelbarrowMrsWheelbarrow

Food52 Review: This recipe produces a simply delicious bread. I gave mine two long rises on the same day that I baked it, which resulted in a pleasant cross between a conventional homemade loaf and an artisan bread. The crust was chewy and beautifully fragrant, perhaps because I used a fruity olive oil and plenty of freshly picked rosemary (which I chopped with the salt, to absorb the oil in the leaves released while cutting). The crumb had a lovely texture and wonderful flavor. Mr. T was duly impressed, declaring, “This is like bread you’d get in a very good restaurant.” I wholeheartedly agree! - AntoniaJamesThe Editors

Serves two flatbreads

  • 1.25 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 cup leftover mashed potates, with or without skin
  • 3-4 cups flour (I use bread flour, but AP works fine)
  • 1 tablespoon salt - divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped - divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, or use 1/2 olive and 1/2 oil from the tomatoes
  • .25 cups rough chopped well drained pitted nicoise or kalamata olives
  • .25 cups rough chopped well drained oil packed roasted tomato
  1. Whisk together yeast and water in a large bowl and allow to bloom for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix together with the potatoes, one cup of flour and 2 tsp each rosemary and salt and allow to rest and absorb for 10 minutes.
  3. Add two more cups of flour and stir until the dough starts to come together in a shaggy mass. Turn out onto a floured surface and allow to rest for 10 minutes (while washing and drying the bowl, which you will use again.)
  4. Gently knead the bread. Lift it from one side using a bench scraper, fold and turn 1/4 turn. Then lift, fold and turn again. Do this several times until the dough has come together and is soft and elastic. Be gentle. You want to retain little pockets of potato. Add as little additional flour as possible. Instead, if the dough becomes sticky, allow the dough to rest, to absorb the flour, and then continue to knead until the dough is soft and elastic.
  5. Place the ball of dough into a well oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Allow to rise for 1-1/2 hrs. For a more rustic bread, allow to rise slowly in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
  6. When the dough has risen, line a sheet pan with parchment paper and oil the parchment well. Gently roll the dough out of the bowl onto the parchment. Divide the dough into two pieces and press the two breads out into rustic rounds or rectangles. Cover loosely and allow to rise for an hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425. Make dimples in the top of the dough with your fingertips and dab all over with the oil. Sprinkle with olives, tomatoes, coarse salt and rosemary.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The bread should read 190 degrees when it is done. Cool on a rack.
Jump to Comments (19)

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almost 3 years ago seeturtle

This was outstanding! I cut the salt in half b/c I felt like my potatoes were salty enough (caramelized onion/goat cheese ones from this site) but it was a mistake. My bread is not quite salty enough. The original recipe is perfect and when I remake it I'll stick to it :) Thank you!

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almost 3 years ago seeturtle

This was outstanding! I cut the salt in half b/c I felt like my potatoes were salty enough (caramelized onion/goat cheese ones from this site) but it was a mistake. My bread is not quite salty enough. The original recipe is perfect and when I remake it I'll stick to it :) Thank you!

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almost 3 years ago seeturtle

Outstanding recipe. Thank you!

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almost 3 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

I'm so pleased you tried it! Thank you for the nice comment!

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almost 3 years ago seeturtle

Outstanding recipe. Thank you!

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Wow, I just came across this. Have to try it this week. Potatoes, olives, roasted tomatoes (bags of them in the freezer!), oh my.

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over 3 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Please let me know how it goes!

Ry_400

over 3 years ago melissav

Mrs. W - We just enjoyed this with a bowl of veggie soup. It was the perfect lunch. The bread is so flavorful and just the right texture. We topped it with some halved grape tomatoes that we slow roasted in the oven all morning with some oil, salt, pinch of sugar, and rosemary. Thanks for an excellent recipe.

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over 3 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Hi Melissa, I'm so glad you enjoyed this flatbread. In fact, you have helped me plan my dinner by reminding me of this recipe! Ha!

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Mmmmm. Cannot WAIT to try this -- notwithstanding Mr. T's comment last night, "We have a lot of bread." (Gee, how did that happen?!) Will probably add pine nuts, and will probably try the 24 hour icebox rise. And will definitely leave the peels on, using red potatoes. Stay tuned. ;o)

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over 4 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

I'd like to address Antonia James' comments about salt in the mashed potatoes. I have made this bread for years, and in fact, made it several time just since I first put it on the site. (I taught it in a flatbread class recently, so lots of testing.)
I've had no problems at all with the yeast or the rise. In fact, while it slowly rose in the refrigerator yesterday, it was so rambunctious, it blew the ziplock bag open.

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almost 5 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks! Actually, the salt doesn't kill the yeast, it can just slow down its action. The less diluted the salt, the greater the effect. I'm going to test this recipe both ways . . . . adding salt with the potato mixture, and adding it with the larger quantity of flour later, to see the difference in the rise times. Over the years, I've developed the habit of always adding the salt well mixed with the flour. Time is usually of concern to me . . . I.e., I typically don't have the luxury of very long risings.

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almost 5 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

At what point do you add the yeast after you've proofed it in the water? I can't tell from the recipe. Thanks!

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almost 5 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Thanks AJ, fixed it - you start with the yeast proofed, then add flour, etc. One bowl - my kind of cooking.

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almost 5 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Mrs. W, when do you add the yeast mixture? I don't see it in the recipe. I ask because most people salt the water in which they cook their mashed potatoes. Salt kills yeast, instantly. In fact, the easiest way to utterly ruin a batch of bread dough is to put anything -- like salted potato cooking water or the potatoes themselves, if they have been salted -- directly into contact with the yeast. I know. I've learned this lesson the hard way. I do however save all potato cooking water (and freeze it within a day or two if I don't use it for bread or adding to soup) to use in my bread making. But I'm careful, and treat my yeast with the greatest of respect.

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almost 5 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

While I've heard tell of issues with yeast and salt, I've never had any problems at all with this, or other, recipes. I always bloom the yeast, and then add flour for a second short bloom, before adding salt and the rest of the flours and additions. Perhaps that's why there is no negative interaction.

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almost 5 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks, Mrs. W, for posting this recipe. Everyone should know that mashed potatoes greatly improve so many breads. (My icebox oatmeal roll recipe, posted at Christmas time, also uses mashed potatoes.) Actually, now that I think about it, we've always called my mother's potato roll recipe "Featherbeds," which just about sums it up. ;o)

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almost 5 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

This bread can be made with smooth mashed potatoes - like a potato puree - or a rough mash with the skins left on. I've made this flatbread with russet, red-skinned and yukon gold, and my favorite is the red skinned, with skins left on and smashed but rather lumpy.

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almost 5 years ago Jennifer Ann

What a great idea!