Potato bread is a type of bread that is made with potato flour or mashed potatoes as one of the main ingredients. It is often denser and more moist than other types of bread, and has a slightly different flavor due to the potato content.
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This hearty, yellow-tinted bread includes, as its name suggests, potato flour. The thickness, texture, and even the amount of potato in the bread heavily depends on the region from which your loaf comes. South American potato bread, like the kinds popular in Brazil and Chile, are lighter and airier than the denser, European-made loaves.
Regardless of which region's recipe you prefer, potato bread is a hearty addition to your diet from which you can gain several nutrients in one meal. Because of its incorporation of the starchy potato, potato bread keeps you fuller longer.
While most potato bread recipes include wheat flour in addition to dried potato, flour was omitted from the earliest European versions, making it easy to feed large families during periods of famine, since potatoes were more inexpensive and easier to grow than wheat.
The rest of this article will tell you all you need to know about this hearty, bread, including its history, the ingredients, and nutritional information.
The History of Potato Bread
While potato bread is most commonly associated with Northern Ireland, potato bread coming in many forms and variations including
However, it is the French pharmacist and agriculturalist Antoine-Augustin Parmentier who is credited with developing the first recipe for potato bread in the late 1770s. This first recipe contained no wheat flour at all and used only dried potatoes as a substitute. It was dense, but cheap and easy to make when wheat was in short supply.
As inspiration for his signature recipe, Parmentier recalled his experiences living almost solely on potatoes when he'd been a prisoner of war in Prussia during the Seven Years' War. Before Parmentier's discovery, the French hadn't considered the potato a part of the human diet, fearing that it caused leprosy and using it only as hog feed.
During World War I, German citizens used potato bread as a cheap alternative to wheat bread, as grain was extremely scarce. This German potato bread was known as kartoffelbrot.
This was a similar case for Irish citizens, as potatoes were a national staple and incorporated into many different potato bread recipes. Potato bread goes by various names throughout Ireland, including potato farls, slims, fadge, potato cakes, and tatie bread.
South American potato bread has been a part of Brazilian and Chilean cuisine both in the past and in modern times. This isn't surprising, as the potato originated in South America over three thousand years ago and wasn't introduced to Europeans until the Spaniards came to South America in the 1600s.
Ingredients in Potato Bread
Potatoes are, of course, the main ingredient in potato bread recipes. However, the amount of potato in comparison to wheat flour varies depending on the region and recipe. European potato breads include little, if any, wheat flour while South American recipes include more flour or grain than potato starch.
Ingredients in potato bread:
- Russet potatoes (have more floury texture than other potato types)
- Wheat flour (depending on the recipe, can be omitted)
- Olive oil
- Rye and/or spelt flour (if making German kartoffelbrot)
Potato Bread Nutritional Information
Potato bread is high in potassium and low in fat, making it an ideal replacement for traditional sandwich bread for those who are aiming to lose weight. It is also high in fiber and protein, with 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber per slice.
How to Make Potato Bread
Since each potato recipe varies, below I've included the steps for traditional Irish potato farls.
Either by mashing the potatoes or using a potato ricer, prepare approximately one pound of potatoes. Then add butter. Next, add salt to taste. When you mix in the sifted flour, the ingredients will form a soft, workable dough similar to wheat bread.
Fold over until smooth, then divide and roll each half into a ball. Roll one ball into a circle about 1/3 inch thick and cut into quarters using a knife. Repeat with the other half.
Heat a pan or griddle. Don't use oil or butter. Brown both sides and place on a plate or a clean paper towel. You now have a helping of traditional Irish farl!
Potato Bread Recipes
Potato bread comes in many forms, depending on the region where it's made. The Irish farl is one common recipe, which uses very little wheat flour. German kartoffelbrot is made with both rye and spelt flour, making it a dark, hearty bread that pairs well with butter.
Potato Bread FAQ's
There are various ways to make potato bread, but the most common method is to add potato flour or mashed potatoes to the dough before baking. This gives the bread a unique texture and flavor that sets it apart from other types of bread.
Potato bread offers a few different benefits over other types of bread. One benefit is that it is often more moist and dense, which can make it more filling. Additionally, potato bread usually has a slightly different flavor due to the potato content, which some people prefer.
One potential drawback of potato bread is that it is often denser and heavier than other types of bread. This can make it less ideal for light meals or snacks. Additionally, potato bread may not be suitable for those on a low-carb diet due to the potato content.
The carb content of potato bread will vary depending on the recipe and ingredients used. However, potato flour itself is relatively high in carbs, so potato bread is likely to be higher in carbs than other types of bread.
Potato bread can be gluten-free if it is made with potato flour that does not contain any gluten. However, some recipes for potato bread may use wheat flour or other ingredients that contain gluten, so it is important to check the label or recipe to be sure.
Potato bread can be vegan if it is made with potato flour and non-dairy milk instead of cow's milk. However, some recipes for potato bread may use eggs or honey, so it is important to check the label or recipe to be sure.
Potato bread can be healthy if it is made with whole wheat flour, potato flour, and non-dairy milk. However, some recipes for potato bread may use white flour, butter, or other unhealthy ingredients. So, it is important to check the label or recipe to be sure.
The main difference between potato bread and regular bread is that potato bread is made with potato flour or mashed potatoes as one of the main ingredients. This gives potato bread a unique texture and flavor that sets it apart from other types of bread.
Yes, you can certainly make potato bread at home! There are a number of different recipes available online and in cookbooks. potato flour or mashed potatoes as one of the main ingredients.
Potato bread often has a slightly different flavor than regular bread due to the potato content. Additionally, potato bread is often more dense and moist, which can also impact the taste.
Potato bread is widely available at most grocery stores. However, if you're having trouble finding it, you can also check online retailers or specialty stores that sell baking supplies.
Ideally, potato bread should be stored in a cool, dry place. However, it can also be stored in the refrigerator if you prefer. Just be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.
Potato bread will typically last for 3-5 days when stored properly. However, if you store it in the refrigerator, it may last up to a week.
Yes, potato bread can be frozen for longer-term storage. Just be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out. When you're ready to eat it, simply thaw it at room temperature or pop it in the microwave for a quick defrost.
There are a number of different potato bread recipes available online and in cookbooks. Some popular recipes include potato-cheddar bread, potato rosemary bread, and potato garlic bread.
The process for making potato bread will vary depending on the specific recipe you use. However, most recipes will require you to mix together the wet and dry ingredients, knead the dough, shape it into a loaf, and then bake it in the oven.
Yes, you can certainly add toppings to potato bread! Just be sure to wait until the bread has cooled completely before adding anything, as toppings can cause the bread to become soggy. Popular toppings include butter, cheese, and jam.
Potato bread can be served a number of different ways. It can be enjoyed on its own as a snack or dessert, or it can be used as the base for a sandwich or toast. potato bread is also commonly used for French toast and croutons.
Some helpful tips for making potato bread include using potato flour instead of regular flour, using non-dairy milk instead of cow's milk, and adding an extra potato to the dough for extra moisture. Additionally, be sure to knead the dough well and let it rise in a warm place for best results.