Sheet Pan

Leftover Mashed Potato Flatbread

February  4, 2010
1 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Makes 2 flatbreads
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! —MrsWheelbarrow

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Mrswheelbarrow is a long-time Food52 member and author of Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry.
WHAT: A happy (crusty, warm, bready) home for Thursday's mashed potatoes.
HOW: Grab your container of Thanksgiving mashed potatoes out of the fridge, and mix them together with flour, yeast, and rosemary to make a dough. Bake with roasted tomatoes and kalamata olives on top and eat with turkey (if there's any left!).
WHY WE LOVE IT: Mashed potatoes never quite retain the same buttery, smooth goodness that they have when they come out of the pot (or casserole dish!), but even potatoes deserve second chances. This recipe gives them a new, fluffy life—that just so happens to pair perfectly with Thanksgiving sandwiches. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons baker's yeast
  • 1 cup leftover mashed potates, with or without skin
  • 3 to 4 cups flour (I use bread flour, but all-purpose works fine), divided
  • 1 tablespoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, or use 1/2 olive and 1/2 oil from the tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup rough-chopped, well drained pitted niçoise or kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup rough-chopped, well drained oil-packed roasted tomatoes
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together yeast and water and allow to bloom for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix together with the potatoes, 1 cup flour, and 2 teaspoons each rosemary and salt, and allow to rest and absorb for 10 minutes.
  3. Add 2 more cups of flour and stir until the dough starts to come together in a shaggy mass. Add the yeast and 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 dough. Lift it from one side using a bench scraper, fold, and rotate a quarter-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 hours. 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° F. Make dimples in the top of the dough with your fingertips and dab all over with the oil. Sprinkle with olives, tomatoes, and the remaining 2 teaspoons each of coarse salt and rosemary.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The bread should read 190° F degrees when it is done. Cool on a rack.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • boulangere
  • melissav
  • AntoniaJames
  • MrsWheelbarrow
  • Jennifer Ann
    Jennifer Ann
Four cookbooks. 100s of recipes online. It all started with Food52

21 Reviews

ellie R. January 18, 2020
I was searching for ways to use up leftover mashed potatoes and came across this recipe. Because most of us are not exactly fond of olives, I simply used the base recipe and left it with just a bit of olive oil on top. This is an incredibly versatile dough and I've now made it a number of times, adding in some chopped garlic to one batch and sprinkling the top with sesame seeds or everything bagel seasoning on other batches. I'm a novice baker and I love how easy this was to make!
seeturtle February 4, 2012
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!
seeturtle February 4, 2012
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!
seeturtle February 4, 2012
Outstanding recipe. Thank you!
MrsWheelbarrow February 4, 2012
I'm so pleased you tried it! Thank you for the nice comment!
seeturtle February 4, 2012
Outstanding recipe. Thank you!
boulangere May 22, 2011
Wow, I just came across this. Have to try it this week. Potatoes, olives, roasted tomatoes (bags of them in the freezer!), oh my.
MrsWheelbarrow May 22, 2011
Please let me know how it goes!
melissav May 22, 2011
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.
MrsWheelbarrow May 22, 2011
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!
AntoniaJames April 15, 2010
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)
MrsWheelbarrow April 6, 2010
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.
AntoniaJames February 5, 2010
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.
AntoniaJames February 5, 2010
At what point do you add the yeast after you've proofed it in the water? I can't tell from the recipe. Thanks!
MrsWheelbarrow February 5, 2010
Thanks AJ, fixed it - you start with the yeast proofed, then add flour, etc. One bowl - my kind of cooking.
AntoniaJames February 5, 2010
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.
MrsWheelbarrow February 5, 2010
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.
AntoniaJames February 4, 2010
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)
MrsWheelbarrow February 4, 2010
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.
Nancy December 1, 2015
This is a lovely, mm...olives et al. Agree on potatoes improving bread. See, for ex, one of my favorites - James Beard Refrigerator Potato Bread
Jennifer A. February 4, 2010
What a great idea!