The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Potato & Grits Rye Bread

isand66's picture

Potato & Grits Rye Bread


This is a 66% rye bread made with fresh milled rye sifted so it's close to a medium grind rye flour.  I added some fresh milled spelt as well which really compliments the rye.  I had some left-over cheese grits from my wife's breakfast the other day so into the mix it went along with some mashed potatoes which were roughly mashed.

This was a very sticky dough as the moisture from the grits and potatoes added a lot of extra water content.  The 58% hydration listed in the formula does not include the water from the potatoes and grits so in reality it is much higher.  If you don't feel comfortable with such a sticky dough you can adjust the water as needed. Also, keep in mind if you use store bought flour it may not be as thirsty as the fresh milled I used.

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.

This bread came out fantastic.  The crumb was nice and moist and open just enough to make a perfect pastrami sandwich with some melted cheese and Thousand Island dressing.

Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours.   You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours  and the water for about 1 minute.  Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour.  Next add the levain, grits, potatoes, olive oil, and salt and mix on low for 4 minutes.  You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but very manageable.  Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.  (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 540 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

Lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.

Below are some more photos from my gardens.  The summer flowers are starting to bloom now.  Enjoy!


Yippee's picture

and your bread, Ian!  I like adding mashed potatoes too because they soften the crumb. The  100% rye I made last time had mashed potatoes in it too, and the bread turned out so soft that you wouldn't think it's 100% whole grain! With all the fresh flours and cheese, your loaf  must taste amazing ! 

That little cage thingy is my favorite garden shot this time. It's so cute! What do you call it?

 Hope you're relaxed and enjoining Baking and gardening.


isand66's picture

Glad you like the bake.  Since you have been baking so many rye breads I figured you would like this one.  I don't have a PH meter so I can't be as precise as you :).  The potatoes and grits really made the crumb extra soft and flavorful.  I really like pushing the whole grains.  I used to add a lot more white flour in the mix since I was afraid I wouldn't get enough of a rise, but that doesn't seem to be an issue at all anymore.  This one really did taste great and made for some mean pastrami sandwiches and also some nice tuna.

The cage thingy are actually bird cages we bought a while ago from Home Goods for outdoor decorations.  We usually just hang them empty but my wife got creative and planted some succulents with colored moss and they came out beautiful. 

The sun is finally shining after 5 straight days of rain, so my dogs will be happy to not get soaked when we go for our walk in a few minutes :).

Enjoy your weekend!


Elsie_iu's picture

The crumb is wonderfully open for 66% rye even when sifted! The cheese grits sound like a nice complement for rye bread. I'm not sure if there'd ever be any leftover at my home though :) 

Your garden is how I'd imagine a paradise to look like if it really exists! The dreamy, pastel color is what I love the most about your flowers. Was color one of your major considerations when choosing the breeds? I especially adore the sky blue - light yellow combination on the Hyrdangeas and its serrated leaves. 

You always impress me by pairing rye with mashed potatoes and a porridge. As if rye alone isn't sticky enough! Truly a nice bake, Ian! 

isand66's picture

I was very happy with the open crumb on this one.  The fresh milled flours just add so much extra flavor.  My wife just got me some flour from King Arthur Flour since she had a gift certificate and to be honest I almost don't want to use it :).  The cheese grits added a nice extra flavor and moisture boost and I know you would enjoy it.  They were left over from a breakfast we had a few days before and I took them home with adding them to a bread in mind.  Glad you like the bake.

Thank you so much for the garden compliments.  We don't have a huge property, although the pictures may give that illusion, but we do spend a lot of time and energy, not to mention $$'s trying to improve it each year.  I always find a new area to work on and this year was no different.  I do look for different colors to compliment each other when planting for sure.  My favorites are the echinacea which seem to add more and more new varieties every year.  They are supposed to come back each season, but unfortunately that doesn't always happen so there is always room to plant more!

Happy Baking and weekend to you!


dabrownman's picture

that would look really nice between a couple slices of this bread.  We used to make bread lie this when Lucy was younger and I ate more bread.  This one really turned out fantastic inside and out and has to taste even better.

The garden is really starting to turn out lots of color which makes all the work worth it.  This will be the last week for the the cherry tomatoes and we trimmed the big purple hibiscus and other flowering bushes in the front yard this morning before the temps hit ramming speed even though it is is only supposed to be 99 today.

Lucy quit eating last week and started vomiting up yellow sludge and not able to control her bladder because she was drinking 3 times more water than usual.  When we took her to the vet we found out she was having the beginning of kidney failure.  She go an IV, some kind of shot and some nausea medicine and a new diet for dogs with kidney failure.  She is now back to eating and drinking normally now which is a big relief.

She sends her best to the black ones.  Well done and happy baking Ian.

isand66's picture

First, so glad Lucy is feeling better.  One of my cats had the same issue and had to go on the special KD food.  There was a holistic medication we bought for her also but I can't remember the name.  If you are interested I will find out and PM you.

Glad you like the bread.  This one was perfect for some of your smoked meats.  I smoked a small brisket a few weeks ago that came out pretty good.  Will have do another soon along with some ribs.  I'm trying to lose the 25 pounds I put on over the last year so it may have to wait a little.  I lost about 10 pounds so far, so just have to keep plugging along.

Still have a few hostas to plant today but mostly things are looking good.  While your tomatoes are at an end, mine are flowering and should have fruit any day.  My cukes and squash are exploding as well.  It finally stopped raining and the temperature has gone up to the low 80's so it feels like summer which is good for the veggies for sure.

My best wished to Lucy, please give her a belly rub from me and some kisses from Max and Lexi.