Potato, Gorgonzola and Sage Bread
Editor's Note: This Potato, Gorgonzola and Sage Bread is unlike any other homemade bread recipe you've tried before. Potato bread is a deliciously dense, firm bread that's a comfort to eat on a chilly day. This potato bread recipe includes gorgonzola cheese for a burst of sharp flavor and sage for an added boost.
I love baking bread. When I lived - very briefly - on Middleduck Farm in the heart of the countryside in Litchfield, I instantly became Mrs Walton, making jam and baking bread every day. There is nothing like the smell of fresh-baked bread, and somehow living in the middle of nowhere on a very old farm with leaky roofs, I felt it would have been, well, bad form really, not to have baked bread. But, unlike serious bread bakers, I still have no idea how it works. I know about making a starter, and letting it prove (rise) before punching it down, etc., etc., but I don't really understand it. I do quite like experimenting with bread - adding caramelized onions, honey, maple syrup, nuts - and am perfectly happy to chuck it out when it doesn't work. I had tried to make this bread before, but the recipe didn't have yeast in it. Unsurprisingly, the bread was flat and heavy. Bread with potato tends to be stickier anyway, and so this time I added 2 teaspoons of dried yeast, fermented in 1/4 cup warm water for 20 minutes until bubbly and yeasty-smelling. I know, I know, I didn't know what yeasty-smelling meant either, but once you smell it, you won't forget it. It's sour and...well...yeasty. With the addition of the yeast, the bread came out perfectly. Even better toasted, I should imagine, with dollops of leftover bagna cauda on top... (I will not be finding out as I am now firmly back on the wagon, and bread is not invited on with me until extra poundage after that dinner has gone).
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe CourseSide Dish, Snack, Starch
Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Halal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegetarian
Taste and TextureCheesy, Herby
Type of DishBread, Yeast Bread
- 1 1/3 cups mashed potatoes, either warm or cold
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
- 1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt
- 1 1/3 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- Handful of finely chopped fresh sage
First get the starter going. Mix the yeast with 1/4 cup of warm water, and set aside for 15 minutes until it starts to bubble and rise. Mix potatoes with 4 cups of flour, salt and yeast mixture in a Cuisinart bowl. Add yoghurt, then water, slowly. Using the dough hook, give it around ten minutes. It will be very sticky, so turn it onto a well-floured surface, and knead by hand, adding at least 1/2 1/3 cup of flour, until it is soft and elastic - around five to ten minutes. This is my favorite bit, when I do truly feel like I am living on Walton mountain.
When done, turn out into a well-oiled bowl (just coat with olive oil), cover with a damp dishcloth and put in a cold place overnight, or a warm place for an hour or two.
When the dough is doubled in size, heat the oven to 425 degrees, punch the dough down, add the gorgonzola and sage, and fold the dough over. Knead for a couple of minutes until cheese and herbs are evenly spread, then form into a round loaf. Set bread on a baking sheet, loosely covered with a damp dishcloth (keep the cloth damp or the dough will stick to it). After about half an hour the dough will be doubled in size.
Put the bread in the oven for 20 minutes, then turn temperature down to 375, and cook for another ten minutes, or until it's cooked through. You can tell it's cooked by knocking on the loaf's underside - when it's cooked, it sounds hollow.