Hungarian Potato Bread

potato-bread

14 Jun Hungarian Potato Bread

Many of our recipes end with the sentence: “Enjoy with a good rustic bread”. Bread is the staple food of Central Europe. We eat bread with everything. One of the challenges of moving was to find an everyday bread –  frankly, supermarket “sandwich” bread here is pretty bad. Sorry my friends, it is the truth. It is full of preservatives, different crazy sounding items and of course, sugar (that is true about everything. Everything tastes sweet here. It is like non-stop candy time). On other hand there are artisan breads. Well, those are amazing! The only problem is they are not priced for everyday eating. A good bread, which our family polishes off in 30 seconds, is $4. If you eat it once in a while, yes, it is the right price for something “special/artisan”. But if you eat it as Europeans do, yikes!
Hungarian potato bread Dough is pretty sticky So we make our own. Katy is a great baker and she has been making all kinds of amazing breads. The only thing I missed was the rustic Hungarian potato bread. So in order to surprise her one night I made the “no knead bread“, added a potato and adjusted it accordingly. I was amazed with the results – exactly what I was hoping for! Now I’ll share this Hungarian recipe with you.

The amazing Hungarian Potato bread

Hungarian Potato Bread

Use bread flour. I used King Arthur bread flour. Russet potatoes are ideal for this recipe, because they are nice and floury. The potato has a few roles in the bread making: it will keep the bread moist, adds a gentle potato flavor to the crumb and a light bitterness to the crust.

Ingredients

Makes 2 small loaves or 1 big one.

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 large russet potato
  • 1½ cups water

Method

  • Peel and dice the potato, then rinse off the starch in a colander. Cook it until soft enough to pierce with a fork. Once soft strain the water and let it cool.
  • In a large bowl mix flour yeast and salt. Mash the potato (or put it through a ricer) and add it to the flour mixture.
  • Add 1 cup of water and then more if necessary. The dough should be on the sticky side. Put it in a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let it rise at room temperature for 12 hours. After 12 hours you should have a sticky goo, basically.
  • Prepare a baking dish ( I used a small square stoneware baking dish) put it into the oven and preheat the oven to 500 F.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and divide it in half; each blob will be a small loaf. Try to fold the dough over onto itself few times. Shape them and sprinkle with flour. Let the first one rest for 30 minutes.
  • Dust the baking dish with flour and carefully put in the first loaf. Cover it with tinfoil and bake it for 25 minutes.
  • After 25 minutes, uncover and bake another 35 minutes or until the bread gets dark and crusty. That is what we want!
  • When the first loaf is ready you can bake the second one as above.
  • Let it cool before you eat it.

  • Katka

    Bravo! I did the bread only twice, as usually a good fresh baguette is available at ‘boulangerie’. But I love potato bread, completely unknown in France…

  • http://emperorscrumbs.com Valerian

    I am making it every day! Sometimes 2x. I am thinking to buying flour in bulk 25kg/50pound sacks. :)

  • BRO: KUZMA

    what a sticky mess! I have made no-kneed bread may times before and never had a mess this bad! I have added over and extra cup of flour. I am a regular yeast baker at home and have never had such a problem. will see what happens when I bak it.

    • http://emperorscrumbs.com Valerian

      yes it should be sticky and you have to work with it on a floured surface with bench scraper. gently folding it 1 or 2 x, that the air stays in. then you get the nice crunchy outside and soft inside.

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  • B.

    Wow, sounds really good. Even though I live in Hungary and just have to cross the street to get burgonyás kenyér I will put this on my “to try soon” list. I love the other recipes and intend to try as many as possible (I’m French, originally :)). Any ideas for how to make zsemle, by the way?

    • http://emperorscrumbs.com Valerian

      this is different burgonyas kenyer… trust me… the stuff you buy at shop is just junk comparing to this. the exception would be “paraszt kenyer” from Lipoth Pekseg (if you are in Budapest then they have a small shop on Lovohaz utca II. district). next year I will release version 3.0 :) … small improvements mostly in the technique of making this bread.
      well zsemle is not like it used to be. nowadays zsemle in Hungary is more air then “material”. I don’t know the recipe of this one, but my grand grand aunt might have a recipe in her recipe booklet. I will try to look it up.

  • B.

    Do you mean Lipóti Pékség? If yes that’s good, because that’s precisely the one I go to when I “cross the street”. But in a way that’s also not good, because their bread is not terribly exciting (hence my interest in home made burgonyás kenyér).
    Reliable informants indeed tell me that the zsemle situation is just not as it used to be in the good old days, which is why I’m interested to try and make the real thing for myself. Surely it can’t be that difficult, and I would be very interested in your great great aunt’s recipe if she has one. Thank you in advance!