The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Old Time Light Bread

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AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Old Time Light Bread

When I was searching through a file of recipes I came across this one, written on a sheet of lined paper goodness knows how many years ago. I don't remember ever baking it but wonder if anyone here knows the bread and maybe tried it. I won't give the entire recipe but basically it calls for potatoes which are boiled and mashed, and when they are cool enough sugar salt and yeast are added. This mixture is kneaded and formed into a ball which is covered and put to rise. Half of the potato ball is added to milk, sugar, butter, salt and ap flour and the other half is saved for another baking. Makes pan loaves or 36 rolls. Does this sound familiar? Any comments, success or otherwise? Has all the ingredients for tender bread, and I wish I could remember where I found it, A.

Comments

granniero's picture
granniero

I have made several types of breads with potatoes in them and also one that calls for a starter type like you describe. My regular sourdough doesn't have potatoes in it, but i can add them to the recipe when needed.  I haven't tried a recipe like this that I didn't like and they always turn out tender and very good. I have used recipes also that call for the instant potato flakes and find they work equally as well. I have been making burger/sandwich rolls as of late using my recipe with the flakes and adding sesame seeds or onion bits to the top. Excellent results. I don't think you can ever go wrong with potatoes in bread, helps in rising also.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Potato preferment, sounds like it could have easily been adapted from a sourdough recipe. It could also easily be reversed using 15g of firm sourdough instead of yeast.

Sounds a lot or is similar in concept to this 1906 recipe for potato yeast only yours might be a firmer version. 

Mini O

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Mini, I may have to buy spuds to give it a try. The recipe you posted must be pretty strong if a teacup full will make so many loaves. I'm sure I copied mine down long before I had heard of preferment or firm sourdough starter. I am so peeved because I have mislaid an entire folder full of recipes and who knows what treasures it contained, nor did I find the one I was looking for so it has to be in the missing file. A.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Been exploring that cookbook...LOOK AT THIS Doesn't that make you think?

There are all kinds of yeast extending recipes!  One cup of baker's yeast!  

Mini O

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Mini, what is the name of the book and where did you find it? Those are some HUGE amounts of starter! I recently found an older book in a thrift store, "Alaska Sourdough" by Ruth Allman. My copy was from 1976, and it is all "handwritten" and most of the recipes call for large amounts of starter. Fun to read but I'm not tempted to try them. I am also reading a book of letters from a woman who spent a year in a "soddy" in the Dakota Territory with 6 children, her father and brother. This was in the late 1880s and she cooked with coal, and talks about making biscuits and bread. Makes me feel like a wimp! A.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

out of Illinois.  I've seen some older ones from Michigan with similar recipes 1887 or so.  These  recipe books are collections of recipes that had already circulated before that time.  Hand copies were common before the 1980's.   Yes that is about the Time the Dakotas were being mass settled also corresponds with record harvesting of wheat.  Maybe they had lots of wheat but little yeast to go around, although that does sound a little odd, but the idea of mixing up a large batch of yeast and then using it until it is almost gone is not a new concept.  That cookbook has so many ways of creating active yeast cakes, and the amount of salt will forever put an end to the discussion about salt killing yeast.  

Mini O

josordoni's picture
josordoni

I think that a lot of the yeast used for baking at this time was yeast from beer making, skimmed off the top of the fermenting ale as a slurry for baking, with a lot of water still in it, rather than the dry compressed yeast we are used to dealing with. 

Compressed or German yeast was being used by the mid 19th century,but I would expect that a lot of country recipes would still have the old measures.

quiltedhorses's picture
quiltedhorses

my mother made bread twice a week with sliced boiled potatoes, then mashed them in the water with some butter, cooled it, and all this was added to her bread.  She made 5 loaves twice a week, and they were the best bread.  I still do the same thing, it makes a great white bread.