The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Potato Bread

Prairie19's picture

Sourdough Potato Bread

Sourdough Potato Bread

The following recipe is based on Jeffrey Hamelman's “Roasted Potato Bread” converted to a liquid levain sourdough. The recipe is scaled down to make one loaf of about 780 grams. I think the adding potato improves crust color and makes for a milder sourdough flavor. The little flecks of potato add a surprising sweetness.

Bread Flour 318 grams

Whole Wheat Flour 68 grams

Water 193 grams

Liquid Levain (125% hydration) 153 grams

Salt 11.5 grams

Cooked Potato 114 grams

  1. Mix the levain: I have a very active starter, so I make the liquid levain about 6 to 8 hours before mixing the dough. Mix 80 grams of bread flour, 100 grams of water, and about 50 grams of mature liquid starter (125%). If you use a stiff starter add enough additional water to bring the total hydration to 125%. Cover and let stand at 70 to 75 degrees F.

  2. Cook the potatoes: If you haven't already done so, bake or boil some potatoes. Yellow fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold are especially nice. You can remove the outer skin or leave it on, whichever you prefer. (I take the skins off) Mash the cooked potatoes without adding any additional liquid and set aside.

  3. Mix the dough: Measure and mix all ingredients. (Save the leftover levain for the next baking.) I mix by hand in a bowl until the all the flour is totally moistened, let it set for 30 to 40 minutes, and then knead briefly with a plastic dough scraper or wet hand. Don't add any additional flour at this stage.

  4. Fermentation: Cover the bowl with plastic cling wrap and set aside at room temperature for an hour or two. At this point I usually retard the dough overnight in the fridge.

  5. Folding and Shaping: Next morning take the covered bowl of dough out of the fridge and let it set at room temperature for an hour or so. Then turn the dough out on to a floured work surface and stretch and fold about 2 or 3 times. Shape roughly. Cover the dough and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes and then do the final shaping.

  6. Final Proof: Place the shaped loaf, seam side down on parchment paper that has been dusted with corn meal. Cover the loaf with a large bowl and proof at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours or until doubled in size. When proofed, score/slash the loaf as desired. In this example I used a scissors to cut a star shape in the center of the loaf.

  7. Bake: I bake the scored loaf in a preheated cast iron pot at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake covered for 30 minutes, remove the cover, and bake for an additional 10 to fifteen minutes. Remove the loaf and cool.

Sourdough Potato Bread - Baked in a potSourdough Potato Bread - CrumbSourdough Potato Bread - Baked in a pot

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

for the recipe.  Love those scissor cuts.   --Mini O

susanfnp's picture

That is just a beautiful loaf. I have never made bread with potato but I think you've just given me the inspiration I need. Thanks for sharing.


browndog's picture

Makes me consider lugging out the dutch oven. Very very good-looking bread.

Susan, I can't believe you've never made bread with potato! I suppose next you'll say you've never made macaroni with, uh, cheese? Potato turns bread dough into velvet.

zolablue's picture

Your bread looks so good!


I have made Hamelman's roasted potato bread but just baked on a stone.  It is a wonderful, delicious recipe.


My grandmother's bread (Memo's brown bread) is made with both potato and potato water and that not only makes it delicious bread but potatoes have keeping qualities so bread stays fresh much longer.  I recently made Memo's white bread recipe, also using the potato and its water, and it was to die for sinful white bread with the most beautiful creamy-colored crumb.  Plus my aunt's sweet bread recipe that I make my cinnamon rolls with has potato water.  I guess they used this often in the past because it did help to keep breads longer. 

I'm dying to make potato pizza.  Don't potatoes make everything better?  (hehe)

matthewf01's picture

First-time posting here so go easy! :)

I'm a 22-year old guy, fairly new to breadbaking, new to sourdough too... but since sampling a deliciously sour piece of bread at the farmer's market, I set off on a mission to learn sourdough bread. I've been using the 'Friends of Carl' starter, and made three loaves so far.

The other day I finally happened across something I've been searching for for a while now - purple potatoes. Cooked them up last night and made purple mashed potatoes - excellent stuff! I have a little bit left over, not much maybe 1 cup. However I ALSO saved the cooking water. I reduced it down so its a little easier to store and INTENSELY PURPLE!!!

I wanted to know how you guys would advise using potato water in a recipe - do you simply use it as the water component of the recipe, in the same measurement amount?

Also, if I make a loaf with the potato water, should I also incorporate the rest of my mashed potatoes? I'd like for this to be a sourdough, my starter is ready for more work :)


Thanks a lot! If you think I need to open a new topic, maybe let me know. I'm still new to this site.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Question is: do you want purple bread?   Thanks for posting and welcome to TFL!

Just use the water as water.   I wouldn't count mashed potatoes as either flour or liquid unless they were runny.  You shouldn't add too much mashed potatoes and suggest you stay under half of the flour weight. 


matthewf01's picture

I don't expect my bread to actually turn out purple like the potato itself, or even the color the water is right now, but I did want to make use of this neato-looking water, so - sure, purple bread, why not! :)

I'll incorporate the potato water then, and the approximate cup of purple mashed I have leftover into a loaf. Any suggestions on a good basic sourdough that this might go well with? I've been following your postings, so I figured while I've captured your attention I might get a recommendation!

I'm still building out my bread-baking arsenal of flours, but so far I have on hand - AP flour, white unbleached bread flour, WW flour, and semolina flour.

I have some fresh rosemary on hand and thought it might be nice to do potatoes and rosemary in an artisan-style freeform loaf (I don't have a banneton - I have to raise mine in a greased-then-floured steep-sided bowl). There's a potato rosemary bread recipe on this site but it uses packaged yeast and makes buns. I guess, sure I could just turn it into a loaf instead, but the yeast-to-sourdough conversion question is killing me.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Or use the recipe you have been using successfully,  you're familiar with it and it's easy to compare and actually know what the potatoes do to your bread.  Potatoes do tend to make a stickier dough so be careful not to knead in too much additional flour. 

There are some good tips also about folding but it might take 3 hours for your dough to warm up coming straight from the fridge.  The above recipe method does not use a banneton.   Fresh rosemary (just the leaves and tender stems) can be finely chopped and added at the end of step #3 or rolled into the cold dough the next day.  How much to use is up to you, but it does get milder with baking.  You might want to split the dough and try half with rosemary.

When I need a banneton and have no baskets, colander or sieves suitable, I have made a towel sling and hung it from a upper cabinet door handle.  Flour a towel, position the shaped dough in the middle, bring up the corners and tie with rubber bands, knots, or cord leaving lots of room for the dough to expand, then hang up so the bottom is rounded.  Later invert onto parchment, slash and bake.


PaddyL's picture

I once used purple, or blue, potatoes in some cheese twists, bread, and they came out the most awful pinky-mauve colour.  They were delicious, but the colour put us off completely.

jmarshak's picture

Like the recipe. I have been struggling to bake bread in my less than ideal electric oven. I had thought about using a preheated dutch oven, so I am glad to see here that it works as I hoped it might. My only issue--and this was the case with my terracota baking stone until i got a peel--is how to get the bread into the preheated dutch oven after the final proof without ruining the rise. Any ideas?

mrfrost's picture

It can be deftly lowered(plopped) in, by hand. There are other ways though, like the "parchment sling method". Turning out of a banetton(bakst, bowl) is another.

Try to watch all the no knead recipes at to get familiar and comfortable with transferring dough to hot pots. There are several.

The transfer is done in the Part II video.

Links to other videos are on the left side of that page.

Prairie19's picture

I proofed the boule (right side up) on parchment paper with an inverted bowl over the loaf to prevent it from drying out.  Then I used the parchment paper as a sling to lower it into the hot dutch oven.  If you look closely at the photo you can see the paper around the edge of the finished loaf.  Prairie19

sewquilty's picture

I made this bread yesterday/today and it turned out fine -- looked like the picture and tasted just great.  I used a cast iron pot with enamel interior.  My big problem was getting the bread out of the pot.  It seemed to be stuck fast.  When it cooled I managed to get my hand in there and peel the bread out.  So am I missing something -- should I have oiled or sprayed the pot before I put the dough in?

jmarshak's picture

I have also used the recipe. It is great. Also, since first reading this recipe I bake virtually all of my bread in a cast iron dutch oven. I find that the bread not only looks nicer and has a better crust, but also seems to rise better when baked in the dutch oven. As for the sticking you may trying putting some semolina flour or fine cornmeal in the bottom before placing the loaf in. I have found that this is unnecessary and usually just results in burnt flour smell in the kitchen. One more modification: I usually just plop my proofed loaf into the pre-heated dutch oven. I have found that this does not affect the rise or loaf shape, also much easier than using a 'sling' or leaving parchment paper in the dutch oven.

sewquilty's picture

I might have to try a different container, although I don't have a simple cast iron dutch oven.  I see what you mean about the semolina or cornmeal and the burnt flour smell.  I might try cutting a piece of parchment paper and putting in the bottom of the pot.  I could crab the bread from the sides, it was the bottom that was the problem. 

Other than the issue of getting the bread out, the recipe worked very well and even though I have resisted using the "no knead" method up until now, I must admit that I'm beginning to be convinced.  Lovely crust, not much work, great texture, and quite lovely taste.  What's not to like? 

Thanks for your response.



kandymouse's picture

I just baked this, doubled the mashed potato, just eyeballed water (not much at all as I used double potato).  It was the best sourdough I have baked so far.  Thank you so much and it shall become a regular bread in our house!