Can potato flakes be used in place of mashed potatoes in bread dough?

I have a ton of potato flakes leftover from a bread machine recipe I tried ages ago when my bread machine worked. I have since converted to baking bread by hand. I didn't like the recipe from the bread machine cookbook I was using so I don't want to convert that recipe to be made by hand. I'm wondering if I can use the potato flakes to substitute for the mashed potatoes in a potato bread recipe?

  • Posted by: ktr
  • April 8, 2016


AntoniaJames February 27, 2018
May I weigh in on this again . . . . I caution against making mashed potatoes from flakes according to the package instructions, for use in bread recipes calling for regular, not instant, mashed potatoes. I've been testing and retesting all of my bread recipes, to convert / include mass measures; I'm also trying to figure out a reliable substitution rubric for mashed potatoes vs. flakes. I have found that the ratio of liquid to flakes can vary from brand to brand of potato flakes, as well as the moisture content of the hydrated flakes, which in turn results in widely differing outcomes. ("Epic failure" perfectly describes one recent loaf, I might add.)

May I respectfully suggest that, when using a recipe that calls for mashed potatoes, you ignore the package instructions and slowly add warm water to the flakes, stirring and then letting them sit for a few minutes, adding only as much as you need to get a realistic, not-too-wet mashed potato. After the've sat for another few minutes, check and add a bit more, if needed.
You might also considering using a good, well-tested recipe that calls for instant potato flakes in the first place.
Hope this helps. ;o)
Nancy February 28, 2018
AJ - good update using potato flakes, of my favorite breads is Jim Beard's Refrigerator Potato Bread. ;)
AntoniaJames February 28, 2018
Thanks for the tip, Nancy, on that James Beard recipe, which sounds so, so good. On my to-do list is to test / convert to mass measures all of the James Beard bread recipes I've loved over the years. I think I've nailed my potato flaxseed bread, at last - with the perfect loaf sitting on my bread board right now, not surprisingly, made with flakes. Potato flakes are so convenient - a real boon to home bakers. ;o) P.S. I'll post a link to that potato flaxseed bread recipe soon.
Nancy February 28, 2018
This sounds like (and is) one of his recipes handed down in thrifty American households. But it also has eggs, butter and optional milk, so winds up tasting mouse and rich. Having troubles in posting link, but you can find recipe at James or in his bread cookbook.
ktr April 11, 2016
I will give that recipe a try because sandwich bread is definitely what I'm after (4 year olds eat lots of PB&J's)
AntoniaJames April 11, 2016
I made hundreds of PB&J sandwiches with that bread, and then when they got to be old enough -- second or third grade -- my sons took over to make hundreds more. . . . and they still make them when they are here (they are both young adults). Nothing like homemade bread, homemade jam and natural peanut butter or almond butter. ;o)
Rachel April 8, 2016
short answer is yes. The instant potatoes are (at their heart) dehydrated potato flakes, and they can be used. I use instant potatoes in a roll recipe that I love from my mom. It is easier than having plain mashed potatoes on hand, spur of the moment, to bake with. Since I don't know your recipe exactly, I would think it'd be best to make the mashed potatoes first, but make them a little more stiff than the directions usually call for, then add to your recipe. Good luck!
ktr April 9, 2016
Thanks! I will give it a try the next time I'm baking bread.
AntoniaJames April 11, 2016
ktr, here is one my favorite recipes using potato flakes I've made it hundreds of times over the years - it was my go-to sandwich bread when the boys were taking lunches to school, and have continued since then because it makes such good toast. The potatoes give it a nice moist, almost chewy crumb.

I can no longer get potato flakes in bulk, so I tend to use mashed potatoes more often, making extra when we have them for dinner to freeze in small portions for baking.

When I could easily get potato flakes, I routinely substituted them in recipes calling for mashed potatoes. The key is to hydrate them fully before adding. Do a search on Food52 for recipes with "antoniajames bread potato"; I've made all of those breads using instant mashed potatoes.

Have fun! ;o)
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