Sourdough Potato Bread is the softest, most delicious “white bread” you’ve ever tasted. Soft and fluffy with just the right amount of bite and the perfect texture for sandwiches or toast.
This is so good! A nice soft bread to eat. Everyone loved it!
What is Potato Bread?
Potato bread is bread made with the addition of potatoes. Potatoes contain a magical component, starch! Starch naturally absorbs and holds onto water.
The secret to softer bread is higher hydration, yet flour can only absorb a limited amount of water. Potatoes, rich in starch, possess the ability to absorb and retain more liquid. Incorporating mashed potatoes into the dough increases its water content without becoming excessively sticky and difficult to handle.
What to Eat with Potato Bread
Potato bread is delicious and versatile. You can eat it with anything you’d eat with white sandwich bread. Serve it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s great with peanut butter and jelly, sandwiches, and grilled cheese. It also makes the best garlic bread.
What You Need
Bread flour - A higher protein content gives this loaf a lovely chewiness, if you don’t have any on hand, all-purpose will work great as well (do not substitute whole wheat flour).
Russet potato - Starch locks in a lot of water resulting in softer bread, it’s best to use Russets since they are higher in starch, but you can substitute any other type of potato, even sweet potatoes.
Potato cooking water - Don't toss this the water you cook your potatoes in. It will have a lot of starch in it, which will increase the starch content of your dough even more.
See recipe card for detailed ingredient information.
Make sure your starter is healthy, bubbly and active before attempting this recipe. Otherwise your dough won't rise and leading to a dense and gummy loaf.
Do you store your starter in the refrigerator? Check out my post on How to Bake with a Starter from the Fridge.
STEP 1 Cook the potatoes: Cook the potatoes (image 1). Mash the potatoes (image 2).
Don't forget to set aside 113 grams (½ cup) of the starchy potato water.
STEP 2 Make the dough: Mix the dry ingredients, potatoes, starter and potato cooking water in a large bowl (image 3). Knead the butter into the dough (image 4).
Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. This period allows the flour to fully hydrate, making it less sticky and much easier to handle.
STEP 3 Strengthen the dough: Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes (image 5). The dough should appear completely smooth (image 6).
When you start kneading, the dough may feel rough and uneven. However, as you continue to knead, the gluten strands become more organized and elongated. This process helps to smooth out the dough, giving it a uniform texture and appearance.
STEP 4 First proof: Let the dough rise untouched for 3 to 4 hours (image 7). At the end of bulk fermentation, the dough should look like it has doubled in volume and feel like it’s full of air (image 8).
I’ll be giving time cues in this recipe, but rising times will depend on the activity of your starter and the temperature in your kitchen. Be flexible and look for the signs of fermentation, instead of depending totally on the times stated here.
STEP 5 Cold ferment: Degas the dough, round and place in the refrigerator to ferment overnight (image 9). Divide the dough into 4 portions (image 10).
During cold proofing, yeast activity slows down due to the cooler temperatures allowing the dough to ferment more gradually and develop more complex flavors. Resulting in a much more flavorful bread.
If you want to bake this loaf on the same day, skip cold proof and proceed to shaping!
STEP 6 Shape the dough: Flatten the dough into a rough circle (image 11). Fold the corners into the center (image 12). Turn the dough over and round it into a tight ball (image 13). Nestle the dough into a loaf pan (image 14).
You can shape this loaf in any way. I find that using this method helps prevent the sandwich loaf from splitting as it bakes.
STEP 7 Bake: Proof until the dough has filled the pan, about 2 hours (image 15). Bake at 375 for 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown (image 16).
- Weigh your ingredients. Measuring with a scale is much more accurate than using cups and tablespoons. This will help guarantee the success of your bake.
- Use a mature active starter, you’ll want a healthy starter that’s strong enough to efficiently ferment the dough and allow it to rise.
- Use bread flour instead of all-purpose, with a higher protein level, bread flour improves the structure of bread resulting in taller, softer bread.
- Let the bread cool completely before slicing, while it may be tempting to tear into this bread right out of the oven, slicing it while it's still hot will cause all of the moisture to escape and cause your bread to dry out faster.
Absolutely, make sure your starter is mature and active before you mix up your dough. Using an inactive starter may slow fermentation down too much which could increase the acidity of your dough, this could break the gluten down too much making your baked loaf unpleasantly sour and gummy.
You can use any type of potato for this bread, but it’s best to use starchy potatoes like Russets. The starch helps bind the ingredients together and helps with the softness of the bread. Waxy varieties will work out fine and you can even substitute sweet potatoes if that’s what you have on hand.
Bread usually ends up hard and dense because it’s under proofed. Make sure you give your dough time to rise, I’ll be giving time cues in this recipe, but fermentation can vary greatly depending on the activity of your starter and the temperature in your kitchen. Watch your dough and make sure it doubles or increases noticeably in volume before shaping it. Your dough should also be very puffy before baking.
The flavor profile of bread depends greatly on the flavor of your personal sourdough starter. If your starter is more acidic, your bread will have a distinctly sour flavor. However, if your starter is milder then your bread should have a slightly sweet flavor.
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Sourdough Potato Bread Recipe
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- 200 grams Russet potato about half of a large potato
- 113 grams potato cooking water cooled
- 420 grams bread flour
- 6 grams salt
- 50 grams granulated sugar
- 113 grams sourdough starter mature and active
- 56 grams unsalted butter softened
Click US Customary to view volume measurements
- Cook the potatoes: Dice the potatoes into 2-inch cubes, add potatoes to a small saucepan and cover completely with water. Bring the potatoes to a boil, cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Set aside 113 grams (½ cup) of potato cooking water. Mash the cooked potatoes. Set the mashed potatoes and water aside until they are completely cool. Do not proceed until your potatoes have cooled completely. Mixing your dough with hot potatoes could kill the yeast in your sourdough starter.
- Make the dough: Combine the potatoes and potato cooking water with the remaining ingredients except for the butter. Stir the ingredients together until your mixture forms a shaggy dough. Knead the butter into the dough one tablespoon at a time, waiting until each addition is fully incorporated before adding more. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for 30 minutes. Letting your dough rest will make it much easier to knead and handle.
- Strengthen the dough: Turn your dough out on a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough until completely smooth and elastic, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Bulk ferment: Round the dough into a tight ball, place it in a clean, lightly-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place until doubled in volume (about 3 to 4 hours).
- Cold proof: Degas the dough and round it into a tight ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it proof in the fridge overnight.
- Shape: Take your dough out of the fridge. Divide the dough into 4 portions, round each portion into a tight ball and nestle them into a Pullman pan.
- Second rise: Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until the dough is puffy and almost fills the pan.
- Bake: Once your dough is almost ready, preheat the oven to 425 F. Once your oven has reached temperature, place your dough into the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 375 F. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and registers at 200 F when probed with an instant-read thermometer.
- Enjoy: Remove your loaf from the pan and transfer to a wire rack. Let your bread cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
- Store and reheat: Store leftover slices in a zip lock bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.
These recipes were developed and tested using grams for precise measurements. To increase your chances of success, I recommend investing in a kitchen scale. I've included rough volume estimates (in tablespoons and cups), but they might not be totally accurate.
Remember all ovens are unique, these recipes were tested in my oven which runs cooler than others. You might need to lower the temperature if your bake appears to be browning too quickly. Monitor your bake closely and make adjustments if needed.