Manly Cooking: Potato Bread
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Real Men Bake from Scratch
Every guy should have a couple of great baked bread recipes that he can do well. Baking is a very manly type of cooking. Kneading bread dough will give you bulging biceps and forearms if you knead by hand. Of course, these days real men buy real man kitchen tools like my good old Kitchenaid mixer pictured to the right. There is no shame in using power tools for cooking, only in using wimpy ones like most women buy. Get a Kitchenaid mixer with all the attachments. You can even get an ice cream maker attachment for this thing. It's great.
The first recipe I'm going to give you in this series is a classic. There's bread and then there's potato bread. This is lovely stuff, especially hot out of the oven. It makes great sandwiches, toasts like a champ and you can cut nice thin slices of fat slabs of bread - your choice. This isn't hard to do. You can do it on a day off when you're puttering around the house or looking for an excuse to take a nap. You can tell your sweetie you're just waiting for the bread to rise. It doesn't always work, but then again, she may be so utterly shocked that you're baking something that she let's you kick up in the old recliner.
Either way, she's definitely going to brag to the other women about your baking prowess once she gets a bite of a slice of your soon-to-be world famous potato bread.
- Tom King
- 1/3/4 cups Lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons Butter or margarine
- 2 tablespoons Brown sugar
- 1 teaspon Sugar
- 1/4 cup Evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons Salt
- 4 cups White Flour (bread flour is even better)
- 3/4 cup Mashed potato flakes
- 1 packet Rapid-rise yeast
- Set the warm water aside, Make sure it's not so hot it kills the yeast. Pour a packet of yeast into the water and stir it up with a wire whisk till it's fully dissolved.
- Mix all the rest of the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and attach the dough hook to your industrial strength Kitchenaid mixer and stir the dry ingredients with the dough hook to distribute the dry ingredients evenly.
- Toss in the eggs and pour the water/yeast mixture in as the dough hook rotates. Leave the dough hook to thoroughly mix and knead the dough. I let it run for about 15 minutes till it's thoroughly kneaded and smooth.
- Check the consistency of the dough throughout the kneading process. If it's right it will form a solid mass that pulls off the dough hook easily. For potato bread it will be very slightly sticky, but shouldn't stick to your hands.
- Dump the dough ball out onto a cutting board and form the dough into a rough loaf shape with your hands.
- Spray the inside of your loaf pan with Pam to prevent sticking. You can also use oil or butter or shortening, but Pam works better and doesn't grease the outside of your bread.
- Set your dough into the loaf pan, cover with a kitchen towel and wait a couple of hours for it to rise fully. It will be just shy of loaf size when it's ready.
- Take nap while waiting.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When it's ready, put the loaf pan on the center rack and close the door. Check back about every ten minutes or so till the top is starting to turn brown.
- When the top is beginning to turn brown, pull the bread out of the oven, spread some butter over the top and then put it back in to finish turning a nice dark brown - about the color of, well....bread.
- Pull the bread out of the oven and turn it out onto the kitchen counter. Turn it upright and let it set there on a plate to cool. The smell will draw a crowd. Tell the assembled group you'd like to let the bread cool, but just for them, you'll give them a little sample while it's still hot. Tell them it's a recipe your father taught you or that you learned it while you were in the Army. Great food needs a great backstory.