Loaded Potato Bread

We interrupt these regularly scheduled fall recollections for a peak inside the real life that triggers them.

 

I wish that were my life, lounging about all day.  Well, I do  do a fair share of lounging, but there’s work mixed in too.  For those that don’t know, as of right now I am making ends meet by mooching off my fiancée Luke and tutoring.  Just kidding, I don’t mooch.  I think I earn my keep in the apartment as its head cleaner, cook, laundry-doer, and rabbit caretaker.  I have found tutoring very rewarding so far, it’s really amazing the difference a little one-on-one assistance can be.  Currently, all my clients are learning Chinese and I assist or teach them directly.  One of my students is 3 ½ years old.  Today, while learning about fruit, she decided it would be fun to fling canned peach syrup at me with a fork.  I cleaned off my clothes immediately with a wet paper towel, but forgot about my hair.  It had become a sticky mess.  Wonderful.

 

I stood out in the rain for a few minutes to let it “rinse” my hair.  I generally dislike rain.  When I was in Taiwan, it rained so often that I forgot what the sun looked like and got confused when it was able to peek out from behind the everlasting cloud cover of rainy season.  Since returning to the States, I’ve relished the sunshine, though sadly, our apartment doesn’t get much of it.  Still, standing out in the rain today, there was something oddly poetic about the patterns of strewn wet leaves on the driveway, their colors popping out against the black asphalt.  I went back inside and saw Izzy pull a move that looked like a kickflip, except she did it with her body.  Maybe I should get her out of the cage for a little while.  I got her a pen earlier this week so she has a bigger space to run/hop around in without me worrying about her hiding under the couch.  I am also trying to litter train her.  Wish me luck.

One of my favorite activities to do when it rains is bake.  I know, you must be thinking, don’t you do it all the time anyway?  The answer is yes, but when it’s raining, I like to tackle longer projects like bread.  I love making bread.  There’s a unique sense of satisfaction that comes from taking an awkward lump of dough and turning it into soft, fluffy, delicious bread.  I had half a bag of potatoes on the verge of being able to stare back at me, so I made a big batch of mashed potatoes.  What to do with all of them?  I found a couple recipes, and this is the first.  This bread is awesome!  I love scallions (I buy them in huge bunches in Asian markets cuz they’re so cheap!) so when I saw this recipe, I had to make it.  It’s soft, chewy, but not too chewy, with little bits of potato and scallion, oh so good.  I’m making an open face pulled pork sandwich on it tonight.  Though I also think that soup and a hunk of bread makes a pretty fine meal too.  Enjoy!

Loaded Baked Potato Bread
Adapted from Girl Versus Dough (I love her site!)

Yields: 1 sandwich loaf

Ingredients:
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, boiled and mashed with the skin left on (I used about 1 1/4 Yukon Golds)
1/3 cup cooked and crumbled bacon (I omitted this, not a bacon fan)
1/2 cup chopped green onions or chives
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Directions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine water and yeast and whisk until yeast is dissolved. Let stand about 3 minutes or until yeast is foamy. Add in butter, salt, sour cream and potatoes and mix with paddle attachment until combined. Add in bacon and green onions and mix until just combined. Add in flour in thirds, mixing with the dough hook, on low, as you add in the flour. Mix until dough completely pulls away from the sides, then remove the dough and knead by hand about 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Remove risen dough from bowl and press down with fingers into a 6 x 8-inch rectangle. Roll up tightly from the short end and place the dough, seam-side down, in a lightly greased 8 x 4-inch loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Once dough is risen, uncover and bake about 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a thermometer inserted in the center reads 190 degrees F. The bread should also make a hollow sound when thwacked on the bottom.
Remove from oven and cool in loaf pan about 10 minutes, and then completely on a cooling rack before slicing or serving.

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