Brett and I are always looking for new bread recipes to try, so when Brett received Beard on Bread by James Beard for his birthday, we were immediately excited to get baking. When confronted with a new cookbook it is a little overwhelming so we decided to tempt fate and just open the book and make the first recipe we saw. This happened to be Refrigerator Potato Bread.
We got off to a bad start. I put the yeast, warm water, and ALL the sugar in the bowl, and then realized that I was only supposed to add some of the sugar. We waited to see if the yeast would bubble anyway, but it didn't, so we threw it out. Oops!
Brett took over and got the sugar measurement correct, only he let it proof for 15 minutes instead of 5. We got distracted and didn't set a timer. Oops again!
While Brett mixed in the rest of the ingredients (milk, butter, sugar, salt, and eggs) I whipped up some mashed potatoes using some potato flakes that we've had in the cupboard forever. I couldn't believe that Beard says that it is okay to use potato flakes! Then Brett started adding flour to form a stiff dough.
Instead of rising like usual, this bread goes directly into the fridge overnight. The next day when we took it out it looked pretty much the same. Punching it down was like punching play-do. At this point I was worried, but we moved ahead. Brett formed it into a loaf and then we let it rise our traditional way for 4 hours.
This time it did rise, so I stopped worrying.
It baked beautifully and tasted wonderful!