Janny de Moor Janny de Moor

Potato bread from Hungary

Ingredients

Baking tools:

  • dark baking tray
  • pizza peel lined with
  • non-stick baking paper

 

Dough:

  • 3 floury potatoes (130 g)
  • about 450 g bread flour
  • 7 g easy-blend/easy-bake dried yeast
  • about 250 ml luke warm water
  • 1 1/2 tsp caraway seed
  • 7 g salt

Due to the shortage of wheat during the Napoleonic wars in the beginning of the 19th century Europeans got the idea to fill up their wheat meals with boiled potatoes. In Hungary a brilliant bread was composed of these ingredients: Köménymagos krumplis kenyér. It is lush, stays fresh for a long time and is exceptionally suitable to toast. I found a recipe in the phenomenal book of George Lang The cuisine of Hungary (1971). There he tells that it was a specialty of his mother who got the sourdough for it from her mother when she  married in 1921, who in her turn had gotten it from her mother. He was always allowed to bring to the baker’s oven, but not to pick it up … too delicious!

As I did not own such a wonderful sourdough I made a recipe with yeast that approaches the original well. It is a good companion with a cheese meal or Hungarian Gulyás.

  • Scrub the potatoes, boil unpeeled until done. Peel and pass warm through a potato ricer: weight 100 g. Leave to cool.
  • Mix 75 flour with the yeast, add 150 ml water, stir until mushy. Cover with a moist cloth. Leave to rise for half an hour.
  • Put the rest of the flour into a bowl with the potato purée and the seed, add the yeast mix and then the rest of the water. Knead into a firm dough. Add some more flour if necessary. Add salt. Knead 15 minutes by hand or 10 minutes in a machine (lowest speed) until the dough is elastic and comes free from the bowl.
  • Dust the dough with some flour and put it into a clean bowl. Cover and leave to rise into twice the volume. This will take 1-2 hours at room temperature.
  • Flour the dough lightly; knead for a moment. Form a ball by folding the dough to the underside to get tension on top. Bring over to a pizza peel lined with baking paper. Cover with a a moist cloth and leave to rise for half an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 230˚C/450˚F/gas 9 with a baking tray on the lowest shelf.
  • Brush the dough ball in the center of the top with water. With a thin sharp serrated knife make crosswise an incision there all the way to the bottom. Slide the dough with baking paper from the pizza peel onto the hot baking tray; bake 25-30 minutes or until the color is nicely brown and a grill pen comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

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