The Fresh Loaf

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Whole Wheat Sourdough 12% Potato Flake Milk Bread

Benito's picture

Whole Wheat Sourdough 12% Potato Flake Milk Bread

I had just enough potato flakes to use at 12% so decided to use it up for this bake.  Once again, I didn’t make a tangzhong by cooking the potato flakes with milk, but in theory, you do not need to do that when using these dehydrated flakes.  Although the potatoes are dehydrated, the starches in them are already gelatinized so once they hydrate should give you the benefits of a tangzhong without the extra step.  I did find this to be the case as this bread is very soft and keeps from getting stale quite a while.

One thing which is a negative I believe of this particular preparation is that the dough seems to be weaker than what I am used to for my milk breads.  You can see more tearing as the sides and at the top which I seldom get even when I add mashed potatoes and make a tangzhong, which in theory would be an even weaker dough.

For one 9x4x4” Pullman pan loaf.




Mix the levain ingredients in a jar or pyrex container with space for at least 300% growth. 

Press down with your knuckles or silicone spatula to create a uniform surface and to push out air.

At a temperature of 76-78ºF, it typically takes up to 10-12 hours for this sweet stiff levain to be at peak.  For my starter I typically see 3-3.5 times increase in size at peak.  The levain will smell sweet with only a mild tang.



Because the starches are pre-gelatinized in the potato flakes despite them being dehydrated, you do not need to prepare a tangzhong.  Instead, add the dry potato flakes along with your flour.



In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the milk (consider holding back 10 g of milk and adding later if this is the first time you’re making this), egg, salt, sugar and levain.  Mix and then break up the levain into many smaller pieces.  Next add the flour and the potato flakes.  I like to use my spatula to mix until there aren’t many dry areas.  Allow the flour to hydrate (fermentolyse) for 20-30 minutes.  Mix on low speed and then medium speed until moderate gluten development this may take 5-10 mins.  You may want to scrape the sides of the bowl during the first 5 minutes of mixing.  Next add room temperature butter one pat at a time.  The dough may come apart, be patient, continue to mix until it comes together before adding in more butter.  Again, knead until well incorporated.  You will want to check gluten development by windowpane during this time and stop mixing when you get a good windowpane.  You should be able to pull a good windowpane, not quite as good as a white flour because the bran will interrupt the windowpane somewhat.  Add the seeds, then mix again until they are well distributed.


On the counter, shape the dough into a tight ball, cover in the bowl and ferment for 2 - 4 hours at 82ºF.  There should be some rise visible at this stage.


You can next place the dough into the fridge to chill the dough for about 1.5 hours, this makes rolling the dough easier to shape.  Remember, if you do so the final proof will take longer.  Alternatively, you can do a cold retard in the fridge overnight, however, you may find that this increases the tang in your bread.


Prepare your pans by greasing them with butter or line with parchment paper.  


Lightly oil the top of the dough. Scrape the dough out onto a clean counter top and divide it into four. I like to weigh them to have equal sized lobes. Shape each tightly into a boule, allow to rest 5 mins. Using an oiled rolling pin roll each ball out and then letterfold. Turn 90* and using a rolling pin roll each out to at least 8”. Letterfold again from the sides so you have a long narrow dough. Then using a rolling pin, roll flatter but keeping the dough relatively narrow.  The reason to do this extra letterfold is that the shorter fatter rolls when placed in the pan will not touch the sides of the pan.  This allows the swirled ends to rise during final proof, this is only done for appearance sake and is not necessary.  Next roll each into a tight roll with some tension. Arrange the rolls of dough inside your lined pan alternating the direction of the swirls. This should allow a greater rise during proof and in the oven.


Cover and let proof for  4-6 hours at a warm temperature.  I proof at 82°F.  You will need longer than 4-6 hours if you chilled your dough for shaping. I proof until the top of the dough comes to within 1 cm of the top edge of the pan.


Preheat the oven to 350F and brush the dough with the egg-milk wash.  Just prior to baking brush with the egg-milk wash again.


Bake the loaves for 50 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 190ºF, rotating as needed to get even browning. Shield your loaf if it gets brown early in the baking process. After 50 mins remove the bread from the pan and bake a further 10 mins by placing the loaf directly in the oven on the rack with the oven turned down to 325ºF


albacore's picture

That looks great, Benny - I like the even crumb structure - appropriate for this kind of loaf.

Interesting what you say about the potato flakes weaking the dough. I've occasionally used some in doughs, but not at a 20% level.

I made a loaf with 7% in last year and interestingly, my bread log comment was that the dough was soft and I did not add any bassinage as I normally would, on account of this.



Benito's picture

I usually use much more tangzhong, 20% of the total flour and on top of that will add mash sweet potatoes.  Even with those I haven’t seen this degree of tearing on top eventhough the potato flakes were only 12% of the total flour.  I agree with you that the dough with potato flakes did seem softer and perhaps a bit stickier than usual.  I probably will stick to adding mashed potatoes especially now that I have small batches frozen in ziplock bags in the freezer.