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Back to Roots Potato Bread

By Andrea Vanderwoude and Amanda Stroud

Going as far back as Vandal history takes us, back to the original Vandal tribe, which is an East Germanic group. They were known to have eaten potatoes, which happens to be the trademark of Idaho. The Vandal history inspired our traditional homemade potato bread, while incorporating Idaho pride with the use of the famous Idaho Russet potato. The freshly baked, warm steamy bread is topped with mouthwatering honey butter, and makes for a Thanksgiving must have. Not only are you supporting your state with this crowd favorite potato bread, you are showing your Vandal pride, so put on you apron and support your Vandals all the way to the Spud bowl with our Back to Roots Potato Bread.

  • Yield: 1.3 lb. loaf, about 6 portions Portion: 1 slice 
  • Oven: 450° for the first 5 minutes, then 400° Bake: 50 minutes 


  • 2 Medium Idaho Russet Potatoes (washed and peeled) about 400 grams 
  • 2 tsp. oil 
  • ¼ cup cooking water from the potatoes 
  • 1 tsp. dried yeast (instant or not) 
  • 2 ½ cups Better for Bread Flour 
  • 1 tsp. salt 


  1. Peel potatoes and cut into about 6 pieces each.
  2. Cook in unsalted water until tender. Drain, keeping the water. Place the potatoes back over low heat for several minutes, shaking the pan to steam dry.
  3. Remove from heat, cool and mash the potatoes.
  4. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm potato water and proof for 10 minutes in a warm spot, or until bubbles form.
  5. Mix potatoes, oil, salt, and proofed yeast together until smooth.
  6. Add the flour and mix with the beater or paddle attachment for 3 minutes on low or knead with hands.
  7. Switch to the dough hook and knead for 11 minutes, and be patient.
  8. Then knead for a minute on a floured work surface, until dough is smooth and just slightly tacky.
  9. Place in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise in a warm place for thirty minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 450°F with a baking stone (middle rack) for 1/2 to 1 hour before baking. Place an old baking pan on the bottom rack, ready for water.
  11. Shape dough into a boule, or round loaf, by flattening slightly, then pulling the edges together and pinching closed.
  12. Place the loaf, seam side down, on a floured, cloth-lined bowl. Fold the edges of the cloth over the loaf and let rise for 30 more minutes.
  13. Unmold the bread onto a peel or the back of a cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal, seam side up (seam side down produces a smooth-topped loaf).
  14. Shove the loaf into the oven, then place 1 cup of water in the baking pan below for the first five minutes to steam the crust and make it crispy then close the door, quickly.
  15. Bake for a total of 45-50 minutes, or until internal temperature is 190°F.
  16. For Honey butter: 1/4 pound butter, 3 Tbsp. Honey, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, dash of salt and vanilla. Top bread slices generously.

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