I’ve always loved baking, ever since I was a teenager. But I’d never attempted baking bread – it always felt too intimidating. But then quarantine came along and, if you could get your hands on some yeast (no easy feat!), baking bread became the thing to do as we slipped into a different way of life. My mom used to bake us bread all the time growing up and I remember loving her potato bread so I set out to find a recipe to try. I ended up choosing this potato bread recipe from King Arthur Flour.  Being a bread-baking newbie, I felt comfortable with the ingredients and directions so thought I’d give it a go. It was such a hit that I now bake it weekly for my family. Every Sunday morning, the house is filled with the fragrant aroma of freshly baked bread.

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Now that I’ve made the bread so many times, I have some tips and observations so if you’re interested in giving it a try, hopefully this will help.

I love that you simply add all the ingredients into a bowl and start beating using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer. (I made this bread using my KitchenAid stand mixer but the recipe also provides instructions if you’re using a bread machine.)

After you beat the ingredients together with the paddle attachment, you switch to the dough hook. Beating and kneading the dough takes so much effort on the mixer’s part that I find mine gets really hot. Also, all that banging on the bowl sort of screws it in to the base of the mixer tighter and tighter. I have a difficult time getting the bowl off when I’m done so you’ll need some extra elbow grease or maybe even a rubber mallet to loosen and knock it out. Also, the agitation on the mixer makes it move ever so slightly with each turn of the dough and once when I wasn’t watching, I looked up just in time to see my mixer inching perilously close to the edge of the counter. So – don’t just walk away from your mixer while it’s in action. I suggest staying close by!

Once the dough is ready, the recipe instructs you to scrape the dough into a ball and place it in the fridge in a lightly greased bowl. NOTE: The dough is extremely soft and sticky and a bit difficult to transfer to your greased bowl but it’s supposed to be very sticky. The recipe doesn’t say anything about covering the dough when you refrigerate it but I assume that you should. The first time I made the bread, I covered the bowl with a clean dish towel. But the dough came out of the fridge with a hardened skin on top due to its exposure to air. So on subsequent efforts, I covered the bowl with cling wrap and the dough stayed fresher and softer and didn’t develop a skin.Lastly, the recipe instructs you to tent your loaf pans with foil for the second half of the baking time. The first time I made the bread, I tented the pans by placing the foil loosely on top. But the bread came out quite crisp and brown on top. Now, I place the foil tightly around each pan and let it continue to bake while preserving its beautiful golden color and less crusty top. But that’s just a matter of personal preference.This potato bread recipe is a huge hit at my house. If you try it, I hope you love it and let me know how it goes in the comments below. And if you have any bread baking tips and tricks for me, I’d love to hear those, too!

Natalie DiScala

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